Endurance by Alfred Lansing

This book would be difficult to put down as a work of fiction; the fact that it is real makes it almost impossible.

The Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition would be an attempt to cross the Antarctic continent for the first time. Led by experienced polar explorer Ernest Shackleton, a hand picked crew would attempt to sail to the Antarctic Continent via South Georgia, a tiny island in the South Atlantic on a ship called the Endurance. Once their they would attempt to cross the frozen continent on foot and by sled, to make a rendezvous with another ship on the other side.

On approach to Antarctica the Endurance became trapped in ice on the Weddel Sea, a place that would become a frozen prison. The ice eventually took the ship, leaving the men encamped on the ice with no hope of discovery or escape. This was before the days of radio or satellite communications, even if they could communicate, no ship could reach them, and the fledgling aircraft of the day were not equipped for such a mission. They were stranded thousands of miles from the nearest inhabited island, off all known shipping lanes with no means of contacting the outside world. If they were going to survive, they would have to do it alone…

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