The Top 100 Worn-out Books with Nasty Stains Presents–Endurance by Alfred Lansing


worn out book

Funny thing about the books I love. Most of the time, they find me before I have a chance to find them.

Last week’s book , The Glass Castle, is a perfect example.

I remember when one of my daughter’s friends thrust the mass of swollen pages in my face. This

  • unprovoked attention of a random teenager
  • and the fact that she obviously read in the bathtub

intrigued me. I read the book immediately. 

Endurance ship

This week’s masterpiece has been out-of –print for years. Yet, my little sister somehow tracked a copy down and gave it to my husband as a birthday gift. When he finally finished reading it, I devoured the book in a matter of days.

Good thing I did.

We loaned the book out shortly after and never saw it again.

]Today, I found the book in reprint and advertised on Amazon. So, I “looked inside”.  It was like meeting up with an old friend. 

“The order to abandon ship was given at 5 p.m.”

wrote Alfred Lansing as he relayed the account of Earnest Shackleton’s

  • determination to conquer
  • the last frontier-
  • Walking the Antarctica from sea to sea.

Within eighty five miles of it’s destination, the ship Endurance, became trapped in ice. Shackleton and his men watched in horror as the Wendall sea solidified around the ship and pressed in.

“She was being crushed. Not all at once, but slowly, a little at a time. The pressure of ten million tons of ice was driving in against her sides. And, dying as she was, she cried in agony. Her frames and planking, her immense timbers, many of them almost a foot thick, screamed as the killing pressure mounted. And, when her timbers could no longer stand the strain, they broke with a report like artillery fire.”

Shackleton and his men were

  • cut off from the rest of civilization
  • and eventually presumed dead.

What happened next stunned the world.

Endurance by Alfred  Lansing.

Read it.

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