Antarctica by Gabrielle Walker
An Intimate Portrait of a Mysterious Continent

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Synopsis

Antarctica is the most alien place on the planet, the only part of the earth where humans could never survive unaided. Out of our fascination with it have come many books, most of which focus on only one aspect of its unique strangeness. None has managed to capture the whole story—until now.

Drawing on her broad travels across the continent, in Antarctica Gabrielle Walker weaves all the significant threads of life on the vast ice sheet into an intricate tapestry, illuminating what it really feels like to be there and why it draws so many different kinds of people. With her we witness cutting-edge science experiments, visit the South Pole, lodge with American, Italian, and French researchers, drive snowdozers, drill ice cores, and listen for the message Antarctica is sending us about our future in an age of global warming.

This is a thrilling trip to the farthest reaches of earth by one of the best science writers working today.

 

About Gabrielle Walker

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GABRIELLE WALKER has a PhD in chemistry from Cambridge University and has taught at both Cambridge and Princeton universities. She is a consultant to New Scientist, contributes frequently to BBC Radio, and writes for many newspapers and magazines. She is also the author of four books, including An Ocean of Air and Antarctica. She lives in London.
 
Published January 15, 2013 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 421 pages
Genres: Nature & Wildlife, Sports & Outdoors, Travel, Science & Math, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Antarctica

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She begins with the coastal stations on the East Antarctic ice sheet, an area containing a zone so like outer space, it sports the nickname “Mars on Earth.” Walker then chronicles her journey to the interior of the continent, visiting astronomers deciphering data gathered from giant high-altitude...

Sep 25 2012 | Read Full Review of Antarctica: An Intimate Portr...

Publishers Weekly

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For example, the tone for the new winter is set when the crew sits down to watch the science-fiction classic The Thing, set at the South Pole, and in the dead of winter the brave attempt to join the 300 Club, which requires that they sit in a sauna until the temperature is 200F and then run, nake...

Sep 17 2012 | Read Full Review of Antarctica: An Intimate Portr...

The Telegraph

... Gavin Francis's 'Empire Antarctica' is a gripping account of a ... Ice Shelf, Halley is accessible by air and sea only in the short polar summer.

Nov 07 2012 | Read Full Review of Antarctica: An Intimate Portr...

The Telegraph

This is a pity, because when she finds the right focus – as she does, for instance, in describing the bleak polar plateau – Walker can write very nicely: “On the horizon there was a single soft wedge of cloud;

Mar 15 2012 | Read Full Review of Antarctica: An Intimate Portr...

Open Letters Monthly

But she also tells her readers about the seals who patrol the dark passages under the ice, the fish whose blood resembles antifreeze, and the whole host of bizarre creatures living in the below-freezing waters surrounding the place – including a tribe of predators called foraminifera – forams – e...

| Read Full Review of Antarctica: An Intimate Portr...

Tampa Bay Times

"Similar rocks,'' Walker writes, "may have provided one of the last refuges for life on Mars.'' From the dry and lightless Dark Sector near the Pole, astronomers using powerful telescopes — two are named AMANDA and Ice Cube — can "see through the dirty window of the Earth's humid air'' to the c...

Jan 26 2013 | Read Full Review of Antarctica: An Intimate Portr...

City Book Review

She covered every conceivable aspect of life on Antarctica, providing a living experience of what it’s like there, breathing life into the people who work there.

Feb 19 2013 | Read Full Review of Antarctica: An Intimate Portr...

Macleans

Or that today’s more modest warming trend is disintegrating ice sheets at an alarming rate on a continent with “enough ice to swamp our puny, shore-hugging civilizations.”?

Feb 15 2013 | Read Full Review of Antarctica: An Intimate Portr...

Bookmarks Magazine

With her we witness cutting-edge science experiments, visit the South Pole, lodge with American, Italian, and French researchers, drive snowdozers, drill ice cores, and listen for the message Antarctica is sending us about our future in an age of global warming.

This is a thrilling tr...

Jan 13 2013 | Read Full Review of Antarctica: An Intimate Portr...

The New York Review of Books

There, in the one country that has taken climate change seriously and done the work to change its energy infrastructure, a new record for renewable energy was set.

Jul 10 2014 | Read Full Review of Antarctica: An Intimate Portr...

The Age

As one long-term denizen puts it: ''An Antarctica winter scours your personality down to the bedrock.'' Antarctica has its own slang and its own particular social rituals that vary across the different national teams of scientists working there, sometimes with comically cliched results - the Fr...

May 27 2012 | Read Full Review of Antarctica: An Intimate Portr...

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