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Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage (original 1959; edition 1999)

by Alfred Lansing

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2,188532,964 (4.35)46
Member:crmass
Title:Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage
Authors:Alfred Lansing
Info:Tyndale House (1999), Paperback, 247 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:Paperback, Antarctica, Travel

Work details

Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage by Alfred Lansing (1959)

  1. 30
    The Ice Master: The Doomed 1913 Voyage of the Karluk by Jennifer Niven (John_Vaughan)
  2. 10
    Miracle in the Andes by Nando Parrado (caimanjosh)
    caimanjosh: This book clearly is somewhat different - there's no sea journeying involved - yet the themes of enduring terrible suffering and overcoming incredible hardships to effect a rescue of one's comrades are the same. Both are the most inspiring stories about the human spirit that I've ever read.… (more)
  3. 10
    The Endurance: Shackleton's Legendary Antarctic Expedition by Caroline Alexander (chrisharpe)
  4. 00
    Trial by Ice: The True Story of Murder and Survival on the 1871 Polaris Expedition by Richard Parry (Pondlife)
    Pondlife: Endurance shows the positive effects of a great leader; trial by ice shows the negative effects of weak leadership.
  5. 00
    Shackleton's Boat Journey by Frank Arthur Worsley (chrisharpe)
    chrisharpe: An account of the same journey by Endurance's Captain Worsley.
  6. 00
    South: The Endurance Expedition by Ernest Shackleton (chrisharpe)
  7. 00
    Men Against the Sea: A Novel by Charles Nordhoff (WildMaggie)
  8. 01
    The Odyssey by Homer (BookWallah)
    BookWallah: Odysseus & Shackleton both had travails getting home from their epic voyages. Differences in their stories: The former’s took 17 years, lost all his men, & was told as epic poetry. The latter’s took 16 months, saved all his men, & is told as gripping biography.… (more)
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» See also 46 mentions

English (50)  Dutch (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (52)
Showing 1-5 of 50 (next | show all)
Incredible story of survivial in the Antarctic. I knew the story and knew the ending would be success. But, all the parts in between were magnificent. I was even struck by the logic of he decisions made--some people you just don't want to get out and bother others, for example. The book was well edited and it wasn't too repetitive for what must have been a day-to-day battle with boredom. ( )
  buffalogr | Aug 3, 2014 |
They say "worse things happen at sea": this story recounts some of those worse things that can happen.

Ultimately it's a tale of triumph over extreme adversity, and how one man can inspire and lead others in what appear to be impossible situations.

If this was fiction, it would seem too far fetched. Some of the things they got through are truly remarkable.

Having read "The Worst Journey in the World", I wonder how Scott's ill-fated expedition would have fared with Shackleton in charge. ( )
  Pondlife | Jun 19, 2014 |
Incredible story! ( )
  mrluckey | Jun 17, 2014 |
One of those books I couldn't put down before completing. Why are some people's life spared and others allowed to die? What role do each of us play in being accountable in our actions for our survival. This book clearly reveals the importance of our actions, the folly of trusting solely in those actions, and the mercy and grace of Our Lord who reveals himself to us in-spite of ourselves. "Not because of what I've done, but because of Who He is." ( )
  2400 | Apr 8, 2014 |
Ernest Shackleton and his crew of 27 men have taken away my man card. Seriously.

I have never even remotely come into a situation as dire and desperate as the stranded crew of the Endurance. If I did, I’m sure I would curl up in the fetal position and just hope that it all works itself out. That being said, it wouldn’t be long before I would freeze to death or be killed and eaten by a sea leopard. However, if Shackleton was my captain, he could probably get more out of me then I would think possible.

In 1915, Shackleton and his crew were attempting to become the first to navigate the continent. Little did they know, they would run into some hellish circumstances that would push them to their absolute limit. Shortly after embarking on their arduous journey, the ship becomes trapped. Stuck for months, the ship eventually becomes crushed under the pressure of the surrounding ice. Faced with a "do or die" situation, Shackleton makes the call to lead the men in search of dry land.

For the life of me, I still cannot understand how they survived. However, I do realize that until you’re faced with a situation like this, you’re unable to imagine how you’ll react. Between the loss of limbs, the dire food situations, the difficult living conditions and the fear of never knowing if you'll make it or not, I don't know how they did it.

