Review: Endurance, Alfred Lansing

Rating: 4 out of 5

I took a liking to the story of Mr Shackleton and the ill-fated Imperial Transantarctic Expedition nearly as soon as I took up Mr Lansing’s book. It is a well-narrated story — though the reader knows the outcome from the first — and written in a gripping manner with the reader tried to be kept in the dark as much as possible to the particulars of the outcome of any of the members of the Expedition.

There is a good balance between fact and folklore which also seems to have held up well since the book was finished quite some time ago. There’re also a number of stories which touch the very heart of the soul of the Southern Ocean and the people who used to work its waters.

What I found poorly done about the book was the rather short introduction into how the Expedition got underway though some basic background on Mr Shackleton was provided. Quite a bit more lacking was the story of what happened after the rescue of the crew members from the Antarctic, and I wish this had been touched upon in more detail.

Overall, however, the narrative is a pleasure to read and the book provides in full what one expects from the title: the heart-chilling story of the Endurance.

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