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Going to Extremes: Mud, Sweat and Frozen Tears Paperback – June 1, 2003


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Pan Macmillan (June 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330493841
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330493840
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 5.2 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,410,577 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

In Going to Extremes, Nick Middleton, a travel writer with a penchant for some of the more bizarre outposts of human habitation, ventures to the hottest, driest, coldest, and wettest inhabited places on Earth. He wants to know not only how people manage to live in these places, but also why they settled there in the first place. And, most intriguing of all—why they stay. He follows Stalin’s “Road of Bones” across Siberia’s icy wilderness to the world’s coldest town, then crosses the world’s oldest desert, the Atacama, to visit its driest. He descends into the cauldron of the Danakil Depression to suffer the searing intensity of an Ethiopian summer, then wades through the Indian monsoon to reach the world’s rainiest hills. Whether he’s risking castration in “the hell hole of creation” or facing the trauma of giant vampire slugs, Nick Middleton’s account of his journey to the edge is never less than fascinating.

About the Author

Nick Middleton is a physical geographer who specialises in desertification. Going to Extremes is a television programme for Channel 4 about extreme lifestyles, in which Middleton experienced life in the hostile conditions other cultures must endure. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Calton Bolick on November 4, 2004
Format: Paperback
While the four individual sections (Coldest, Driest, Hottest, and Wettest) are enjoyable, I was disappointed that Nick Middleton makes no effort to connect the sections or even come to any overall conclusions about why people live in such extreme realms.

In addition, the sections themselves seemed occasionally padded. The Driest section is the worst offender, with a lengthy section on living at extreme Andean altitudes, which, while fascinating, isn't related to the main topic (this is ironic to me since it's the main reason I bought the book, having visited -- for twenty minutes -- the airport at Arica, Chile, enroute to La Paz, and being curious about this desert beachfront place).

The best section is the first (Coldest), being a rather vivid look at the peculiar adaptions the people in a Siberian town make to live with extreme cold, as well as some fascinating descriptions of the phenomena associated with a -50 degree climate.

Perhaps the TV series it's based on is more enlightening, but since it's not out on DVD yet, I can't find out
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Sanjay Veerkar on March 14, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book's topic and treatment of a travel log are very memorable and full of interesting observations from very unexpected places. However the reader cannot rely on humor, wit etc. which may be found in Bill Bryson style of writing.

This is not drama but informative, curious probing and achieves a balance of excitement and enquiry. This is not for the reader looking for entertainment. If you dream or wonder about these extreme places (e.g. coldest, driest, etc) then this book is the next best way to experience these places. Great book for the reader seriously interested in these topics.

Author did a great job - living as well retelling his awesome experiences.
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By Martin Jurek on August 15, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is a travelling adventure – starts as a completely simple idea and evolves into four journeys into places that you enjoy reading about, yet visiting them in person would probably not be as charming...
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Love this book. I love anything travel and especially love interesting places. If you like to travel and learning about different cultures this is the book.
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