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

by Alfred Lansing

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2,693822,203 (4.36)118
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 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 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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Showing 1-5 of 78 (next | show all)
If ever there was a book whose title deserved to include the word "incredible" this is it. The voyage of Ernest Shackleton receives a well-deserved and beautiful portrayal in Alfred Lansing's famous book. One of my favorite adventure books, it is a detailed account of the events and the extremes that were encountered on the Antarctic voyage where disaster struck when his ship, Endurance, was trapped in pack ice and slowly crushed, before the shore parties could be landed.

The book recounts the failure of the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition led by Sir Ernest Shackleton in its attempt to cross the Antarctic continent and the subsequent struggle for survival endured by the twenty-eight man crew for almost two years. The book's title refers to the ship Shackleton used for the expedition, the Endurance. In 1914 Shackleton led twenty-seven men on the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition. The goal of the expedition was to transverse the Antarctic continent by dog sledge. The ship was beset and eventually crushed by ice floes in the Weddell Sea leaving the men stranded on the pack ice. All in all the crew drifted on the ice for just over a year. At the end of October, 1915, the Endurance finally succumbed to the intense pressure and was slowly crushed. The crew, led by Shackleton, abandoned ship and made camp on a huge floe of pack ice. Shackleton then led a crew of five aboard the James Caird through the Drake Passage and miraculously reached South Georgia Island 650 nautical miles away. He then took two of those men on the first successful overland crossing of the island. Three months later he was finally able to rescue the remaining crew members they had left behind on Elephant Island.

Virtually every diary kept during the expedition was made available to the author and almost all the surviving members at the time of writing submitted to lengthy interviews. The most significant contribution came from Dr. Alexander Macklin, one of the ship's surgeons, who provided Lansing with many diaries, a detailed account of the perilous journey the crew made to Elephant Island, and months of advice. The narrative of the astonishing sequence of exploits, and an ultimate escape with no lives lost, would eventually assure Shackleton's heroic status. Lansing provides an account worthy of this epic adventure. ( )
  jwhenderson | Apr 25, 2017 |
An immense story of survival. I think it's true to say that Lansing's version of events is regarded as the definitive and classic account of the Shackleton expedition. Endurance was the name of the ship that quickly became ice bound, and endurance was the name of the game for the 28 crew stranded on an ice floe within the Antarctic seas. Without giving too much away the story really comes alive when they leave the ice in open top boats in a bid to reach safety. Lansing uses diary excerpts from a handful of crew members - their inner thoughts helping to colour and shape these characters. Oddly, despite this Shackleton himself remains somewhat aloof and a bit distant somehow, while a great many of the other 28 remain virtually anonymous. However the book is not significantly hampered by this and the last half is real page turning stuff as our heroes are faced with hardship upon hardship met largely with stoicism and a will to survive. ( )
  Lord_Boris | Feb 21, 2017 |
How twenty some men could possibly live through such an experience is amazing. So glad I read this book of antarctic exploration. The day to day accounts from the many journals kept by these tough men was hard to imagine. ( )
  kerrlm | Jan 21, 2017 |
Terrific. Thrilling. True. One of the greatest survival stories of the modern world. I would also recommend "Alive" by Piers Paul Read which is also a terrific read. This is one of the earlier books about the expedition and surely one of the best. The open boat journey competes perhaps with Captain Bligh's great ocean crossing after being turned off The Bounty. I can't recommend Endurance more highly or more enthusiastically. ( )
  blnq | Dec 27, 2016 |
Exhausting to listen to yet for the most part very engaging - Shackleton led an antarctic expedition in the early 20th century and not long into the trip his boat hit ice and became unusable - the struggles and dangers that the members of the expedition faced are almost unbelievable - often just staying alive and not going crazy was a feat unto itself.

I was amazed by the crew and by their strength and ability to have faith and hope when the possibility of being rescued was highly unlikely. I did get bored at times as there was so much sameness to the story but am glad i read it. ( )
  njinthesun | Dec 25, 2016 |
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» Add other authors (13 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Alfred Lansingprimary authorall editionscalculated
Philbrick, NathanielIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Prebble, SimonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Steinel, WilliamCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:05:15 -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)

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