[Review] Chasing Shackleton: Re-creating The World's Greatest Journey of Survival by Tim Jarvis

Title: Chasing Shackleton: Re-creating The World's Greatest Journey of Survival
Author: Tim Jarvis
Publisher: William Morrow January 7, 2014
Genre: Non-fiction, Antarctica, South Pole, Adventure, Sea Adventure, Expedition, Sir Ernest Shackleton
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 272
Rating: 5 Stars for excellent
Source: Free copy from William Morrow in exchange for a review.

Tim Jarvis, an experienced explorer, was asked by the granddaughter of Sir Ernest Shackleton, to recreate Shackleton's 1916 famous trek. Shackleton and his crew had embarked on a course to reach the South Pole in 1914; instead, their ship became stranded in ice. In 1916 Shackleton and a select few men, made the journey across the rough Southern Ocean to the island of South Georgia. Their next goal was to climb over the interior mountains to a remote fishing village in order to rescue the men left behind on the ship.
Tim Jarvis, put together a crew and a plan to follow the same route Shackleton had done. They would use original equipment from Shackleton's era, including a replica built boat like the one used by Shackleton in order to reach South Georgia.
The book Chasing Shackleton, begins with the initial planning phase of the expedition. Jarvis chose men based on: experience, health, knowledge, abilities, and fortitude. The gathering of gear and the building of the replica boat was the next step. A Discovery channel team would follow Jarvis's group and film the expedition.

My Thoughts:
I have not watched the PBS special on the recreation, but my husband has and found it very interesting.
I enjoyed reading this book for several reasons:
1. During the crossing of the Southern Ocean (in the small replica boat) it was a "white knuckle" reading adventure.
2. I loved reading about Shackleton's story, it was placed first in the book; then Jarvis began telling his story of the planning of the expedition and the adventure itself.
3. I appreciate the realness of the teams experience. The Jarvis group of men are experienced athletes and explorers; however, they had experiences of failure or weakness.
4. Common habits of life are difficult in extreme conditions, for example: where do you use the bathroom?
5. I am amazed at the endurance and fortitude of both groups of men, the Shackleton group and the Jarvis group.
6. Stunning photographs are displayed throughout the book as well as a few maps. 
7. Chasing Shackleton is a phenomenal story of adventure.  

Several resources are available:

This should be your first stop in further information about Shackleton or the re-creation: http://shackletonepic.com/

YouTube of Re-creation:

YouTube documentary of Sir Ernest Shackleton Part One:

YouTube documentary of Sir Ernest Shackleton Part Two:



  1. This sounds fabulous!!! I'll definitely have to seek this one out! I've only read Shipwreck at The Bottom of the World by Jennifer Armstrong, but, it was so good, I have read it two or three times!


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