• Race for the South Pole

  • The Expedition Diaries of Scott and Amundsen
  • By: Roland Huntford
  • Narrated by: Bronson Pinchot
  • Length: 14 hrs and 38 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (149 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

For the first time ever Roland Huntford presents each man's account of the race to the South Pole in their own words. In 1910, Robert Falcon Scott and Roald Amundsen set sail for Antarctica, each from his own starting point, and the epic race for the South Pole was on. 2010 marks the centenary of the last great race of terrestrial discovery. For the first time Scott's unedited diary entries run alongside those of Amundsen and Bjaaland, never before translated into English. Cutting through the welter of controversy, with the polar journey at the heart of the story Huntford weaves a narrative from the protagonists' explanations of their own fate. What emerges is a whole new understanding of what really happened on the ice.

©2010 Roland Huntford (P)2014 Audible Inc.
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

What listeners say about Race for the South Pole

Average Customer Ratings
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Excellent!!

Narration and story are a delight to listen to. Cannot recommend this book enough.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

Full of lessons to be applied in ones own journey

Exceeded expectations.
Bronson Pinchot brings life to the story.
Full of lessons everybody in business and elsewhere should take note of.

2 people found this helpful

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A More Clear Picture

The readings of the daily journals in parallel allows a stark view of the dual, dueling expeditions. this will be hard to forget. The dramatacized characterization and accented voices for each party was a distraction. I believe also that there was some dramatic license influencing certain inflection or emphases. Ultimately, the epicness of the overall story is what lingers.

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Great account, might be better in hard copy

I really enjoyed this book. The bulk of the book is a day-by-day reading of the two Norwegian and one British expedition diaries with author commentary at the beginning, end, and interspersed in the middle. It's a great historical account of the expeditions, it was meaningful to hear it told straight from the diaries, it was interesting to compare the very different experiences day-by-day, and the author provides insightful commentary.

The author's commentary seems well-reasoned and researched. He is unapologetic in his scathing critiques of Scott, seemingly in reaction to other works that attribute Scott's disaster more to luck that poor planning, execution, and leadership. I'm not familiar with the other works, but the author makes a strong case.

The narrator put a lot of effort into accents for the different authors and injecting emotion into his diary narration. I found the different accents very helpful as a cue to know which diary/writer I was hearing, but I thought he got a little overly dramatic with the emotions.

I would recommend considering reading this book in hard copy rather than as an audiobook. Because it rotates through three diaries and commentary day-by-day, I would've found it very helpful to be able: to flip back and forth between diaries/commentary within each day to compare; refer back to prior days' entries since the rotation between writers broke the continuity of each narrative and since the expeditions were at comparable locations weeks apart; and to follow along with the routes on the maps (available in the supplementary PDF). As an audiobook or even an e-book it's much harder to jump around to compare passages than in a hard copy.

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Terrific little tent

A terrific little tent that goes up in minutes. I would like side panels that can stay attached in windy weather. The side panels need Velcro all the way down. We’ve used this through all kinds of weather. The support rails are very flexible.

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Superb story

Phenomenal story of the race for the South Pole, and the errors that doomed one team to an agonizing death. Pinchot’s voice work is precise and the captivating story is well worth the investment.

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Great Book Horrible Naration

I will never listen to another book narrated by Bronson Pinchot. He ruined it. He got lost on the accents, sometimes sounding like an Indian gas station owner instead of a Norwegian. And He should just read the book and not try to make a radio drama out of it. He added his own interpretation and conclusions thru his inflections - which is totally inappropriate. Oh and the 13-year old girl voice? I don’t know why he felt it necessary to apply accents. Just READ the book. He should apologize to Roland Huntford who wrote a great book. I am surprised Audibles let this go out like this.

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Great story. Monotone and boring narration

I love the combination of Amundsen and Scott in a single book but Bronson Pinchot's narration was horribly boring in my opinion. It's very drab and monotone and I'm returning the book because of it. I'll just buy this in paper and read it.

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Day by day comparison shows a clear victor

Very interesting to see how the two different expeditions approached navigating the harsh reality of the icy desert that is the polar Antarctic. Team work is essential and so is planning and skill and the side by side diary comparison clearly exposes this. They both accomplished great things but one at great cost - which begs the question of why. Even after over a hundred years later.

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Excellent History Adventure

My Wife and I really liked this book. If you are interested in books on historic expeditions that rely heavily on real journal entries (primary source) then you will love this book. Also, I thought the narration was pretty great. I especially loved the accents.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 01-16-21

Awful annunciation.

Flipping from and English gentleman to a Norwegian can’t be easy but this attempt is poor. Scott, at times sounds German. Just read the diaries in the same order but without treating us like idiots not able to remember who you are quoting.

Ruined it for me and I almost deleted it but never one to give up, I cracked on through, like a true explorer desperate for it to end.

I would still recommend it if you can suffer ‘Carry On’ style impressions

1 person found this helpful

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  • Sean Olson
  • 10-17-19

A tale of sadness

Amundsen got to the South Pole first because he and his comrades were professional in every way. Scott died because he was a product of an Empire which taught professional was a dirty word. Hopefully in our time Brexit does not spawn that.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Sharron L Evans
  • 02-06-22

Wow wow wow

Absolutely loved the book most memorable moment when Scott died so so sad my hero

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  • siobhan taylor-ward
  • 05-28-21

fascinating examination of th Great British psyche

I nearly didn't get past the first chapter as a result of the slightly cringe accents but I persisted and once I got used to the performance I was hooked. Absolutely fascinating to hear the whole truth of the expeditions side by side. This is the first time I've heard the unvarnished truth of Scott's failings. I find it so enlightening to note how the explorers and "heroes" of the 19th a early 20th century have influenced the British psyche even to this day. Definitely worth listening right through to the end, don't miss the Epilogue.

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  • sonvagun
  • 08-21-20

one for animal lovers

Great listening, great narrator but terrible production. would highly recommend it though, give it a go

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  • Mrs L E Martin
  • 05-01-18

More than just the diaries...

The diaries are presented in their original forms but there are also the authors comments on such... and Scott fans beware. The analysis is by no means unbiased and at times, scathing. Very interesting to have the diaries side by side though and I enjoyed listening.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-08-22

A must read for all in or entering Leadership!

Simply essential reading for anyone in a leadership or likewise responsible position. Clearly giving account of the staggering difference in approaches and the critical difference in outcomes.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-20-22

A thrilling yet tragic tale

Amundsen, Bjaaland and Scott’s diaries transport the listener to Antarctica circa 1911. They offer insight into the character of each man. The entries are concise, allowing the story to flow, yet also deep enough to experience the triumph and tragedy encountered.

Good narration and voice easily distinguishes each man’s writing. The author’s foreword sets the scene for the narrative well, and occasional interjections help give context to the diaries.

The author has an agenda in setting the record straight - specifically by deconstructing the mythology of Scott. This colours the author’s comments through out the story. Without having read other accounts of the journey it is difficult to know how much of this is accurate and how much speculation. A strong case for this view is made.

I thoroughly enjoyed this tale, the author’s comments, and the excellent narration. I highly recommend it.

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  • karl
  • 02-17-18

A listen that requires ‘concentration’ throughout

Great facts, and extremely well researched, but presented and narrated in a manner that requires extreme concentration - best suited for those with a real passion for the subject matter.