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Madhouse at the End of the Earth: The Belgica's Journey into the Dark Antarctic Night
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Published:
Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group 2021
Status:
Available from OverDrive
Description
The “exquisitely researched and deeply engrossing” (The New York Times) true survival story of an early polar expedition that went terribly awry—with the ship frozen in ice and the crew trapped inside for the entire sunless, Antarctic winter

“The energy of the narrative never flags. . . . Sancton has produced a thriller.”—The Wall Street Journal

In August 1897, the young Belgian commandant Adrien de Gerlache set sail for a three-year expedition aboard the good ship Belgica with dreams of glory. His destination was the uncharted end of the earth: the icy continent of Antarctica.

But de Gerlache’s plans to be first to the magnetic South Pole would swiftly go awry. After a series of costly setbacks, the commandant faced two bad options: turn back in defeat and spare his men the devastating Antarctic winter, or recklessly chase fame by sailing deeper into the freezing waters. De Gerlache sailed on, and soon the Belgica was stuck fast in the icy hold of the Bellingshausen Sea. When the sun set on the magnificent polar landscape one last time, the ship’s occupants were condemned to months of endless night. In the darkness, plagued by a mysterious illness and besieged by monotony, they descended into madness.

In Madhouse at the End of the Earth, Julian Sancton unfolds an epic story of adventure and horror for the ages. As the Belgica’s men teetered on the brink, de Gerlache relied increasingly on two young officers whose friendship had blossomed in captivity: the expedition’s lone American, Dr. Frederick Cook—half genius, half con man—whose later infamy would overshadow his brilliance on the Belgica; and the ship’s first mate, soon-to-be legendary Roald Amundsen, even in his youth the storybook picture of a sailor. Together, they would plan a last-ditch, nearly certain-to-fail escape from the ice—one that would either etch their names in history or doom them to a terrible fate at the ocean’s bottom.

Drawing on the diaries and journals of the Belgica’s crew and with exclusive access to the ship’s logbook, Sancton brings novelistic flair to a story of human extremes, one so remarkable that even today NASA studies it for research on isolation for future missions to Mars. Equal parts maritime thriller and gothic horror, Madhouse at the End of the Earth is an unforgettable journey into the deep.
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Format:
OverDrive MP3 Audiobook, OverDrive Listen
Edition:
Unabridged
Street Date:
05/04/2021
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780593340158
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Julian Sancton. (2021). Madhouse at the End of the Earth: The Belgica's Journey into the Dark Antarctic Night. Unabridged Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Julian Sancton. 2021. Madhouse At the End of the Earth: The Belgica's Journey Into the Dark Antarctic Night. Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Julian Sancton, Madhouse At the End of the Earth: The Belgica's Journey Into the Dark Antarctic Night. Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group, 2021.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Julian Sancton. Madhouse At the End of the Earth: The Belgica's Journey Into the Dark Antarctic Night. Unabridged Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group, 2021.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Date Added:
Apr 30, 2021 17:05:47
Date Updated:
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Last Metadata Check:
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Last Metadata Change:
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Last Availability Check:
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Last Availability Change:
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Last Grouped Work Modification Time:
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OverDrive Product Record

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The “exquisitely researched and deeply engrossing” (The New York Times) true survival story of an early polar expedition that went terribly awry—with the ship frozen in ice and the crew trapped inside for the entire sunless, Antarctic winter

“The energy of the narrative never flags. . . . Sancton has produced a thriller.”—The Wall Street Journal

In August 1897, the young Belgian commandant Adrien de Gerlache set sail for a three-year expedition aboard the good ship Belgica with dreams of glory. His destination was the uncharted end of the earth: the icy continent of Antarctica.

But de Gerlache’s plans to be first to the magnetic South Pole would swiftly go awry. After a series of costly setbacks, the commandant faced two bad options: turn back in defeat and spare his men the devastating Antarctic winter, or recklessly chase fame by sailing deeper into the freezing waters. De Gerlache sailed on, and soon the Belgica was stuck fast in the icy hold of the Bellingshausen Sea. When the sun set on the magnificent polar landscape one last time, the ship’s occupants were condemned to months of endless night. In the darkness, plagued by a mysterious illness and besieged by monotony, they descended into madness.

In Madhouse at the End of the Earth, Julian Sancton unfolds an epic story of adventure and horror for the ages. As the Belgica’s men teetered on the brink, de Gerlache relied increasingly on two young officers whose friendship had blossomed in captivity: the expedition’s lone American, Dr. Frederick Cook—half genius, half con man—whose later infamy would overshadow his brilliance on the Belgica; and the ship’s first mate, soon-to-be legendary Roald Amundsen, even in his youth the storybook picture of a sailor. Together, they would plan a last-ditch, nearly certain-to-fail escape from the ice—one that would either etch their names in history or doom them to a terrible fate at the ocean’s bottom.

Drawing on the diaries and journals of the Belgica’s crew and with exclusive access to the ship’s logbook, Sancton brings novelistic flair to a story of human extremes, one so remarkable that even today NASA studies it for research on isolation for future missions to Mars. Equal parts maritime thriller and gothic horror, Madhouse at the End of the Earth is an unforgettable journey into the deep.
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      • content: With narrator Vikas Adam at the helm, listeners gain extra appreciation for the wonders, bravery, and horrors of the first Western expedition to winter in Antarctica. Written by a journalist and based on diaries, logs, photographs, and other firsthand accounts, the story of the RV BELGICA and its men laid bare includes an unruly, inexperienced crew; poor provisions; language barriers; deaths; malnutrition; and depression, physical weakness, and even insanity. Yet, despite unimaginable hardship and the dangers of the ever-changing ice, some men, like First Mate Roald Amundsen, continued to see the beauty of the polar landscape. Adam uses a straightforward delivery for the narrative, a more dramatic tone for quotations, and a lowered volume for footnotes as he guides listeners through this harrowing true story. C.B.L. � AudioFile 2021, Portland, Maine
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The “exquisitely researched and deeply engrossing” (The New York Times) true survival story of an early polar expedition that went terribly awry—with the ship frozen in ice and the crew trapped inside for the entire sunless, Antarctic winter

“The energy of the narrative never flags. . . . Sancton has produced a thriller.”—The Wall Street Journal

In August 1897, the young Belgian commandant Adrien de Gerlache set sail for a three-year expedition aboard the good ship Belgica with dreams of glory. His destination was the uncharted end of the earth: the icy continent of Antarctica.

But de Gerlache’s plans to be first to the magnetic South Pole would swiftly go awry. After a series of costly setbacks, the commandant faced two bad options: turn back in defeat and spare his men the devastating Antarctic winter, or recklessly chase fame by sailing deeper into the freezing waters. De...
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