In 1897, a group of explorers set out to chart the most remote reaches of the Antarctic continent. Their ship, the Belgica, was battered by punishing weather and beset by ice floes for months on end. Finally succumbing to these conditions, it became lodged in pack ice 100 miles from land. For nine wintery weeks—the longest anyone had ever been trapped south of the equator—the men were left to their own devices as they slowly starved and went mad. Journalist Julian Sancton brings readers inside this harrowing ordeal through letters and diary entries that vividly capture how five brave souls battled both nature’s elements and their own inner demons during an epic journey into darkness.
For who is this book for ?
This book is for people who are interested in the history of exploration, as it tells the story of a failed expedition to chart Antarctica. It would also be of interest to those who like stories about survival against all odds.
- The author does a great job of painting a picture of the harrowing journey
- The book is well written and easy to read
- It provides an interesting perspective on what it’s like to go mad in extreme conditions
- The author does a great job of portraying the hopelessness and despair of the stranded men.
- This would make for a chilling, but compelling read.
- The book includes helpful photos and maps that give readers an idea of what it must have been like to be stuck on that ship.
Learn more about the author
Julian Sancton is a staff writer at Vanity Fair. He has written for The New York Times, Slate, GQ, and other publications.
“A riveting tale of human endurance in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds”
“A mesmerizing tale of one of history’s most harrowing polar expeditions.”
“An amazing and harrowing tale of survival against all odds.”