The Impossible First: Book summary and reviews of The Impossible First by Colin O'Brady

The Impossible First

From Fire to Ice—Crossing Antarctica Alone

by Colin O'Brady

The Impossible First by Colin O'Brady X
The Impossible First by Colin O'Brady
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Book Summary

Colin O'Brady's awe-inspiring memoir spans his triumphant recovery from a tragic accident to his gripping 932-mile solo crossing of Antarctica.

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, ten 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.

Honest, deeply moving, filled with moments of vulnerability—and set against the backdrop of some of the most extreme environments on earth, from Mt. Everest to Antarctica—The Impossible First reveals how anyone can reject limits, overcome immense obstacles, and discover what matters most.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Harrowing... An unforgettable memoir of perseverance, survival, daring to dream big, and showing the world how to make the impossible possible." - Booklist (starred review)

"O'Brady is a confident, crafty storyteller...This inner saga works hand in hand with the physical challenges to make for a full tapestry of remarkable experience. A brutally sublime tale of derring-do that transports as well as teaches." - Kirkus Reviews

"A jaw-dropping tale of passion and perseverance...If your dreams sometimes seem beset by doubts in equal measure, read this book. It will tip the balance." - Angela Duckworth, author of Grit

"Colin O'Brady's amazing adventure is well-written and a fast read. But hang on to it after you finish. On down days go back to the book. It will pick up your spirits dramatically." - Phil Knight, founder of Nike, Inc., and author of Shoe Dog

"Suspenseful, soul-searching, and at times metaphysical as O'Brady endures an endless sheet of white and ice...The book is a testament to the human soul and the amazing feats we can accomplish with training, willpower, and the singular resilience of the mind. You will learn from and be inspired by it." - Buzz Bissinger, author of Friday Night Lights

This information about The Impossible First shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Colin O'Brady

Colin O'Brady is an explorer and elite endurance athlete who has set multiple world records and is a leading expert on mindset. Among his feats are the world's first solo, unsupported, and human-powered crossing of Antarctica; speed records for the Explorers Grand Slam and the Seven Summits; and reaching the highest point in all fifty US states in a record-breaking twenty-one days. A Yale graduate, he is a sought-after public speaker whose talks and non-profit work have inspired millions. Native to the Pacific Northwest, he now lives in Jackson Hole, Wyoming as well as Portland, Oregon, with his wife, Jenna Besaw.

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