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Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage [Paperback]

Alfred Lansing
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (346 customer reviews)
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Book Description

March 19 1999
The astonishing saga of polar explorer Ernest Shackleton'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. To write their authoritative story, Lansing consulted with ten of the surviving members and gained access to diaries and personal accounts byeight others. The resulting book has all the immediacy of a first-hand account, expanded with maps and illustrations especially for this edition.

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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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Enduring Religious Proselytizing July 4 2000
Although Lansing's text is excellent, I could hardly get past the forward written by James C. Dobson, who somehow got limitied publishing rights for this book and had it published by Tyndale. It appears that he could not tolerate Lansing's failure to provide overwhelming evidence that these men constantly and frequently turned to God in their travails. The forward and the afterword are nothing short of Christian proselytizing. As a Jew I am not interested in Dobson's religious beliefs and in his comparisons of the heroism of Shakelton and the rescue of his crew to the 2nd coming of Christ. Nor am I interested in purchasing a book that has been "edited in content for a Christian audience". What the hell does that even mean? Did they eliminate "dirty words" from the diary quotes? And why are we not told by Amazon.com that of the two paperback editions, the Tyndale had this offensive (to some) Christian forward and afterword - and who knows what editing in between? Please inform your customers! How do I get my money back for this edition so I can order the Carroll and Graf (a secular publisher) edition?
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
The story of the Endurance by Lansing is a wonderful story. However, this particular book published by Tyndale contains inappropriate religious references in Dobson's foreword & afterword.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
This is one of the 10 best books I've ever read; among such treasures as "The Grapes of Wrath" and Upton Sinclair's "The Jungle". For these men to have survived the harshest conditions known to man is an inspiration to people everywhere that, where there is a will, there is a way. When I go through a bitter cold Wisconsin winter again, I will never look at it in the same way I did before. The agony, frustration and longing these men endured was truly more than most men are capable of overcoming. In an age of modern conveniences where not having cable is considered a hardship, this book brings back the tough spirit of men who tested every fiber of their being. This book should be mandatory reading for all school-age children so they know there is a world beyond PlayStation and all the other trappings of our sedentary society. The adversity these men faced is beyond my comprehension. Buy the book! You won't be sorry!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Voyage, Amazing Story April 9 2003
By A Customer
I have never read a more truthful or compelling factual account of the miraculous voyage of Shackleton. Lansing reels you in and brings you into each character's mind and heart, and you automatically become a part of the crew.
Precious few stories can bind you to the book as you read, but this one does.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping tale of man against nature April 8 2003
By T. Wade
I highly recommend this book - for those of you thrill junkies it's a tale that shouldn't be overlooked. It would be difficult for modern man to relive what Shakleton and his men went through with modern equipment. Simply amazing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thank God for Armchair Adventuring... March 20 2003
...because I would still be thawing out from Shackleton's wild romp in the Antarctic. And a few years have passed since their adventure and those fateful seventeen months in 1914-16 when Shackleton and his men encountered the worst Murphy's Law could throw their way. The book is a testament to human endurance, to Lansing's writing, and the leadership of a man like Ernest Shackleton. It is an enjoyable read from front to back, from launch to recovery, from freezing to thawing.
As far as adventure/disaster books go, I would rank it behind Jon Krakauer's "Into Thin Air." Though the author Lansing does an incredible job placing the reader "there" with Shackleton's men as they get their ship stuck in the ice pack in the Weddell Sea, float on ice floes, launch across treacherous seas in lifeboats, and go where no man has gone before on a last ditch desperate land jaunt, the fact doesn't change that Lansing, himself, wasn't there. I think no matter how hard an author can apply his trade to a story, it is difficult to relay to the reader the immediacy of impending doom and the cold and dread and the spirit that drives men to survival. Don't get me wrong, Lansing does a fine job bringing off this task, but it is short of the immediacy Krakauer gives the reader of putting you "there" in the desperate situation and knowing what it is like to survive from the worst nature and man has to offer.
If you want to read the best in adventure/disaster writing start skip by Junger's somewhat thrill-lacking "The Perfect Storm," and head straight for "Into Thin Air," followed by Lansing's "Endurance." Be warned though, you will be losing out on some sleep in the process since these books absolutely prove impossible to put down.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superhuman Endurance at Its Best Sept. 3 2010
By Ian Gordon Malcomson HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
Anyone about to read Lansing's account of the Shackleton Trans-Antarctica expedition of 1914-1916 is in for a real treat. The collection of Frank Hurley's original photos of the journey have now been published to serve as a useful companion in helping the reader visualize the many daunting challenges that these brave men faced. The actual written version of this adventure has many things to commend it. For instance, Lansing pulls no punches when describing the torturous landscape of this ice-bound continent. The description is so graphic throughout that, even without the pictures, the reader should have no problem understanding the monstrous task facing Shackleton and his men as they tried to sledge across its upheaved surface. Based on fairly detailed diaries kept by certain members of the team, Lansing pieces together a chronology of events that stretches from the original outfitting of the expedition to its ultimate rescue two years later. A lot of facts are provided as to how the men fared along the way, what their interpersonal relations were like, and what the circumstance were that doomed the completion of the original mission. Each of the key members of the crew was assessed as to how they contributed to the overall morale of the ship. Some had a positive role in terms of raising spirits, performing critical duties, and participating in various rescue outings, while several got in the way with their selfish attitudes. Shackleton is especially singled out as a man of experience and enormous courage who often kept his own counsels but never failed in his unswerving loyalty to his men. While the original goal of making it across the continent never happened because of some unfortunate mishaps along the way, the story does have a terrific ending: a rescue like none ever seen before or since. Read more ›
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Endurance review
Great book, I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys non fiction. The book was well written. The amount of research is certainly apparent in this book
Published 9 days ago by Graeme
5.0 out of 5 stars Unbelievable story of survival
Hard to imagine how tough and determined this men were to be able to survive in such extreme conditions without proper clothing or food. A testament to mans ingenuity and resolve. Read more
Published 4 months ago by peter p
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing True Story of Survival
Lansing has accurately and faithfully recounted a tale that, were it fiction, might seem to be too incredible to be true. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Greaser
5.0 out of 5 stars fantastic
There was never a place in the passages of this book that I wanted to put it down. An amazing account of a journey that asked men to live in the unliveable.
Published 7 months ago by Jonathan
5.0 out of 5 stars Great novel!
I loved this novel. The story is informative and incredible. It is one of those books I know I will read again soon.
Published 8 months ago by author4
5.0 out of 5 stars Hell almost froze over! Extraordinary!
If you are 1) thinking this is just a boring book (or man's) about ice, shipwrecks "Ive seen enough Titanic for a lifetime "yadayada - no you haven't - no one was sipping champagne... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Sheryl in Vancouver
5.0 out of 5 stars Keith m
Fantastic adventure. All time legends. Cannot imagine living through those hardships and having the resolve to persevere. Strongly recommended to all.
Published 10 months ago by Keith Nolan McRae
4.0 out of 5 stars A short, well-written summary of one of the world's great survival...
Clearly lots of background research, but not so much detail as to compromise good story telling. Would have liked a bit more "epilogue" - what happened to the major... Read more
Published 16 months ago by Ken H
4.0 out of 5 stars Endurance
Wow. The strength, courage and capacity to stay alive in the most extreme conditions of weather and mental toughness. Read more
Published on May 18 2012 by Don Griffis
4.0 out of 5 stars Lives up to its name
When I first heard about this story from a friend I knew I had to read the book. This is an amazing story of human endurance and leadership. Read more
Published on Sept. 17 2011 by ubuibme
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