Absurdity

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Worst Journey in The World

This post is not (despite the title) yet another whinge about my numerous travel woes but does tie into one of my other pet annoyances – the mad money thrown at celebrities by some publishers in advances.

This book (The Worst Journey in The World) highlights perfectly that books about interesting people who have done amazing things will always be (if told as compellingly as this story) in demand. Ashley ‘bloody’ Cole is not such a person. Apsley Cherry-Garrard most certainly was. In fact I’m even a little embarrassed to include them in the same paragraph.

My copy was given to me by my Stepmother about three years and I have read it each year since and have never failed to be inspired; moved and entertained each and every time and I have little doubt that I will read a good few more times before I shuffle off this mortal coil and can guarantee if anything it will just get better.

The book tells the story of Scott’s nightmare attempt to get to the South Pole through the experiences of Apsley Cherry-Garrard who was the youngest member of the team.

The writing just carries you along and some of the descriptive passages! well anyway – you get the idea. You should go and buy a copy immediately. The passage below is from the introduction:

Polar exploration is at once the cleanest and most isolated way of having a bad time which has been devised. It is the only form of adventure in which you put on your clothes at Michaelmas and keep them on until Christmas, and, save for a layer of the natural grease of the body, find them as clean as though they were new. It is more lonely than London, more secluded than any monastery, and the post comes but once a year. As men will compare the hardships of France, Palestine, or Mesopotamia, so it would be interesting to contrast the rival claims of the Antarctic as a medium of discomfort. A member of Campbell’s party tells me that the trenches at Ypres were a comparative picnic. But until somebody can evolve a standard of endurance I am unable to see how it can be done. Take it all in all, I do not believe anybody on earth has a worse time than an Emperor penguin.

Worst Journey in The World Front Cover

Worst Journey in The World Back Cover

And to cap it off you don’t even have to save up your hard earned to purchase it and read it (not that it is not worth 100 times what anyone may try and charge for it!) as it out of copyright so you may download from the Project Gutenberg website.

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Filed under: Publishing

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