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3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
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on 2 August 2015
Read this book ages ago and tried to find it on Amazon but could not remember the name or the author. Kept getting hard back books from America on the subject of travelling in the Arctic! So being a christian, I then prayed for help and found this books straight away.

She writes beautifully and this is a lovely book, not only about her trip to the Antarctic but interspersed are details of her traumatic and bitterly unhappy childhood. As one who came from a violent and miserable background, it echoed with my experiences and I found it comforting.
Please read this book, it is amazing especially if you too have come from an unhappy family.
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on 4 May 2012
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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on 4 January 2012
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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on 16 February 2011
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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on 4 January 2013
I read this book in 2008 but have only just put the review on. I really enjoyed this book and the style of writing, however, I was left disappointed that I had half a travel book and half a mental health book and I was left with far too many questions about the mother's probable mental illness. For that reason, I did not feel it was a complete stand alone book.
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on 24 February 2013
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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on 19 October 2008
Nor should we listen too hard to somebody who was forced to read the book or for that matter anybody enrolled on a writing class.
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on 11 April 2016
I adore the way she writes. It an easy read and fascinating book but not nearly as good as Strangers on a Train
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on 16 April 2013
Looking forward to reading this book which arrived in time and in good condition. Just finished reading her book
Strangers on a Train and really enjoyed it.
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on 25 August 2015
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