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Alone on the Ice: The Greatest Survival Story in the History of Exploration (Inglese) Copertina rigida – 1 apr 1976

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Copertina rigida, 1 apr 1976
EUR 65,08 EUR 50,70
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"Illustrated with a trove of Frank Hurley's celebrated photographs, this is truly heroic stuff." ----The Bookseller

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76 di 78 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
5.0 su 5 stelle Roberts Gives Mawson the Recognition He Deserves and the Reader a Great Adventure Story 1 febbraio 2013
Di Bill Gallagher - Pubblicato su
Formato: Copertina rigida Acquisto verificato
After whipping through a couple great polar exploration books, I got a copy of Alone on the Ice. (Btw, I highly recommend both of these: Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage, which is the well known account of Shackleton's ill-fated, but miraculous survival in Antarctic and Arctic Adventure: My Life in the Frozen North, which though hugely popular in its day, is something of a lost classic that is a great read filled with lots of well told dramatic adventure while [unlike Endurance] giving insight into native Eskimo culture, which is fascinating.)

In "Alone on the Ice," David Roberts tells the true story of what Sir Edmund Hillary called "the greatest survival story in the history of exploration." Hillary was referring to the 1912 expedition of Australian explorer Douglas Mawson and his fellow members of the Australasian Antarctic Expedition (AAE). Mawson and cohorts set out to explore Antarctica with the intention of gathering specimens and to make scientific observations of the continent. What has left Mawson's considerable accomplishments and amazing survival story obscured by the layers of newsprint and time is--unlike Roald Amundsen and Robert Scott--he wasn't a pole bagger. Mawson, never grabbed headlines by "summiting" the south pole. Mawson and the AAE's expedition went virtually unnoticed by the public.

Now, at the 100th year anniversary of the expedition, Roberts tells the story of Mawson, alone after his companions had died during the expedition, an expedition that saw them trek over 600 miles round trip while being face with 100 miles per hour winds, and left with little of their original provisions. Left as a lone explorer, Mawson was forced to make a ninety-five mile trek across the Antarctic Ice while battling extreme hunger, madness, and the deadly terrain of the continent.

During his trek Mawson often had to crawl as a result of losing the flesh from the soles of his feet. And at one point, he fell into a deadly crevice that would have likely killed almost anyone else. However, Mawson, inspired by a poem by Robert. W. Service, was able to extricate himself out of the crevice with what could only be considered superhuman strength, determination, and extraordinary will. Roberts tells Mawson's story well and has seemingly done his research thorough, including some great, rarely-seen photos (one of an iced-over face is bizarre, as is the shot of an explorer's contortions to stay upright in a 100-mile an hour wind). The photos are by Frank Hurley, who is famous from his Endurance photos.

In sum, this is a very engaging read. Robert's detailed description of Mawson's determination, perseverance, and courage gives Mawson the heroic recognition while provided classic adventure story entertainment.
6 di 6 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
3.0 su 5 stelle Great Explorer, good tale but a slow read 4 settembre 2015
Di Joe Consumer - Pubblicato su
Formato: Copertina flessibile Acquisto verificato
Great story but, it's told in a rather slow random manner. The story starts in media res which grabs the reader's attention but, then it reverts back to the history and setup of the expedition and starts to drag. Later in Antarctica the author wants to tie up all the stories of the different sub-expeditions but it hurts the narrative and ends up dragging. 90% of the expedition is spent waiting out the winters in the hut so the boredom of that situation really comes through. I learned a lot but it took me forever to read because 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.
2 di 2 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
5.0 su 5 stelle Excellent biography of explorer and scientist Douglas Mawson 14 febbraio 2015
Di D. Spratt - Pubblicato su
Formato: Formato Kindle Acquisto verificato
This book is essentially 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. One of his teammates fell down a crevasse along with the sledge that carried most of the team's important equipment and most 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 as much of the continent as possible rather than reach the South Pole (he was with Shackleton in 1908 when they came within 95 miles of the pole). He formed the Australasian Expedition with 24 members who landed and wintered over in what turned out to be the windiest spot on earth; some of the members, including Mawson, spent two winters there. The book is well-organized and Roberts is a great storyteller who argues that from a scientific standpoint the expedition achieved and explored more than those of the more famous Antarctic explorers Amundsen, Scott and Shackleton. Roberts finds little fault with Mawson and reviewed many letters, diaries and other primary sources. Roberts may have gone a little overboard defending Mawson against attacks made in 2001 by the son of one of the other expedition members. At the end 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 fell in a crevasse to a depth of 14 feet hanging only by a rope, and in his weakened and starved condition climbed hand-over-hand most of the way, fell back down, then climbed hand-over-hand a second time to escape the crevasse. The book discusses a modern attempt (which failed) to replicate this feat and others have expressed doubt about its authenticity, but makes no comment on whether Mawson fabricated or embellished the story. One hundred years later I don't think anyone can say if the story is definitely true or not, but Roberts should at least have acknowledged that others doubt Mawson was telling the truth about it. Feb. 14, 2015
4.0 su 5 stelle The Polar Expedition You Probably Don't Know About—But Should 23 marzo 2016
Di Karen S. - Pubblicato su
Formato: Copertina flessibile Acquisto verificato
A captivating true tale about one of the last of the "heroic" polar explorations: the Australasian Antarctic Expedition from 1911 through 1914. The expedition was led by Douglas Mawson, a geologist by trade, who was himself a tireless worker who expected the same level of effort and commitment from his men. Many of his men thought he was wonderful and a great leader, but some chafed at his discipline and expectations. Like all of these polar expeditions, this one was beset by horrible weather, some bad decisions, a great deal of heroism, and some tragedies, both avoidable and unavoidable. The importance of this expedition and its scientific discoveries was eclipsed by what happened to the Scott and Shackleton expeditions that were contemporaneous, and, of course, the first World War, which began the same year as the AAE concluded.

Mawson himself had a most horrific experience as he and two companions were trying to return to their winter quarters from one of their research trips. One of the three (Ninnis by name) was manning a dog-pulled sledge that had most of their critical gear on it: food, tents, stoves, etc. The sledge, man, and dogs all fell into a huge crevasse and were killed. That left Mawson and the other man Mertz to continue on their way with only 1.5 weeks worth of food for a month-long journey. Soon Mertz got sick and finally died. Mawson stayed with Mertz for 8 days while he was too weak to travel, thus endangering Mawson's own survival by continued exposure to the cold. After Mertz's death, Mawson had to get back on his own across the frozen waste, through bad weather, and with no-one to help rescue him should he fall into a crevasse. He finally staggered back into winter quarters a month later ... and the ship that was to have taken the men (Mawson and others left at the winter quarters) back to Australia had left FIVE HOURS earlier, thus necessitating they stay at winter quarters another year until the ship could get back to them. Talk about endurance and fortitude!

And yet, they endured. If you like polar and exploration sagas, this one is a must-read. Mawson was knighted upon his return to Australia, and was celebrity-famous for decades in his home country.
1 di 1 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
3.0 su 5 stelle Well written prose, but as the author admits in ... 1 giugno 2016
Di Dennis Fried - Pubblicato su
Formato: Copertina flessibile Acquisto verificato
Well written prose, but as the author admits in the book, the multitude of concurrent events makes a coherent and linear narrative very difficult, and I'm afraid that the problem was very evident in this book. As for the explorers themselves, for my money they were nothing but egotistically driven obsessives and animal abusers (of their dogs) of the first rank. The dogs that they worked to the point of collapse and then killed and ate are the real heroes here.