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The South Pole

Roald Amundsen

Book Overview: 

In contrast to Scott’s South Pole expedition, Amundsen’s expedition benefited from good equipment, appropriate clothing, and a fundamentally different primary task (Amundsen did no surveying on his route south and is known to have taken only two photographs) Amundsen had a better understanding of dogs and their handling, and he used of skis more effectively. He pioneered an entirely new route to the Pole and they returned. In Amundsen’s own words: “Victory awaits him who has everything in order — luck, people call it. Defeat is certain for him who has neglected to take the necessary precautions in time; this is called bad luck.” Short accounts by other members of the party are appended.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .It may truly be said that he did honour to his firm and the nation to which he belongs.

Meanwhile we were hard at work, getting ready to sail. We decided to leave before the middle of August -- the sooner the better.

The Fram had been in dry dock, where the hull was thoroughly coated with composition. Heavily laden as the ship was, the false keel was a good deal injured by the severe pressure on the blocks, but with the help of a diver the damage was quickly made good.

The many hundred bundles of dried fish were squeezed into the main hold, full as it was. All sledging and ski outfit was carefully stowed away, so as to be protected as far as possible from damp. These things had to be kept dry, otherwise they, would become warped and useless. Bjaaland had charge of this outfit, and he knew how it should be treated.

As is right and proper, when all the goods had been shipped, it was the turn of the passengers. The Fram was anchored off F. . . Read More

Community Reviews

This is generally a good read, although at times Amundsen's writing style can be very irritating and sometimes downright dishonest. At the time he wrote this, most official expedition books pretended everything was always jolly-good, no one was ever complained or argued, and everything always wen...more

This was an excellent read. I read it because I thought it was unfair that I always favoured British polar explorers, and I was right! Amundsen was totally better at polar exploring than Scott!

The Norwegians were much better prepared, and much luckier with their weather, and they really did deser...more

Few books have influenced my own adventuring more than this one. Amundsen's genius for planning and his singular toughness in risk-riddled explorations of the unknown impressed upon me the necessity of clear-headed foresight during an expedition. Perhaps the most fascinating part of the book for...more

Roald Amundsen's account of the expedition to the geographic South Pole is a fascinating read. Although Amundsen attributed the success of the expedition to "good luck", it seems obvious that the Norwegians were simply better prepared than Captain Scott and his crew. The equipment, the sledges wi...more

Along with "South" (Shackelton) and "The Worst Journey in the World" (Cherry-Garrard), this ranks as one of the three best polar exploration/adventure non-fiction works of all time. Of particular interest is the stark (and, ultimately, tragic) difference of approach among the three exploration pa...more

Roald Amundsen was one of the greatest explorers and this expedition is something that one really wants to read about. But while Amundsen was a great explorer, he is a horrible writer. Well of course, this was not his expertise. But the book is hard to go through as it is very tedious in many par...more

Picked it up and read the first 50 pages hoping it would be more of a continuation of Farthest North by Fridtjof Nansen. But Amundsen cannot write, at least not compared with Nansen's eloquent and sometimes poetic prose.

Apasionante relato de la expedición de Amundsen al Polo Sur. La narración está completamente repleta de datos, lo que demuestra la minuciosidad con la que fue preparada toda la expedición hasta sus más pequeños detalles. El libro narra desde los preparativos muchos meses antes hasta las consecuen...more

Амундсену несказанно повезло, он сделал свои открытия до того, как права животных и процент женщин в любой компании, предприятии, экспедиции стали главным мерилом общественной пользы и социальной добродетели. Иначе по возвращении в цивилзованый мир его бы ждал отнюдь не триумф )))
На протяжении кн...more

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