Alone on the Ice

  • by David Roberts
  • Narrated by Matthew Brenher
  • 11 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

His two companions were dead, his food and supplies had vanished in a crevasse, and Douglas Mawson was still 100 miles from camp.
On January 17, 1913, alone and near starvation, Mawson, leader of the Australasian Antarctic Expedition, was hauling a sledge to get back to base camp. The dogs were gone. Now Mawson himself plunged through a snow bridge, dangling over an abyss by the sledge harness. A line of poetry gave him the will to haul himself back to the surface.
Mawson was sometimes reduced to crawling, and one night he discovered that the soles of his feet had completely detached from the flesh beneath. On February 8, when he staggered back to base, his features unrecognizably skeletal, the first teammate to reach him blurted out, “Which one are you?”
This thrilling and almost unbelievable account establishes Mawson in his rightful place as one of the greatest polar explorers and expedition leaders.


What the Critics Say

"Painting a realistic portrait of Aussie explorer Douglas Mawson and his arduous trek through some of the most treacherous icy Antarctic terrain, Roberts gives the reader a very close look at the huge risks and preparations of the nearly impossible feat…Harrowing, exciting and brutally real, Roberts provides a chilling backstory to polar explorer Mawson’s bold solitary survival tale." ( Publishers Weekly)
"Mountaineer and prolific author Roberts returns with a vivid history of Australian explorer Douglas Mawson and his 1912 exploration of Antarctica…. Roberts creates a full portrait of Mawson and does justice to what famed mountaineer Sir Edmund Hillary would later call 'the greatest survival story in the history of exploration.'" ( Kirkus Reviews)
"Douglas Mawson is not as well-known as Amundsen, Scott, or Shackleton, but as this intense and thrilling epic shows, he deserves a place on the pedestal next to these other great explorers of the Antarctic…. This fast-moving account earns for Mawson and his team a well-deserved place of honor in the so-called heroic age of Antarctic exploration." ( Booklist)


See More Like This

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Don't bother!

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

The material in this book merely rehashes Mawson's well written autobiography, The Heart of the Blizzard. some of the comments about other antarctic explorers repeat Roland Huntsford's biased viewpoints as though they were gospel. the narration is extremely tedious and the pronounciation of many words is inaccurate and very annoying. If the story is new to you you may enjoy the content, but the narrator would need to be much more inspiring to make it worth the effort.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

Read Mawson's original!

Who might you have cast as narrator instead of Matthew Brenher?

not sure.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?


Read full review

- birdie

Great expectations that peter out in a welter of dawdling and bad writing

I’d like to say I enjoyed this book but that would be a lie. I had high hopes for this ook at the start due to its title, summary and description of text. However, even at the beginning I could see that I’d be disppointed. It dawdles, rambles and digresses all over the place. One gets the sense that somebody is writing this from a distance which is true of course but disappointing that a better job could not be made to really convey the difficulties of the polar expedition so that one never leaves the armchair in which one might be sitting to read this book. it isn’t helped by poor naration and pronunciation. It’s written, or so it seems, by an American since the words and emphasis is very much indicative of that region of the world. It’s written like a journalist’s account of something he never took part in and so I can say nothing positive about this book. If you want atmosphere and real sense of adventure avoid this one and stick instead to books which are better written though not necessarily any better read. I’ll finish it but never again will I open this book.
Read full review

- Rose

Book Details

  • Release Date: 28-01-2013
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.