The Endurance, by Alfred Lansing, is the captivating true story of Ernest Shackleton’s remarkable voyage to the floes of the Antarctic. Lansing gathered all the information for this book by actually interviewing many members of the crew. These primary sources made it possible for him to tell a very accurate, exciting story.
Lansing tells of the crew of the Endurance, a beautiful Norwegian ship built by master shipbuilder Christian Jacobsen. It was built from woods such as oak, Norwegian fir and
greenheart. This crew was shipwrecked during their Trans Antarctic expedition and they struggled to survive the journey home. The first scene in the book features the abandoning of the ship after it has been crushed by the floes of ice adjacent to it. Frank Hurley, one of the crew members, stated in light of this “Awful calamity that has overtaken the ship that has been our home for over 12 months… We are homeless and adrift on the sea ice.” The captain of the now sunken ship was a man named Ernest Shackleton, a quite serious man who was very well respected after having been a part of a then three Antarctic expeditions. His crew consisted of many men including his second-in command, Frank Wild, who was a short, kind, easy going person. Thomas Crean, a tall, very disciplined man who had previously served in the Royal Navy as his second officer. Along with Alfred Cheetham, a very short, pleasant man who had already been a part of three Antarctic expeditions beforehand who was chosen as third officer. Others among the crew were photographers, artist, surgeons, seamen, and cooks. This voyage took about two years to complete, from late 1914 to August 30, 1916 when the crew eventually reached Elephant Island after battling many hardships and miraculously, no loss of life.
This book is definitely a superb read. Although it is a non-fiction, this story it’s still packed with adventure so it wouldn’t be at all boring to someone who may not be so thrilled about non-fiction titles. I love how this book was written. Lansing described everything in great detail and it is very engaging. I would recommend this book to people grades five and up because of a more heavy topic and content. This book is perfect for anyone who likes adventure and is seeking a thrill.