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Skating To Antarctica Paperback – 20 Jan 2005


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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Virago; New Ed edition (20 Jan. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844081516
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844081516
  • Product Dimensions: 12.8 x 1.7 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 74,932 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Observer ('Skating to Antarctica is a fascinating, moving account of two voyages . Diski's book shines out for its wit, lack of self-pity and strong interest in survival. I relished her sketches of ship routine, solemn penguins and bored soldiers . Diski has a grea)

Helen Dunmore, Express ('A non-fiction masterpiece.')

She ('This extraordinary account of a journey to the most barren outer reaches of the planet becomes a beautiful, complex symbol: it's a voyage of self-discovery to the white emptiness that is painted as truth, despair, calm and madness - all at once.')

Book Description

Skating to Antarctica' is both an intimate memoir and a captivating travelogue of a journey to the bottom of the world.

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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Ms. A. Mclauchlan on 12 July 2004
Format: Hardcover
In Skating to Antartica Diski 'works out' a lot of the issues that she refers to with calm reflection in her later offerings. I read Stranger on a Train prior to this book and found her healthy detachment from her past quite fascinating. Now I have realised, by reading Skating, how she got to that place of healthy detachment. This book works through some horrific periods of her life with a touch of the blase; which can be shocking to those who picked this up as a travel book. This tremendous journey is interspersed with flashes from her past and the life she left back in England - This is a journey that took the author miles; emotionally and physically - and it will take you there too if you allow yourself to follow Diski's rather disorganised yet enchanting style of writing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Pauline Bowerbank on 16 Feb. 2011
Format: Paperback
This is the first work of Diski's I have read and initially I thought the author was becoming too self-reflexive and I almost dismissed the book. However I persevered, and I'm pleased that I did. The relationships between mother and daughter, father and daughter, and daughter and parents are examined with a startling, and at times almost brutal honesty but Diski continually interweaves these shocking revelations with humorous descriptions of her fellow travellers - the ultra-orthodox Jewish couple; Big Jim and Less Big Jim; Butch, the tall thick-necked American with a walrus moustache. She observes Shackleton's endeavours, the mating process of Elephant Seals, and she produces particularly wonderful descriptions of the natural world. Diski's use of metaphor and simile may at times be a little heavy but she does create vivid pictures which draw the reader into the journey itself: "The wind was as strong as a fist, and the sea, under an eggshell grey sky, was an effulgent blue, like the contents of a bottle of royal blue ink, quinky blue, and choppy." This is a good read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Love my Kindle on 4 Jan. 2012
Format: Paperback
An autobiographical account of a journey to Antarctica where the author also shares with us her battle with sanity. Honest, poetic and touching. I loved it; the way she laced together both the physical journey with her memories, her childhood and her own relationships. Visual and charming, loaded with symbols and layers of meaning. Thoroughly recommend.
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By Ce Moore on 24 Feb. 2013
Format: Paperback
The travelling is about Jenny, Antartica is the background. The one important and useful aspect of this book is the author's honesty about her past and her parents. There is also an interesting reflection about truth, reality and mental health.

I was left with a feeling of being stuck with a contradiction: Jenny, a sensitive and intelligent woman, cannot let go of her deep accusatory feelings towards her mother who, just like her, couldn't let go of her own negativity towards her daughter and her life. This situation becomes hopeless. Each protagonist becomes trapped by the other, even as they struggle to free themselves from the other... Jenny, to the last, remains self-centered enough to feel relieved when she discovers that her mother didn't feel better after leaving her and her father. No freedom nor dignity there... But survival! Yes, this may be the price of her survival as she remains whole at the "expense" of her mother?
If you want to know what it is like to hurt deeply and to try and survive traumas, read this book: it is honest to God.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Reader beware: if you are looking for a travelogue, Diski is not the place to start. Skating To Antarctica goes to may places but the journey is far more about the journey than the destination. Mental health, depression, childhood, writing: these are Diski's subjects. But do not be fooled by the reviews below; Diski is a very conscientious writer that deconstructs autobiography as she writes it. Her intimacy is balanced by a dark humour that draws laughter from the more savvy reader, in the most unexpected of places. The journey to Antarctica must be appreciated as much as the metaphor that it realises as the real journey itself. If you are looking for a fascinating memoir with a playful and humourous twist, look no further.
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