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Madhouse at the End of the Earth: The…
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Madhouse at the End of the Earth: The Belgica's Journey into the Dark… (2021 original; edició 2021)

de Julian Sancton (Autor)

MembresRessenyesPopularitatValoració mitjanaMencions
3061071,749 (4.11)4
The "exquisitely researched and deeply engrossing" (The New York Times) true survival story of an early polar expedition that went terribly awry--with the ship frozen in ice and the crew trapped inside for the entire sunless, Antarctic winter "The energy of the narrative never flags. . . . Sancton has produced a thriller."--The Wall Street Journal In August 1897, the young Belgian commandant Adrien de Gerlache set sail for a three-year expedition aboard the good ship Belgica with dreams of glory. His destination was the uncharted end of the earth: the icy continent of Antarctica. But de Gerlache's plans to be first to the magnetic South Pole would swiftly go awry. After a series of costly setbacks, the commandant faced two bad options: turn back in defeat and spare his men the devastating Antarctic winter, or recklessly chase fame by sailing deeper into the freezing waters. De Gerlache sailed on, and soon the Belgica was stuck fast in the icy hold of the Bellingshausen Sea. When the sun set on the magnificent polar landscape one last time, the ship's occupants were condemned to months of endless night. In the darkness, plagued by a mysterious illness and besieged by monotony, they descended into madness. In Madhouse at the End of the Earth, Julian Sancton unfolds an epic story of adventure and horror for the ages. As the Belgica's men teetered on the brink, de Gerlache relied increasingly on two young officers whose friendship had blossomed in captivity: the expedition's lone American, Dr. Frederick Cook--half genius, half con man--whose later infamy would overshadow his brilliance on the Belgica; and the ship's first mate, soon-to-be legendary Roald Amundsen, even in his youth the storybook picture of a sailor. Together, they would plan a last-ditch, nearly certain-to-fail escape from the ice--one that would either etch their names in history or doom them to a terrible fate at the ocean's bottom. Drawing on the diaries and journals of the Belgica's crew and with exclusive access to the ship's logbook, Sancton brings novelistic flair to a story of human extremes, one so remarkable that even today NASA studies it for research on isolation for future missions to Mars. Equal parts maritime thriller and gothic horror, Madhouse at the End of the Earth is an unforgettable journey into the deep.… (més)
Membre:ibkennedy
Títol:Madhouse at the End of the Earth: The Belgica's Journey into the Dark Antarctic Night
Autors:Julian Sancton (Autor)
Informació:Crown (2021), 502 pages
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca
Valoració:*****
Etiquetes:Cap

Informació de l'obra

Madhouse at the End of the Earth: The Belgica’s Journey into the Dark Antarctic Night de Julian Sancton (2021)

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» Mira també 4 mencions

Es mostren 1-5 de 10 (següent | mostra-les totes)
A decade and a half before Shackleton, A Belgian mission attempted to explore deep into the Antarctic. Well written and one of the best "exploration" novels I have read. ( )
  addunn3 | Jul 29, 2022 |
(29) This is one of those narrative non-fiction accounts about a real life event - much like 'The Perfect Storm,' or 'Into thin Air,' Reads like fiction; in fact - quite a bit of dramatic tension; pictures, etc. This is one of those polar explorer trips for the 1800's gone awry. Much like Franklin's 'Terror,' or Shackleton's 'Endurance' both of which I really enjoyed reading about. The Belgica heads to Antarctica under Belgian captain de Gerlache and his multiethnic crew; including an American physician and a Norwegian adventurer both of who eventually become famous (or infamous.) The ship experiences some likely avoidable delays and gets trapped in the pack ice of Antarctica for almost a year. This is the story of their survival, their escape, and the physical and mental illnesses that plagued them while trapped.

While I really enjoyed the story, the madness issue was really not the central tenet; it really just supplied a catchy title. I also thought the details post-trip seemed written more lackluster than while they were on the ice. There were also quite a few repetitive bits. I don't think the framing aspect of the story with Cook and the Norwegian was necessary or well-done. But all and all - this was entertaining and quickly read.

You can imagine the film version. Makes me was to go back and read the fictionalized 'The Terror' by Dan Simmons - one of my favorite books. A good summer vacation read. Maybe a bit of a generous 4 stars. ( )
  jhowell | Jun 11, 2022 |
This is a terrific story, beautifully told. ( )
  ibkennedy | Jun 9, 2022 |
Very intense and at times very slow going! ( )
  yukon92 | Jun 1, 2022 |
Great overview of the Belgica expedition and definitely a must read. Interesting to learn about the challenges they faced. ( )
1 vota MadTattler | Feb 10, 2022 |
Es mostren 1-5 de 10 (següent | mostra-les totes)
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(Prologue) The light of a cold gray dawn filtered through the grating that covered the narrow windows of the Leavenworth penitentiary hospital.
The river Scheldt wound languidly from northern France through Belgium, taking a sharp westward turn at the port of Antwerp, where it became deep and wide enough to accommodate oceangoing ships.
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Sometimes science is the excuse for exploration. I think it is rarely the reason.

- George Leigh Mallory
But not yet have we solved the incantation of this whiteness, and learned why it appeals with such power to the soul. . . . Is it that by its indefiniteness it shadows forth the heartless voids and immensities of the universe, and thus stabs us from behind with the thought of annihilation, when beholding the white depths of the milky way? Or is it, that as in essence whiteness is not so much a colour as the visible absence of colour, and at the same time the concrete of all colours; is it for these reasons that there is such a dumb blankness, full of meaning, in a wide landscape of snows - a colourless, all-colour of atheism from which we shrink? - Herman Melville, Moby-Dick
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The "exquisitely researched and deeply engrossing" (The New York Times) true survival story of an early polar expedition that went terribly awry--with the ship frozen in ice and the crew trapped inside for the entire sunless, Antarctic winter "The energy of the narrative never flags. . . . Sancton has produced a thriller."--The Wall Street Journal In August 1897, the young Belgian commandant Adrien de Gerlache set sail for a three-year expedition aboard the good ship Belgica with dreams of glory. His destination was the uncharted end of the earth: the icy continent of Antarctica. But de Gerlache's plans to be first to the magnetic South Pole would swiftly go awry. After a series of costly setbacks, the commandant faced two bad options: turn back in defeat and spare his men the devastating Antarctic winter, or recklessly chase fame by sailing deeper into the freezing waters. De Gerlache sailed on, and soon the Belgica was stuck fast in the icy hold of the Bellingshausen Sea. When the sun set on the magnificent polar landscape one last time, the ship's occupants were condemned to months of endless night. In the darkness, plagued by a mysterious illness and besieged by monotony, they descended into madness. In Madhouse at the End of the Earth, Julian Sancton unfolds an epic story of adventure and horror for the ages. As the Belgica's men teetered on the brink, de Gerlache relied increasingly on two young officers whose friendship had blossomed in captivity: the expedition's lone American, Dr. Frederick Cook--half genius, half con man--whose later infamy would overshadow his brilliance on the Belgica; and the ship's first mate, soon-to-be legendary Roald Amundsen, even in his youth the storybook picture of a sailor. Together, they would plan a last-ditch, nearly certain-to-fail escape from the ice--one that would either etch their names in history or doom them to a terrible fate at the ocean's bottom. Drawing on the diaries and journals of the Belgica's crew and with exclusive access to the ship's logbook, Sancton brings novelistic flair to a story of human extremes, one so remarkable that even today NASA studies it for research on isolation for future missions to Mars. Equal parts maritime thriller and gothic horror, Madhouse at the End of the Earth is an unforgettable journey into the deep.

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Mitjana: (4.11)
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