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Lansing's use of the diaries of the men as his primary source, along with interviews of survivors of the expedition, results in a detailed yet vivid and eminently readable account of this most fascinating survival story. You are able to gain an understanding of all of the men and how they came to be chosen so intuitively by Shackleton, using his unerring sense of not only their particular skills, but also how they would all work together as a team. Lansing also gives you a good sense of their interrelationships as the hardships mounted, along with a real feel for the sheer length and depth of their struggle to survive. You are drawn into the day-to-day struggles the expedition faced and the truly heroic nature of the effort put forth by all - particularly Shackleton. In Lansing's hands, you are able relive the sheer terror and utter exhaustion and deprivation the men faced - especially in what is perhaps the most unbelievable part of the entire adventure: The voyage in a small boat by Shackleton and a few of the men the hundreds of miles from Elephant Island - through the hellish Drake Passage, no less - to South Georgia. He also gives just the right amount of detail regarding the many, many months the men spent on the pack ice, then on Elephant Island while Shackleton made his way to South Georgia and back, and the means they all used to stay alive and relatively sane in situations that would, let's face it, send most modern-day men crying to mama and reaching for the nearest gun to blow their brains out. Also, his recounting of Shackleton's astounding mountaineering feat in his crossing of South Georgia to the whaling station was given its proper due - truly an incredible accomplishment in its own right.