The Endurance: Shackleton's Legendary Antarctic Expedition

The Endurance: Shackleton's Legendary Antarctic Expedition

Caroline Alexander

History / Nonfiction / Adventure

Amazon.com ReviewNarrators Michael Tezla and Martin Ruben join forces to read Caroline Alexander's extraordinary account of Sir Ernest Shackleton's improbable Antarctic adventure. Tezla narrates the text while Ruben reads diary entries from the ship's crewmembers, employing a variety of native accents. The approach effectively divides the book into listener-friendly chunks, but at times, keeping track of all 27 crewmen requires the fortitude of the explorers themselves. Tezla describes the ice and snow with a haunting beauty but manages maintain the tension throughout, while Ruben injects character and humor into his various vocal interpretations. (Running time: 6 hours, 4 cassettes) --Kimberly HeinrichsFrom Publishers WeeklyThe unparalleled adventure and ordeal of Sir Ernest Shackleton and his crew, stranded on the Antarctic ice for 20 months beginning January 20, 1915, then forced to row a 22-foot boat 850 miles across storm-ravaged seas, has inspired at least three marvelous books: Shackleton's own memoir, South; Alfred Lansing's bestselling Endurance; and this stirring account by Alexander (The Way to Xanadu). In 1914, Shackleton sailed to Antarctica with 27 men in hopes of being the first human to transverse the continent. But his ship, the Endurance, was trapped, then crushed, by ice in the Weddell Sea, propelling the party into a nightmare of cold and near starvation. Alexander, relying extensively on journals by crew members, some never published, as well as on myriad other sources, delivers a spellbinding story of human courage (and occasional venality) in the face of daunting odds. She succinctly and boldly captures the character of the men and of the terrible land- and seascape they crossed toward salvation. What makes this book especially exciting, however, are the 170 previously unpublished photos by the expedition's photographer, Frank Hurley: stark, artfully composed tributes to the savage beauty of the ice and to the fortitude of the men and their dogs. Not one of the men died during their sojourn in a freezing hell; as Alexander makes clear in her gripping, emotionally resonant book, this incredible fact bears witness not only to Shackleton's leadership but to the strength of the human spirit. Agent, Anthony Sheil. Author tour. (Nov.) FYI: The Endurance is being published in association with the American Museum of Natural History, which in March 1999 will open an exhibit, curated by Alexander, chronicling Shackleton's voyage. A feature-length IMAX film on the subject will be released then, as well.Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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The War That Killed Achilles

The War That Killed Achilles

Caroline Alexander

History / Nonfiction / Adventure

"Spectacular and constantly surprising."-Ken Burns Written with the authority of a scholar and the vigor of a bestselling narrative historian, The War That Killed Achilles is a superb and utterly timely presentation of one of the timeless stories of Western civilization. As she did in The Endurance and The Bounty, New York Times bestselling author Caroline Alexander has taken apart a narrative we think we know and put it back together in a way that lets us see its true power. In the process, she reveals the intended theme of Homer's masterwork-the tragic lessons of war and its enduring devastation.
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