Antarctica on a Plate

  • by Alexa Thomson
  • Narrated by Caroline Lee
  • 11 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Hear the true story of a young woman who ditched everything she knew to become a cook in the coldest place on earth: Antarctica.
Imagine you are a young woman with a stellar career but an increasing dissatisfaction with life. Imagine that your idea of a "remote location" is the distance between a taxi rank and a shoe shop. How do you shrug off your growing ennui? Simple: You apply for the position of cook in the coldest place on earth: Antarctica.
Antarctica lends itself to tales of adventure and heartbreak. The landscape is polarized, beautiful and deadly in equal measure. But Alexa doesn't scale mountains or trek to the Pole. Instead, armed with an old cookbook, she attempts to create three-course meals with no electricity or running water and struggles to defrost meat in sub-zero temperatures. Life in a thin nylon tent in the company of scientists, explorers, and eccentrics soon begins to take on extraordinary dimensions. As 120-kilometre-an-hour winds blow and tensions rise, friendships - and love -are forged in this frozen neighborhood.


What the Critics Say

"Antarctica on a Plate is an exuberant memoir. From her one-man tent pitched on the ice, Thomson graphically recounts the physical and emotional impact of living in a tiny, tent community. And finding love among the snowdrifts is no bad thing, either." (Vogue)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Shallow as hoar frost

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.
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- Patroo

fun, sad, moving, enjoyable

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.
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- Simone

Book Details

  • Release Date: 06-21-2012
  • Publisher: Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd