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The Worst Journey in the World (1922)
by Apsley Cherry-Garrard
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What a story! I'll never complain on an airplane trip again! A shipload of men travel to the Antarctic in 1910, to make scientific discoveries and attempt to reach the South Pole. Alas, Amundsen, a Norwegian, beat Scott's English team. The travails of the different expeditions are horrendous and led to death for several humans and a LOT of mules, ponies and dogs.
I wonder how many women wanted to go on this expedition?
had a really hard time doing anything else until I finished this book
Absolutely the most astonishing narrative of human trial survival against nature. The "Worst Journey..." is not Scott's expedition to the Pole, tragic as that was, but the Winter Journey to the rookeries of the Emperor Penguins.. Facing temperatures as low as -78��F and fierce blizzards and gales the small team man-hauls to the rookeries, at one point having their tent blow away at night! Remember this was in 1911. No Goretex, no nylon.. All in search of the Emperor Penguin's egg.
Cherry-Garrard would become an emotionally crippled man for the rest of his life, riddled with guilt that he did not save the returning polar expedition (he at one point was probably no more than 10 miles distant from the doomed returning polar team)..Not lacking in personal courage, Cherry had no way of knowing where they were and followed his orders to return to base camp dutifully.
I read this in the original Penguin two volume paperback with shocking pink covers. Just visualising the books makes me feel cold and scared all these years ;later.
How awful the people on the expedition must have felt near the end is hard to imagine.
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Penguin Books (100)
Penguin Travel and Adventure (99-100)
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Biography & Autobiography. History. Travel. Nonfiction. HTML:
The Worst Journey in the World is the autobiographical account of a disastrous Antarctic expedition by one of its survivors. Cherry-Garrard's account of the expedition is held in high regard, because of his frank, unflinching discussion of the horrors and trials he survived for such perhaps arbitrary goals..
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Melvil Decimal System (DDC)919.8904History and Geography Geography and Travel Geography of and travel in Australasia, Pacific Ocean islands, Atlantic Ocean islands, Arctic islands, Antarctica and on extraterrestrial worlds Polar regions Antarctica
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2 editions of this book were published by Skyhorse Publishing.
Editions: 1620874083, 1510707565
What I liked:
• Immerses the reader into what it was like to be an Antarctic explorer during the early 1900s
• Provides an in-depth analysis of what happened to Scott and his team, leading to their demise about 11 miles from the depot which likely would have saved them
• The description of the “worst journey in the world” which turned out to be the miraculous survival of three men who traveled over dangerous terrain at night in search of Emperor Penguin eggs
What I didn’t care for:
• Too much detail for my taste, to a degree that it detracted from the story
• Numerous formatting issues in the Kindle edition, such as headings included in the text, references to photos or drawings that were not included, quotations from literature not clearly delineated, etc.
• The various journals did not always take place in chronological order, and it was not always clear to me whose journal was being quoted
“Polar exploration is at once the cleanest and most isolated way of having a bad time which has been devised”
“It is so easy to be afraid of being afraid!”
“Your breath smokes, forming white rime over your face, and ice in your beard; if it is very cold you may actually hear it crackle as it freezes in mid-air!”
“We were primarily a great scientific expedition, with the Pole as our bait for public support”
“Exploration is the physical expression of the Intellectual Passion” ( )