All of these men have an iron will, there's simply no other way to explain it. It made me think about my day to day problems and how little they matter when you contrast it to being stranded at sea and living on ice flows for the better part of two years.

As good as this book was, I did feel it dragged at parts. I grabbed the audiobook of this and while Simon Prebble's narration was excellent, I found parts were a little long winded. This is in no way a criticism of a real life situation, just maybe a tighter narrative would have been better. ( )
  branimal | Apr 1, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 50 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (13 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Alfred Lansingprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Philbrick, NathanielIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Prebble, SimonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The order to abandon ship was given at 5 P.M.
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The time for hesitation was past, and Shackleton swung himself over the side. Working furiously, he began to cut steps in the face of the cliff, descending slowly, a foot at a time. A bitter chill had come into the air, and the sun was nearly down. Gradually they were getting lower, but it was maddeningly slow progress. After thirty minutes, the ice-hard surface of the snow grew softer, indicating that the grade was not quite so steep. Shackleton stopped short. He seemed to realize all at once the futility of what he was doing. At the rate they were going it would take hours to make the descent. Furthermore, it was probably too late to turn back. He hacked out a small platform with the adz, then called to the others to come down. There was no need to explain the situation. Speaking rapidly, Shackleton said simply that they faced a clear-cut choice: If they stayed where they were, they would freeze-in an hour, maybe two, maybe more. They had to get lower-and with all possible haste. So he suggested they slide. Worsley and Crean were stunned-especially for such an insane solution to be coming from Shackleton. But he wasn’t joking…he wasn’t even smiling. He meant it-and they knew it. But what if they hit a rock, Crean wanted to know. Could they stay where they were, Shackleton replied, his voice rising. The slope, Worsley argued. What if it didn’t level off? What if there were another precipice? Shackleton’s patience was going. Again he demanded-could they stay where they were? Obviously they could not, and Worsley and Crean reluctantly were forced to admit it. Nor was there really any other way of getting down. And so the decision was made. Shackleton said they would slide as a unit, holding onto one another. They quickly sat down and untied the rope which held them together. Each of them coiled up his share to form a mat. Worsley locked his legs around Shackleton’s waist and put his arms around Shackleton’s neck. Crean did the same with Worsley. They looked like three tobogganers without a toboggan. Altogether it took a little more than a minute, and Shackleton did not permit any time for reflection. When they were ready, he kicked off. In the next instant their hearts stopped beating. They seemed to hang poised for a split second, then suddenly the wind was shrieking in their ears, and a white blur of snow tore past. Down…down…they screamed – not in terror necessarily, but simply because they couldn’t help it. It was squeezed out of them by the rapidly mounting pressure in their ears and against their chests. Faster and faster – down … down …down! Then they shot forward onto the level, and their speed began to slacken. A moment later they came to an abrupt halt in a snowbank. The three men picked themselves up. They were breathless and their hearts were beating wildly. But they found themselves laughing uncontrollably. What had been a terrifying prospect possibly a hundred seconds before had turned into a breath-taking triumph.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 078670621X, Paperback)

In the summer of 1914, Sir Ernest Shackleton set off aboard the Endurance bound for the South Atlantic. The goal of his expedition was to cross the Antarctic overland, but more than a year later, and still half a continent away from the intended base, the Endurance was trapped in ice and eventually was crushed. For five months Shackleton and his crew survived on drifting ice packs in one of the most savage regions of the world before they were finally able to set sail again in one of the ship's lifeboats. Alfred Lansing's Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage is a white-knuckle account of this astounding odyssey.

Through the diaries of team members and interviews with survivors, Lansing reconstructs the months of terror and hardship the Endurance crew suffered. In October of 1915, there "were no helicopters, no Weasels, no Sno-Cats, no suitable planes. Thus their plight was naked and terrifying in its simplicity. If they were to get out--they had to get themselves out." How Shackleton did indeed get them out without the loss of a single life is at the heart of Lansing's magnificent true-life adventure tale.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:23:31 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

The astonishing saga of polar explorer Ernest Schackleton's survival for over a year on the ice-bound Antarctic seas, as "Time" magazine put it, "defined heroism". Alfred Lansing's scrupulously researched and brilliantly narrated book--with over 200,000 copies sold--has long been acknowledged as the definitive account of the "Endurance's" fateful trip.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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