Monthly Archives: June 2017

The Worst Journey in the World by Apsley Cherry-Garrard

I don’t recall exactly when I started reading it in 2016, but finally in April, I finished Apsley Cherry-Garrard’s first-hand account of the tragic 1910-1912 South Pole expedition, led by Robert Falcon Scott. The Worst Journey in the World is a lengthy tome (640 pages in some editions) and I did not find it easy to read, especially in the last half. Cherry-Garrard often writes well – I actually quite enjoyed the book at first, as he described the perilous ship journey to Antarctica and the first stages of the expedition. However, so much of the book consisted of highly-detailed descriptions of sledging – the snow conditions, the weight, the actions of people and animals – that the book became an absolute slog. I am capable of quitting books, even those I’ve invested in, but I chose to finish anyway. That decision came with giving myself permission to skim as necessary, however. And while I came away from the book with numerous interesting passages highlighted, any enjoyment of the book had been leached from me by the end. I cannot recommend it in good faith to anyone.

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