Armstrong (The Dreams of Mairhe Mehan, 1996, etc.) narrates the incredible survival saga of Ernest Shackleton, who with a crew of 27 attempted to cross the Antarctic continent in 1914, and ended up trapped in their ship in the ice pack for seven months. When their ship was finally crushed by the ice they survived for another five months on the moving ice floes, traveled through storm-tossed seas to an uninhabited island, and were rescued, two years after they had set out, after Shackleton and five of his crew traveled 800 miles in an open boat to get help. This unbelievable stow is enhanced by the vigorous prose; from the captivating introduction through the epilogue, it is the writing as much as the story that will rivet readers. The black-and-white photos, taken mostly on glass plates by the expedition's photographer, Frank Hurley, survived along with the men and are of exceptional quality.