Like the quote on the back of the book says:

“For scientific discovery, give me Scott; for speed and efficiency of travel, give me Amundsen; but when disaster strikes and all hope is gone, get down on your knees and pray for Shackleton.” –unattributed

I figured after reading a book that took place in the Arctic (The Long Exile), why not follow up with a book that takes place in the Antarctic? In 1914, explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton’s ship became trapped in ice, drifted for ~9 months, was eventually crushed by the ice and sank, and the crew of 28 men drifted on ice floes for 5 more months. And that is the backstory. This incredible account of their eventual safe rescue, written by his ship’s captain, begins after all that – when their ice floe camps finally reach the edge of the ice pack and they’re able to put their three little rescue boats back in actual water. It’s positively mind-boggling what they endured, and an amazing testament to Shackleton’s leadership and dedication to his crew.

There were many fascinating photographs of the crew, the seas, the ice, their original vessel trapped in the ice, and their camps. The front of the book also had an excellent map showing their whole path, which I loved being able to refer to. The only downside of this book was all the technical sailing jargon. It’s like, every damn rope on the boat has its own name. I have zero background in sailing, so most of that went over my head entirely which was kind of annoying.

Bottom line: recommended, especially if you can put up with sailing jargon.

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