The Worst Journey in the World

by Apsley Cherry-Garrard | Nonfiction |
ISBN: 0760757593 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingGoryDetailswing of Nashua, New Hampshire USA on 2/21/2009
Buy from one of these Booksellers: | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon DE | Amazon FR | Amazon IT |
3 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wingGoryDetailswing from Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Saturday, February 21, 2009
I first "read" this book via an unabridged-audio version from, wonderfully narrated by Robert Whitfield (aka Simon Vance), but hadn't picked up a text copy until now. The book covers the entire 1910-1912 expedition from Cherry-Garrard's point of view, supplemented by excerpts from the diaries of Scott, Bowers, Lashly, Wilson, and others. Cherry's tone is matter-of-fact and informative (and sometimes delightfully wry), and while the book sometimes gets a bit bogged down in details, I still found it helpful in establishing a clear idea of what the expedition was like, how people spent their days, and what kinds of things they had to worry about.

And when he's not explaining how much weight a pony could haul or what the beasts were fed on, Cherry's story can get very exciting indeed. At one point there were men and horses on ice floes, beset all around by eager killer whales who were actively butting the ice trying to dislodge the prey! And then there's the "worst journey" of the title: a near-suicidal expedition by Cherry-Garrard, Bowers, and Wilson, in the middle of the Antarctic winter, to try and reach the colony of Emperor penguins and retrieve eggs at an early stage of development. Traveling entirely in the dark, beset by temperatures that reached 70 to 100 degrees below zero, having to cross crevasses and icy slopes, facing blizzards... the fact that they got there and back is little short of miraculous.

And perhaps it was; if so, they may have used up most of the luck of the expedition, for of course Scott's own drive to the south pole didn't turn out quite as well. But his fate has tended to overshadow the perils faced by those who survived, and this book gives place to all of those as well. An informative and entertaining (and sometimes harrowing) addition to the "must reads" of real-life adventure literature.

[This book also makes for an interesting compare-and-contrast with Roland Huntford's rather scathing account of the south-pole expeditions, Last Place on Earth.]

Edited to add: I just stumbled across a fascinating web site. There's an ongoing project to conserve some of the huts and artifacts from the early Antarctic expeditions, and you can see more about it here! I was thrilled to check back over the last few weeks' worth of entries to find that they'd managed to melt the ice around Scott's old "Discovery" hut, revealing all sorts of bits and pieces that had been lying there for almost a century...

Journal Entry 2 by wingGoryDetailswing at Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Friday, September 16, 2011

Released 8 yrs ago (9/17/2011 UTC) at Nashua, New Hampshire USA


This book's going into thegoaliegirl's Travel Narrative bookbox, which will be on its way Saturday. Hope everyone enjoys the selection!

Journal Entry 3 by wingthegoaliegirlwing at Spokane, Washington USA on Monday, March 26, 2012
This came home in my latest travel narrative bookbox. I have never even heard of this book, so it will be going on Mt TBR, as it looks i
nteresting. Thanks for including it.

Journal Entry 4 by wingthegoaliegirlwing at Vancouver, Washington USA on Thursday, August 16, 2018
I am currently thinning my TBR shelf, and to be honest with myself, that this one does not really interest me. Will be moving it along some time soon.

Journal Entry 5 by wingthegoaliegirlwing at Vancouver, Washington USA on Monday, March 23, 2020
Well, the time has finally come for this lonely book to travel again.

Journal Entry 6 by wingthegoaliegirlwing at By mail, A Bookcrossing member -- Controlled Releases on Monday, March 23, 2020

Released 2 mos ago (3/23/2020 UTC) at By mail, A Bookcrossing member -- Controlled Releases


Off in the mail to mrsjones to continue traveling. Had enough to send a box of books her way to enjoy, as I'm taking a break from hosting a bookbox for a bit. (My TBR shelf is way too big)

Journal Entry 7 by mrsjones at Hamilton, Ohio USA on Monday, March 30, 2020
Received this in a box of books from thegoaliegirl. I look forward to reading and releasing it sometime soon!

Are you sure you want to delete this item? It cannot be undone.