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This might be an adequate book for the twenty-something crowd or the teenie boppers, but it is largely tedious, laden with self-pity and complaint over the living conditions. She exaggerates her qualifications to get a cooking job for an Antarctic outfitter, then frets that she isn't able to do it very efficiently. Those who dine at her table apparently find the fare adequate in quality, if sometimes shy in quantity. I listened to this book as an audio book and found there were a few adequate moments, but most of it was whine, whine, whine. Want some cheese with that?
She did fall in love with the Antarctic landscape and offers some great descriptive passages. The book culminates with her falling in love with a married man who runs a weather station. She stews over the ethics of falling in love with someone who is already spoken for, then goes right ahead and does it.
"Big Dead Place: Inside the Strange and Menacing World of Antarctica" is a much better account of living and working in arctic conditions. "Icebound" is another book that deserves your attention. Anthony Bourdain has nothing to fear from this flaky chick and her culinary capers.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful
I am an adventure books junkie, and this one ranks well up there. It has all the 'city gal out of place' that makes for a fun read. She's no Carrie Bradshaw though, and does well replacing her Manolos with snow boots. Though lacking the technical info you get from Jon Krakauer, and the gut splitting hilarity you get from Bill Bryson, this book is touching and the autor's tone is inclusive and embracing. You feel like a member of her crew, not someone listeneing to the story years later. She writes with verve and spark. She is sufficiently new to her surroundings but this is not a rambling "how did I get myself into this?" rant. The only thing really missing from this book is Antarctica. She could have been anywhere remote and told this story. The landscape, the ice, the sky, these are benched in place of flights to the nearest camp to visit the russians for more supplies (vodka and fuel), and the horrors of not bathing for months on end. Because of the location of this base camp, there are no animals, no real features to speak of, and as her role as cook she spends most of her time inside feeding those that come and go. But they are an interesting group and her shortcomings and culinary triumphs in the land of no electricity, and meat thats been buried in ice for 3 years, are light hearted and fun to listen to.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
If you could sum up Antarctica on a Plate in three words, what would they be?
Easy listening enjoyable
Which character – as performed by Caroline Lee – was your favourite?
Any additional comments?
An interesting story about living in the harsh conditions of Antarctica. A fascinating insight into the personalities of personnel living at the blue ice airstrip, and also the different nations that have camps in Antarctica. Thanks Alexa, I really enjoyed your story and Caroline Lee is always great to listen to as well.
What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?
A better voice would have made this very 'me, me, me ,,,oh yes,.. me...' marginally better.
Has Antarctica on a Plate put you off other books in this genre?
No, but the voice is annoying.
How could the performance have been better?
By using a neutral voice.
Any additional comments?
I do appreciate the writers effort in writing this self indulgent book, but it was quite painful to listen to the voice for any length of time.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful