Madhouse at the End of the Earth: The Belgica's Journey Into the Dark Antarctic Night


Product Details

$30.00  $27.90
Crown Publishing Group (NY)
Publish Date
6.1 X 9.3 X 1.4 inches | 1.35 pounds

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About the Author

Julian Sancton is a writer and editor whose work has appeared in Vanity Fair, Esquire, GQ, The New Yorker, Departures, and Playboy, among other publications. He has reported from every continent, including Antarctica, which he first visited while researching this book. He lives in Larchmont, New York, with his partner, Jessica, and their two daughters.


"Sancton has given us a riveting true-life horror story, the tale of an ambitious crew of sailors who chased glory but wound up trapped in an icy hellscape with slim chance of survival. Madhouse at the End of the Earth is that rare non-fiction gem--an obscure but important history transformed by deep research and note-perfect storytelling into a classic thriller. Reading this book is as much an adventure as the very story it tells."--Walter Isaacson, author of Leonardo da Vinci and Steve Jobs

"Polar exploration was the space travel of its day. Julian Sancton reminds us why, while sending us on an extraordinary expedition, one that left its crew in the deadly grip of the Antarctic pack for more than a year. He sets us down directly amid the polychromatic ice; when a man goes overboard, so do we. Madhouse at the End of the Earth has it all: idealism, ingenuity, ambition, explosives, flimflammery, a colorful cast, a blank map, a three-month-long night, penguins (and medicinal penguin meat). . . . A riveting tale, splendidly told." --Stacy Schiff, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Witches and Cleopatra

"With meticulous research and a novelist's keen eye, Julian Sancton has penned one of the most enthralling--and harrowing--adventure stories in years. But more than an adventure story, Madhouse is a remarkable chronicle of the outer limits of human endurance, of the strengths both physical and mental that enabled a small band of explorers, trapped in Antarctic ice for over a year, to survive against the odds while others did not. Don't let this book pass you by!"--Scott Anderson, author of Lawrence in Arabia and The Quiet Americans

"A generation before Shackleton's Endurance, an adventure every bit as bold and dreadful took place at the bottom of the world, led by a band of unimaginably colorful and resolute explorers. In Madhouse at the End of the Earth, Julian Sancton has deftly rescued this forgotten saga from the deepfreeze--and in the process has given us the next great contribution to polar literature. A wild tale, so well told and immersively researched."--Hampton Sides, New York Times bestselling author of In the Kingdom of Ice