The Crystal Desert: Summers in Antarctica

The Crystal Desert Summers in Antarctica THE CRYSTAL DESERT SUMMERS IN ANTARCTICA is the story of life s tenacity on the coldest of Earth s continents It tells of the explorers who discovered Antarctica of the whalers and sealers who despoi

  • Title: The Crystal Desert: Summers in Antarctica
  • Author: David G. Campbell
  • ISBN: 9780395589694
  • Page: 450
  • Format: Hardcover
  • THE CRYSTAL DESERT SUMMERS IN ANTARCTICA is the story of life s tenacity on the coldest of Earth s continents It tells of the explorers who discovered Antarctica, of the whalers and sealers who despoiled it, and of the scientists who are deciphering its mysteries In beautiful, lucid prose, David G Campbell chronicles the desperately short summers on the Antarctic PeninTHE CRYSTAL DESERT SUMMERS IN ANTARCTICA is the story of life s tenacity on the coldest of Earth s continents It tells of the explorers who discovered Antarctica, of the whalers and sealers who despoiled it, and of the scientists who are deciphering its mysteries In beautiful, lucid prose, David G Campbell chronicles the desperately short summers on the Antarctic Peninsula He presents a fascinating portrait of the evolution of life in Antarctica and also of the evolution of the continent itself.

    One thought on “The Crystal Desert: Summers in Antarctica”

    1. This is an informative and fairly decent mix of history, science, marine biology, and ecology by an ecologist who has spent some time in Antarctica. Well-researched, though a bit pretentious in the prose style (Campbell thinks he's more of a poet than he actually is), I thought this contained some very interesting information and observations, albeit from almost 20 years ago. An updated version would be desirable.

    2. The best book on how people live in and understand Antarctica -- how the scientists survive forbidding conditions, how the experience of living and working on The Ice changes people, why we need to preserve this continent from exploitation.

    3. A fascinating portrait of the geography, natural history, and human history of Antarctica from a marine biologist who spent three summers there collecting data and samples for scientific study. Campbell uses his work and experience as the basis of discussing, not only the larger history of the continent, but the stark beauty and magic of it as well. He looks at Antarctica as an ecosystem in itself and as it affects the Earth's ecosystem; he also looks at its place in the imagination and motives [...]

    4. This was a difficult one for me to rate. There are parts of it that I loved--when Campbell wrote in first person present tense, his prose was beautiful, and I felt I could really sense the things he was seeing and touching and feeling. But every time he went into a history spiel, it ended up sounding very dry and flat and lifeless--like he was just mindlessly summarizing from other sources and not putting anything of himself into it. I always felt disappointed when these bits came around, and en [...]

    5. Every year in mid-summer I end up craving a story about some cold part of the world, and this year I picked up Campbell's book. I was entranced by the parts of it devoted to his own experiences and observations as a scientist working in the Antarctic--his discovery that the air there is literally invisible, in the absence of dust storms, humidity, pollen, and pollution; his account of diving in the obscenely frigid Antarctic waters; even his description of the geography of this unfamiliar region [...]

    6. I was lucky to travel to the Antarctic. I read this on the way and while I was there. It was informative and let me understand my surroundings better. It was easy to read. It describes a scientists summer on King Georges Island. It included all sorts of fascinating detail such as fossils of equatorial animals and plants and there are two types of flea in the Antarctic.

    7. I've always been fascinated by Antarctica: this unknown land of penguins and cold. David Campbell wrote an amazing book on the natural history of Antarctica and also touched on the effects of human exploration on the continent. I fell in love with the descriptions of life. The writing was so vivid! Read this if you like books about the environment, nature, biology, exploration, history.

    8. Not necessarily an easy read, but the author brings so much knowledge and beauty to a stark landscape. Some information about the whaling and seal hunting I had to skim/skip, just broke my heart. It's primer for me before my trip!

    9. We think of Antarctica as very snowy, but actually it only snows ~2"/year there--which is one reason people fear global warming. If it weren't so cold, more snow would melt than falls--and that sort of thing can cascade rapidly

    10. about the explorers, scientists, whalers and such associated with this wide expanse of cold and ice at the south of the world

    11. A scientist who writes beautifully is a blessing. Now I know that jackass penguins exist. I'm ready for Antarctica.

    12. Loved it! An interesting description about Antartica. Campbell can give scientific and historic information as a poem with a touch of adventure.

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