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Summary

Colin O’Brady’s awe-inspiring, New York Times best-selling memoir recounting his recovery from a tragic accident and his record-setting 932-mile solo crossing of Antarctica is a “jaw-dropping tale of passion and perseverance” (Angela Duckworth, New York Times best-selling author of Grit).

Prior to December 2018, no individual had ever crossed the landmass of Antarctica alone, without support and completely human powered. Yet, Colin O’Brady was determined to do just that, even if, 10 years earlier, there was doubt that he’d ever walk again normally. From the depths of a tragic accident, he fought his way back. In a quest to unlock his potential and discover what was possible, he went on to set three mountaineering world records before turning to this historic Antarctic challenge.

O’Brady’s pursuit of a goal that had eluded many others was made even more intense by a head-to-head battle that emerged with British polar explorer Captain Louis Rudd - also striving to be “the first”. Enduring Antarctica’s sub-zero temperatures and pulling a sled that initially weighed 375 pounds - in complete isolation and through a succession of whiteouts, storms, and a series of near disasters - O’Brady persevered.

Alone with his thoughts for nearly two months in the vastness of the frozen continent - gripped by fear and doubt - he reflected on his past, seeking courage and inspiration in the relationships and experiences that had shaped his life.

“Incredibly engaging and well-written” (The Wall Street Journal) - and set against the backdrop of some of the most extreme environments on earth, from Mt. Everest to Antarctica - this is “an unforgettable memoir of perseverance, survival, daring to dream big, and showing the world how to make the impossible possible” (Booklist, starred review).

©2020 Colin O'Brady (P)2020 Simon & Schuster Audio

What listeners say about The Impossible First

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increadible

its an incredible book about stepping outside your comfort zone. Inspirational story that shows the importance of grit and determination

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Abit underwhelming

I am sure it is a pretty incredible achievement but it doesn't make for the best listen/read. If you have listened to Colin on various podcasts talk about this adventure, there isn't much point in buying the book in my opinion. I have also read the Nat Geo story and in my opinion it takes nothing away from this book.

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AMAZING

Absolutely breathtaking, totally engaging and feels like you are on the ice with him. One of the most moving books I have ever listened too. I would highly HIGHLY recommend it 👌 what an unbelievable human being.... pair of human beings! an inspiration

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Excellevt

Absorbing and exciting
Tremendously difficult challenge to undertake
Gives a good insight into the mental side
Good narration by the author

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Fantastic!

There is nothing to dislike about this book. It has helped me in various aspects of life. Highly recommended.

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Touching and motivational

A beautiful work of a man's life. Managed to motivate me in so many areas of my life.

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Simply inspiring.

Well narrated.
Great detail.
Well done.
From white board to reality. Just need my own white board now...

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Get up and walk

There are no words to how amazing the recount of Collins Jurney was. The way he spoke and painted his own life piece by piece made me feel like I was there.

Get up and walk... No words to describe, read it or even better, listen to it!

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Inspirational.

After first becoming aware of Colin after his Joe Rogan interview i was instantly captured by his story.
Hearing Colin detail his trials and triumphs rather than some generic narrator has been amazing and i cant recommend his story enough to people.

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  • Jules
  • 13-02-20

Inspirational Story!

Revised: Folks, please read the Nat Geo article about Mr. O'Brady and his so called Impossible First, before you buy the book. Decide for yourself. I personally feel duped by yet another social media "star" searching for fame and a pay day.

Wonderful, inspirational story. I appreciate the difficult task of the author narrating his own story. I imagine that narration isn't easy. That said, I think the narrator makes a much better explorer than narrator. We all have our challenges! :-)

17 people found this helpful

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  • Carl
  • 12-02-20

Great listen but more research disputes his claims

The book itself is a great listen and inspiring...
However...
I was very disappointed to read an article from national geographic basically saying that the book greatly embellished his story and that he hiked a good portion of the way on an Antarctic road.

According to the artical it quotes Jon Krakauer as saying "O'brady needs to be called out for his false claims"

Really liked the book but unfortunately that artical really tainted it for me.


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  • Mike MacSkivvy
  • 27-02-20

Impossible Last

In the year 2019 after many years of practicing I finally decided to go for it. I am the first white American, under 5'9" to speedwalk backwards across my lawn (a distance of more than 300' in some places, but not where I crossed) while carrying an injured groundhog to safety in temperatures nearing 75° F. I was unaided, unless you count the phone I clutched in my right hand in case I needed to call for help, or the fact that I had just cut my grass (lessening the tripping hazard), or that I had crossed in the narrowest section (40') with the least obstacles. Not only was I the first, but I believe I will be the last to accomplish this great feat.

12 people found this helpful

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  • H. Winslow
  • 10-02-20

Boring rendition with bragging

I was so optimistic about this book based on the reviews, but reading it was a true chore. The author is extremely impressed with himself yet fails to make exciting what was surely an amazing adventure. Pads the tale with other feats he impresses himself with. Lists are not stories! Author narration did not help (I’m being kind). All this adds up to reader/listener disappointment.

12 people found this helpful

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  • LAnne
  • 07-02-20

Good story

This is going to make a great movie and the story itself is very compelling and organized really well. 5 stars for that!

With that said, I often felt that the descriptions were often unnecessarily over dramatic. Maybe it was extra emphasis placed when narrating, I'm not entirely sure. Maybe I've just read and listened to fiction for too long and I'm not giving enough allowances, but I think this could have undergone a bit more editing and less descriptive words possibly found via the thesaurus. I am very aware that the author is a professional athlete and not a professional narrator, but I think I would have preferred someone like R.C. Bray who narrated the Martian. I know that's harsh and really I shouldn't want to hear Colin's story from anyone but him, but I just didn't care for his reading style.

With this all said, it's still worth a read and I enjoyed the flash backs to other parts of his life and of course the ending. It also motivated me to exert some self control in my own life and push through my own small battles, instead of giving up and that is something!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 20-01-20

Incredible

This story will keep you on the edge of your seat. it is truly incredible.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Genevieve
  • 09-03-20

Exceptional real-life adventure of adversity

Captivating from start to finish, even if you know the ok outcome of Colin's world first finish, you are with him in his strife and his achievements every leg of the way. at one point, I could picture the vast white of Antarctica and feel the weight of the sled. Loved it!

1 person found this helpful

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  • KG
  • 08-03-20

Good to hear his whole story.

Narration could be a little cheesy, but hey, he's an adventurer not a book reader.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Brent
  • 31-01-20

Excellent story of achievement and humility

Collin o'brady does a great job of describing both the highlights of his journey and the lessons that he learned as a man and as a person in achieving this great task. I would make this required reading if I could for high school seniors across America.I give it my highest recommendation.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 06-05-21

Great!

I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone. Well written and easy to listen to.