The Worst Journey in the World
Why this book?
A strange, complex, and ultimately transformative chronicle of the Terra Nova expedition, including the Scott Party’s catastrophic 1912 attempt to be first to the South Pole, The Worst Journey in the World is part adventure story and part witness statement. Through Apsley Cherry-Garrard's jaundiced eye, we learn of the triumphs as well as the banalities of polar exploration, including a gripping narrative-within-narrative of the eponymous “worst journey in the world,” which was not the race to the Pole, but the dangerous winter trip to Cape Crozier, where Cherry, Birdie Bowers, and Edward Wilson almost died in their attempt to collect Emperor penguin eggs.
This book is a touchstone within the narrative world of my novel, South Pole Station, as Titus Oates (who committed “philanthropic suicide” during the Scott Party’s failed to return to camp), Bowers, Wilson, and others who died in pursuit of Antarctic glory, haunt the steps of anyone who chooses to live and work in Antarctica.