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Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage Paperback – Mar 19 1999

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Basic Books; Second Edition edition (March 19 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 078670621X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786706211
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 1.7 x 20.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 181 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (358 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #12,425 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

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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 alternate Paperback edition.


Chicago Tribune
“One of the most gripping, suspenseful, intense stories anyone will ever read.”

The New York Times

Christian Science Monitor
“Without a doubt this painstakingly written authentic adventure story will rank as one of the classic tales of the heroic age of exploration.”

Wall Street Journal
“Grit in the face of seemingly insurmountable adversity.”

Mary Roach, New York Times Book Review
“[An] incomparable telling of Shackleton’s travails.”
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By M. Swinney on March 20 2003
Format: Paperback
...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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 13 2003
Format: Paperback
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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Format: Kindle Edition
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 & dressed in silk & satins -different era, wooden ships bound for exploration & passageways. Historical, adventurous, perilous, & even colder.

2)Hum -there are 3 "Endurance " books about Shackleton? ! Oddly enough the one by man himself, by 'samples 'I perused read like logs /seaman's -salty dog Captain. The other from what comments I read (& sample) stated by some reviewers as 'a report ' - has more photos but less captivating.
Then there's Alfred Lancing's which I see by 340 reviewers current to this post ALL rated a solid five stars.
I agree wholeheartedly.

I would suggest not reading about the storyline, events that unfold. Trust in reviewers to include myself this is an extraordinary expedition laid down exquisitely by an extraordinary writer (Jack London style) . A book that will stay with you. I highly recommend THIS version. (If you recommend it to others which is likely, make sure it's Alfred Lancing's)
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Format: Paperback
The story of Shackelton's legendary third attempt for the South Pole should be read by everyone at least once. (Perhaps Peter Fonda in On Golden Pond might've added this one to his list of essential reading for boys along with Treasure Island.) Using source documents and interviews, Lansing's account, first published in 1959, of is likely one of the best adventure stories ever told.

With hundreds of reviews already, this is, admittedly, overkill. But this one deserves every word of praise.

The immensity of the misadventure that befell the Endurance and her crew is humbling - both for the grandeur of the voyage itself but also for the moral stature and strength of character of the men involved.

Lessons in psychology and leadership abound.

"...there was a remarkable absence of discouragement...nobody paused to think on the terrible consequences of losing their ship...there was even a mild exhilaration in their attitude. At least they had a clear-cut task ahead of them...Now they simply had to get themselves out, however appallingly difficult that might be."

"From studying the outcome of past expeditions, he believed that those that burdened themselves with equipment to meet every contingency had fared much worse than those that had sacrificed total preparedness for speed."

Although the first half consists chiefly of waiting around on ice floes, Lansing's narrative is gripping throughout. (The landscape and pace quickens upon reaching Elephant Island.) But in the end, it's the story itself that stands alone as the genius behind this read.

Pack it along with you on your next trip. Worth its weight in gold. Unless of course you have to ditch it to make room for seal blubber or a frozen penguin.
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