Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Shackleton: Antarctic Odyssey by Nick Bertozzi

genre: non-fiction graphic novel

Ernest Shackleton has a dream, an obsession, really: to reach Antarctica, touch the South Pole and cross that icy continent on foot.  He'd made two previous expeditions, getting painfully close to his goal.  Now, with Britain on the brink of war, he knows this may be his last chance.  So he gains support, finds a willing crew, outfits his ship, hires a photographer to record the journey and heads south for an absolutely epic, real-life adventure.

Adventure is a kind word for what Ernest Shackleton has.  It is unreal, this journey - I knew nothing about it and so I had no idea what to expect.  Disaster is probably a better word and yet somehow, this guy does NOT give up.   The ICE! THE STORMS!   The FREEZING!  The ship getting literally frozen in THE DANG ICE!  It was actually riveting and I really liked how this graphic novel was told in little snippets, almost short stories chronicling some of the more interesting happenings along the way.  I really liked drawings themselves as well as the way the expedition was laid out at the beginning with all the characters, their roles and their route so I could go back and reference it when I had to keep people straight.  Truthfully, I was fascinated.  As soon as I finished reading I was googling him, his ship The Endurance and the actual photographs taken of the trip itself.  It's a tragic but surprisingly inspiring story and this was a great introduction.

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