Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Audiobook of the Week

I listen to a great deal of audiobooks.  I'm pretty sure if I were to visit Harvard they'd give me an honorary degree.  Really.  I've been training to them for years.

Just in Ayn Rand and Dostoevsky alone, I have over 200 hours of material.  No joke.

Yeah, I'm a dork.  But I'm going to share with you my favorite listens each week so you can hone your choices without as much trial and error that I've had to put up with.

This week:  Endurance by Alfred Lansing,  narrated by Simon Prebble

This reading is of the 2nd edition, 1958.  You can tell this is an older text because it is imbued with a certain kind of romanticism and poetry that non fiction writers just don't employ anymore.  It's not journalistic.  Lansing really tells a tale.  What does this mean for the authenticity of his narration of each man's experience of the horrible events?  Who knows?  But I don't care...

Oh, yes...about those horrible events.

This is the story of Shackleton's failed attempt to cross Antarctica.  It details the whole voyage and all it's characters.  (The ship was called the Endurance after Shackleton's family motto.  No, Shackleton was not marathoner or triathlete.)

When out training we suffer.  We feel sorry for ourselves and come home and whine to our loved ones about how tough it was out there and how hot it was or how cold it was and wah wah wah.  I do it all the time!  I'm a little bitch, sometimes...really!

So I found it refreshing to delve into the experience of a 17th month survival ordeal in which each second was often horrific.  I mean, what's a Ironman compared to 17 months!  What's a three week build or a month of base aerobic conditioning in comparison.  After all, I we do this with food and shelter.  Jesus, we are wimps!  

I don't want to give to much away because these true events are pretty amazing and almost seem fictional.  Just get the book.  It tops off at 10 hours so it's not the longest of listens, I finished it in two and half days of long rides, but it's well worth it.

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