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South by Ernest Henry Sir Shackleton

  • Author: Ernest Henry Sir Shackleton
  • Book title: South
  • Category: Sports & Outdoors
  • Subcategory: Winter Sports
  • Publisher: North Books (April 1, 2000)
  • ISBN: 1582871159
  • ISBN13: 978-1582871158
  • Rating: 4.3
  • Votes: 792
  • Other formats: lrf mobi rtf mbr
7 Reviews
generation of new
This is the epic real-life adventure of the Shackleton expedition to the Antarctic that goes wrong in every way possible. Their story becomes one of self sacrifice for their comrades and endurance against impossible odds. There is genuine heroism, and there is real humanity here. Not an easy read, because it is composed largely of daily logs, and not in the form of an adventure novel, but the slow pace accentuated by these catastrophes give a real sense of just how torturous this expedition was.
Sir Ernest Shackleton's last expeditions, headed South, from 1914 to 1917. Shackleton's increasingly dangerous adventures would destroy him one day, everyone said. Now you can read the actual narrative of Shackleton's ill-fated polar expedition, from the pen of the Endurance's captain himself: Sir Ernest Shackleton. A life lived for impossible accomplishments, his exploits read as if part adventure fiction, part survivalist canon -- but every word, Shackleton swore as true. This towering British explorer kept a detailed journal which remains as a gripping testament to heroism and survival despite all the odds. If today's long-distance minute-by-minute bulletins keep you glued to your cell phone, here's something much better: no fake news, not even in its day, but real exploits to inspire and stoicism to emulate. Give this to a loved one, boy or girl, man or women, for the holiday and on any special day, then offer to discuss it with them when they're done and watch eyes shine.
Very worth reading.
For the armchair traveler who becomes fully immersed in their reading, this book will take you to the Antarctic to experience, in detail, the heartbreak, determination, hope, despair, and sheer determination of men who survived in and returned from a hopeless place - not because they didn't give up, but because they never all gave up at the same time, they had strong intelligent leaders, and they worked together even when they did not entirely agree with, or like each other.
Full of interesting true details too of how an expedition was formed, and ships were procured, provisioned and staffed before we had such things as freeze-dried foods, refrigerators, steel, antibiotics, .... all the stuff that simply did not exist in the early 1900s.
Anyone heading into desolate polar regions on a vacation excursion today owes it to themselves to read this fascinating book, before you go.
You'll have a much better appreciation that you are going there with very high assurances of returning whole, healthy and on schedule, having seen (and endlessly photographed) some of the wonders of that savage world in the comfort of warm dry clothes, on well-planned landings from a ship where you are well fed, and sleep warm & safe at night.
Enough has been said about the story to make any further comment redunday. That said, Shackleton's style is one for the reader. His narrative is engaging and he never bogs down in scientific gobbledegook. It is simply the recounting of an expedition gone disastrously wrong. He doesn't embellish nor does he wallow. Things are bad enough without having to make them seem worse and the bravery his leadership inspired needs no exaggeration.
The expedition was in several parts, Shackleton's being just one, and each had their tales of woe. The reader that complained about being bored at the end is just missing the point.
The edition is virtually typo free and very much recommended. The lessons learned are used today in managerial circles. It's incredible to think that we are learning things now that were known about so long ago.
Leaders like this are a rare breed and stories like this are rarer still. Wonderful, thrilling reading and for the princely sum of nothing at all, how can you go wrong?
As a thought, the diagrams and pictures would have been a nice addition to this Kindle book but I did see on the Windows 8 version a list of maps and illustrations. Maybe that's for PC only but I'm not complaining.
Now to read about Scott.
The first hand story of an amazing survival story based on Shackleton's memory and journals (his and others). I actually found it helpful to read both this book and the one by Alfred Lansing - "Endurance:Shackleton's Incredible Voyage" to get a complete picture. Lansing includes much more detail from the other participants' journals as well as personal interviews with some of the survivors. But, to get the first hand account of one who was actually there this book by Shackleton is wonderful.
The Shackleton Expedition of 1914 - 1917 is renowned for it's story of triumph over adversary. It is also widely recognized as a story of tremendous leadership and teamwork. Sir Ernest's work is rather dry and tremendously understated. The account is absent the drama that would have most certainly marked this expedition. The hardships and privation experienced by the party are unimaginable, the physical and mental resiliency required was all but impossible of men. What is missing from this account is that which so many other authors have written about - the leadership that Shackleton and Wild provide to the expedition. Shackleton must have been an extraordinary individual however an engaging author he was not. Nevertheless it is a great story and one worth reading.
A concise recollection of the harrowing experience of a group of common men who portrayed heroic behavior in the most unfathomable situation. This part of the globe was totally unknown to humanity at the time but these men undertook the challenge of discovery. It is hard to imagine anyone in today's age doing anything so daring. What is left? The whole globe is mapped by satellite, man has walked on the moon. These brave men were true heroes who managed to survive unthinkable hardships. Let's not forget just how helpless we all are without the technology available to us today.
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