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Endurance: The Incredible Voyage of Ernest Shackleton

With good leadership, you can do anything. This statement is portrayed in a number of different ways by Alfred Lansing. In this book, Lansing tells the incredible story of Shackleton and his crews’ voyage through the Antarctic on a ship called the “Endurance”.

Perhaps one of the most creditable aspects of this book is the way it depicts the dire situations and trials that Shackleton and the crew had to endure. But along with that it also is very clear when portraying how incredible and unbelievably hard it was to overcome the trials that they did. One of the most significant statements to me was the one that said “They had been down below for almost seventy-two hours maintaining steam in the boilers to operate the engine room pumps.” (Pg.3) But Lansing never failed when it came to showing the men’s determination through it all. This is shown here while they are stuck in an insurmountable ice floe when he says “Still the crew refused to give up and during their watches turned out on the ice to continue cutting away at it.” (Pg.33)

There were very few things wrong with the book, but there were things wrong. Such as the fact that the book starts off in the middle of the story, already getting rid of the suspense and excitement that you could have had if you had just started from the beginning. It also foreshadows what is going to happen throughout the rest of the book. Take for example when Lansing says “the order to abandon the ship was given at 5 pm. (Pg.1)

This book mostly stayed monotone. It had mostly the same tone throughout the book, and that tone was a determined one. I believe that by using this tone, the author was able to portray the hardships and incredible accomplishments by the characters aboard the Endurance. Also, the author adds an interesting mix in the story when he portrayed the characters as he did. Especially the main character, Ernest Shackleton, was a very interesting fellow. I really enjoyed how the author portrayed him as someone who relies heavily on instincts and first impressions, yet is very whimsical on occasion, especially when it came time for him to pick his crew. It is partly shown when this is stated “Leonard Hussey, an irrepressible, peppery little individual, was signed on as meteorologist even though he had practically no qualifications for the position at the time. Shackleton simply thought Hussey “looked funny””.

This book is great for anyone who likes reading about true stories of people overcoming adversity and achieving their goal, no matter the odds. But it is not jam-packed and filled with action, so anybody who’s looking for the next mission impossible, I do not highly recommend to read this book.





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