Great story but, it's told in a rather slow random manner. The story starts in media vaca which grabs the reader's attention but , then it reverts back to a brief history and setup of the expedition and starts to drag. Later in Antarctica the writer wants to tie up all the tales of different sub-expeditions but it hurts the story and ends up pulling. 90% of the journey is spent waiting out your winters in the shelter so the boredom of that situation really comes through. I learned a lot but it took me forever to read as it just wasn't engaging. If you are an academic or devotee of Mawson you will appreciate all the minutiae and biographical details but, if you just want an exiting read you my be bored as I was., This guide is basically a biography of Douglas Mawson, the Australian Antarctic explorer who in 1912 survived a 30-day, almost 300-mile trek alone back to camp after his two teammates died. Certainly one of his teammates fell down a crevasse along with the sledge that transported nearly all of the team's important equipment and nearly all of its food, and the other died thereafter due to exposure, so Mawson had to survive on half or fewer rations. Mawson was a geology professor at the University of Adelaide and wanted to explore because the continent as possible rather than reach the South Post (he was with Shackleton in 1908 when they came within 95 mls of the pole). He formed the Australasian Journey with 24 members who landed and wintered over in what turned out to be the windiest spot on earth; a few of the members, including Mawson, spent two winters there. The book is well-organized and Roberts is a great storyteller who states that from a scientific viewpoint the expedition achieved and explored more than those of the more famous Antarctic explorers Amundsen, Scott and Shackleton. Roberts locates little fault with Mawson and reviewed many characters, diaries and other major sources. Roberts could have gone a little overboard defending Mawson against attacks made in 2001 by the son of one of the other expedition members. At the finish of the book Roberts makes a perfunctory comment that Mawson had his faults, but the book rarely delved into them. Some people doubt Mawson's story that, after his teammates died, he dropped in a crevasse to a depth of 16 feet hanging only by a rope, and in his weakened and starved condition climbed hand-over-hand nearly all of the way, fell back down, then climbed hand-over-hand a second time to escape the crevasse. The book discusses a modern effort (which failed) to duplicate this feat and others have expressed doubt about its authenticity, but makes no touch upon whether Mawson fabricated or embellished the story. One hundred years later I don't think anyone can say if the story is certainly true or not, but Roberts should at least have acknowledged that others doubt Mawson was telling the truth about this. Feb. 16, 2015, This factual recounting of a scientific journey to Antarctica reaches times unbelievable, at times uplifting, at times tragic. Typically the author never sensationalizes the facts or the telling of them, which makes the story even more incredible and a wonderful page-turner., Well written prose, but as the author admits in the book, the multitude of concurrent events the coherent and linear story very difficult, and I am afraid that the situation was very evident in this book. As for the explorers by themselves, for my money they were nothing but egotistically driven obsessives and pet abusers (of their dogs) of the first get ranking. The dogs that they worked to the point of collapse and then killed and ate are the real heroes here., I have read a majority of Roberts' publications and delight in most. However, this one, together with the Geronimo book, have left me reading only 10 to 20 pages a night rather than the sometimes endless with his truly memorable ones - In Search of this Ones and Mount Deborah. I do not argue that this is indeed the most daring of the Antarctic explorations but, as Roberts portrays it, the most boring to read about., I viewed a quick video on Facebook and was very enthusiastic about reading a far more this is a fantastic book with pictures and very well-researched I couldn't put the book down, This one well deserves its steady top classic rank. This is a story of staggering hardship and breathtaking determination, engagingly well written, which neither my spouse and I could put down (thankfully we each had it on our e. reader so we do not have to effort to share a single print copy). An absolute must read for any outdoor or armchair adventurer., One of the most interesting publications I have read. For 2 entire winters with no probability of rescue where the worlds most severe weather occurs. Winds quite often strong as 60- 100mph and temperatures popular among be 30 plus below zero. Is a fantastic story of endurance and perseverance from these men specially when knowing of the much lesser quality of food, clothing and equipment used for exploring in1913 in contrast to the much more advanced available today. Will be difficult to imagine walking several hundred miles tugging sledges weighing 300 pounds over crevices, up ice hills and snow drifts. I seldom read a book a second time but with this is one I likely will. Just drawback is several terms used in that time period are not common to the typical reader and the author may have done a little better with explanations of what exactly these are or mean.
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