Allie Randall's Reviews > Shipwreck at the Bottom of the World: The Extraordinary True Story of Shackleton and The Endurance

Shipwreck at the Bottom of the World by Jennifer Armstrong
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's review
Sep 09, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: adolescent-lit-420

Genre/Category: Non-fiction/adventure/heroism

Summary: Sir Earnest Shackleton set off to conquer the most dangerous continent on the Earth, Antartica, by crossing the ice-covered continent from one side to the other. But first, he would have to reach it. This non-fiction book provides a literary perspective to the unreal adventure of Shackleton and the crew of the Endurance. Before ever reaching land, the Endurance was caught in the ice, frozen hundreds of miles from land, and eventually crushed in the ever-moving pressure of the ice floes, but all of the men lived to tell of the 18-month battle for survival. Without their ship, the crew experienced horrible exposure to the freezing elements, merciless seas, and predatory animals. Their survival is a heroic telling of one man's ability to lead in times of disaster, and a crew's desire to survive. Littered with actual photographs of the voyage, the book sets a tone of adventure and new perils with every turn of the page. Armstrong writes with skill, utilizing cliff-hangers and literary devices to keep her readers on the edge of their seats until the crew safely arrives home.

This book was one of the best non-fiction books I have ever read. It is captivating and engaging, completely reworking my perspective on non-fiction. Armstrong creates palpable characters who I became attached to, invested in their well-being and safety. The pictures provided visions that I couldn't even imagine, and the writing propelled me through each page as I bit my nails, waiting for the crew's safe reunion and return to their home.

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