South With the Sun

South With the Sun

Roald Amundsen, His Polar Explorations, and the Quest for Discovery

Book - 2011
Average Rating:
Rate this:
A powerfully built man more than six feet tall, Amundsen's career of adventure began at the age of fifteen (he was born in Norway in 1872 to a family of merchant sea captains and rich ship owners). Twenty-five years later he was the first man to reach both the North and South Poles. The author, an adventurer and swimmer, author of Swimming to Antarctica, gives us in this new work a full-scale account of Amundsen's life and expeditions. We see Amundsen, in 1903-06, the first to travel the Northwest Passage between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, in his small ship Gjoa, a seventy-foot refitted former herring boat powered by sails and a thirteen-horsepower engine, making his way through the entire length of the treacherous ice bound route, between the northern Canadian mainland and Canada's Arctic islands, from Greenland across Baffin Bay, between the Canadian islands, across the top of Alaska into the Bering Strait. The dangerous journey took three years to complete, as Amundsen, his crew, and six sled dogs waited while the frozen sea around them thawed sufficiently to allow for navigation. We see him journey toward the North Pole in Fridtjof Nansen's famous Fram, until word reached his expedition party of Robert Peary's successful arrival at the North Pole. Amundsen then set out on a secret expedition to the Antarctic, and we follow him through his heroic capture of the South Pole. The author makes clear why Amundsen succeeded in his quests where other adventurer-explorers failed, and how his methodical preparation and willingness to take calculated risks revealed both the spirit of the man and the way to complete one triumphant journey after another. She also describes reading about Amundsen as a young girl and how his exploits inspired her to follow her dreams. We see how she unwittingly set out in Amundsen's path, swimming in open waters off Antarctica, then Greenland (always without a wetsuit), first as a challenge to her own abilities and then later as a way to understand Amundsen's life and the lessons learned from his vision, imagination, and daring.
Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2011.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780307593405
Branch Call Number: 919.89 Cox 09/2011
Characteristics: xvii, 291 p. :,ill., maps ;,25 cm.


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

bmetcalf64 Jan 22, 2012

I liked the parts about the explorers and to some degree her swims, following in Amundsen's footsteps. She really needed an editor for the last part, which was rambling, and convoluted. I tried to keep an open mind, but closed the book before the last two chapters. I wanted more about the explorers and less Lynne Cox's long explanations on how many people she had to talk to to get permission to go to Antarctica.

Oct 28, 2011

What a disappointment! From the subtitle, I anticipated an Amundsen career biography. Instead, rhe first 83 pages are largely concerned with the author's exploits and recitation of many details about her plans to follow Amundsen's Northwest Passage voyage. Perhaps she will get around to Amundsen later. If so, I will not stay to read it.


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at My Library

To Top