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Summary

An Unsung Hero is an unforgettable story of triumph over unparalleled hardship and deprivation.

Tom Crean was the farmer’s son from Kerry who sailed on three major expeditions to the unknown Antarctic over a century ago. He served with both Captain Robert Scott and Sir Ernest Shackleton, spent longer on the ice than either and outlived them both. 

But Tom Crean returned to Ireland and never spoke about his exploits, taking his incredible story to the grave - until the publication of An Unsung Hero, which unearthed his story and saw him rightfully placed amongst the annals of the great explorers.

©2009 Michael Smith (P)2021 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd

Critic reviews

"Michael Smith has written a splendid biography." (The Nautical Magazine)

"The epic struggles, heroics and the unbelievable hardships of the voyages are wonderfully told." (The Irish Times)

"Wonderful Kiplingesque yarn about a great Irishman who didn't have to die to become a hero." (Irish Independent)

What listeners say about An Unsung Hero

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Awe Inspiring - Marred by Authorial Stereotyping.

The book was definitely worth reading, and it does great credit to its subject matter the great Tom Crean of County Kerry. The immensity of the hardships endured on all three missions are at times unfathomable to persons who have not experienced such enormous challenges. I have nothing but admiration for the subjects of the book, men, many undoubtedly flawed, but hugely heroic and courageous. I do have many reservations however for the authors numerous insertions of sneering and contemptuous observations concerning Creans officers. As an Irish man, I was rather embarrassed by Smiths resort to anti - British stereotypes at regular intervals throughout his narrative. The author rarely misses an opportunity to sneer at the class divide, which was of course, a universal and now thankfully bygone feature of late Victorian and Edwardian life in both the armed services and in society at large both in Britain and elsewhere in Europe. This was a pity, since it was not a sentiment which the subject of his book, the great and magnanimous Tom Crean would have entertained. I feel Smith's text, in indulging in his personal national, political, and societal prejudices, rather dishonoured his subject matter Tom Crean somewhat in this manner, and at times soured the tone what was otherwise an amazing account.

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what a life, what a story!

the famous expeditions of Scott and Shackleton told from Tom Crean's perspective.
His early life, running away to join the navy. Many unfamiliar heroics of saving many fellow travellers lives told here and the measure of the man is unveiled. beautifully told and narrated.

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Wonderful but scary

Fantastic tales of a very brave man, very well narrated too. An excellent listen. Superb

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If only the world had more Tom Creans

A gripping account of a giant among men. A quiet, unassuming, humouous, resilient, tower of strength, who always thought of others ahead of himself.

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Gripping account

Absolutely fantastic listen of a true hero of the last age of exploration in the Golen Age of Ice exploration.

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Great Listen

I love these polar exploration epics and this one does the life of Tom Cream justice. Wonderful recap of those famous expeditions he was central to. Don't make em like Crean any more!

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Great story

not the best writing of a truly amazing man...
constant conversion of imperial to metric is annoying and unnecessary...

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A wonderful book about a most remarkable man

Thourely enjoyed this book. Such a privilege to hear the incredible story of Tom Crean. Surely a giant amongst men. I was moved to tears many times.
I highly recommend this fantastic true life tale .

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Excellent, a must for anyone with an interest in Antarctic history.

Brilliant account of a great man’s life and great account of Scott’s and Shackleton’s expeditions.

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Wonderful insight into courage

A splendid well paced balanced detailed view into a different time when courage
Honour duty and Modesty mattered…such a contrast to present times
This history matters

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  • Nicole Forsythe
  • 16-05-22

Well read, compelling for Shackletonians

Liked the reading and this particular lens on such a lovely sounding man. Great life, great story, great audiobook.

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  • CGB
  • 06-04-22

Great adventure story.

Great writing and great research on a truly unsung hero. I recommend this book to anyone that likes true adventure stories, which IMHO should be everyone. I rated the performance low because the reading of every measure in both imperial and metric measurements is just brutal to hard to listen to. Very distracting.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 01-02-22

Tom Crean: Modern day Bear Grills

Wow... I loved the book Endurance, which is phenomenal in it's own way. This takes you to the beginning, of how it all started w. Robert F. Scott and the Golden age of Arctic Exploration. Highly recommend! Crean deserves glory... what a life he lived.

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  • nerdgirl
  • 16-01-22

Must listen for all polar exploration aficionados

Wonderful narrator and refreshingly different from most of the other books about Scott, Shackleton, and others like them. You will love getting to know Tom Crean better, I sure did. Thumbs way up.