At current count, several recent books, documentaries, and even an IMAX film have covered Ernest Shackleton’s now legendary failed attempt to be the first explorer to cross Antarctica. His ship Endurance became trapped in the sea ice before he even spotted land in the Weddell Sea. The ship was eventually crushed, forcing Shackleton to sail a 20-foot dinghy 2,000 miles across some of the most tempestuous seas on the planet to find help for his party, who he had left behind on an isolated island to survive on penguin and seal meat.
But fewer books have described the equally dramatic efforts of the second half of Shackleton’s expedition, charged with laying supply caches for the trans-Antarctic team on the other side of the continent. Tyler-Lewis’s book makes an admirable attempt to tell this neglected portion of the story.
These men suffered deprivations every bit as horrible as Shackleton’s main party, yet unlike Shackleton, they actually completed their mission. The Lost Men is a fascinating account of this, much less well-known part of the story.