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An Alien in Antarctica -Reviews


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"Highly recommended. . . . Dr. Swithinbank’s experiences must qualify him as one of the preeminent explorers of the OAE. He has been a part of Antarctic operations from 1949(!) in Queen Maud Land to the present. Longevity and breadth of experience alone would put this book on any Antarcticans "Must Read" list. Fortunately it meets all expectations from a number of directions. . . .[This] is not just another explorer’s journal, but an interesting account of [Swithinbank’s] life in Antarctica. Somehow he got the publisher to include numerous color photos and also keep the cost of the book within reach of the intended audience. . . . By all means, order the book for a reading of adventure ‘in the pursuit of science,’ as the author puts it." - The Antarctican Society Newsletter, Vol. 97-98, #1, October 1997


"How does one go about reviewing a book that to the reviewer is well nigh perfect?...I could not put the book down, but read it in a single sitting. I recommend the book to firstly those who have been lucky enough to experience working and living in Antarctica, secondly, to those who may have a vicarious curiosity about what such working and living might be like, and finally to all whose interests are in the exploration of the Antarctic and its effects on the humans who work there -- the aliens in Antarctica." - Antarctic, Vol.16 No. 3, 1998-99


"This book is a first-person narrative of a British scientist’s experience working with the United States Antarctic Research Program over the span of 40 years. He obviously kept very detailed journals since names, places and events are very well documented, and he shines as more than an amateur cameraman; photographs in the book are outstanding." - The Polar Times, Fall-Winter 1997


"This book describes, in a witty self-effacing style, [Swithinbank’s] experience as an 'alien' participating in the U.S. Antarctic Research Program . . . . The main thread of the book is an account for nonspecialists of the glaciological research Swithinbank has been engaged in with the American program for nearly 40 years, from digging snow pits and hand coring-holes, dangling from a helicopter to survey ice movements, to radar ice sounding from an 'armchair' while flying on very long flights across the continent. . . . Most vivid and sparkling, however, are the many beautiful color photographs from the 1950s to the 1990s." - Arctic and Alpine Research, Vol. 30, No. 2, 1998