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Swimming to Antarctica: Tales of a Long-Distance Swimmer Paperback – March 7, 2005
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Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
What I really loved about this book is the way Cox struggled not only with the physical challenges of the swims but also struggled to make the swims mean something more to the world at large. For example, the Bering Straight swim took something lik 16 years of meetings and negotiations to arrange, hundreds of donors and volunteers. But in the end that swim stood as a testament and metaphor for the improving connections between nations. Everywhere she goes, Cox seems to have inspired anyone fortunate enough to witness her. That this has come with a great deal of personal sacrifice--money troubles, social limitations, significant nerve damage--is humbly underplayed in the book. She has a kind of determination and self-confidence that transcends a particular athletic endeavour.
That Cox does not *look* like anyone's idea of an endurance athlete just adds to the inspiration -- she's 45 and she's swimming to Antarctica...so what's MY excuse?
Scientists would later determine that her unique ratio of muscle to body fat made her anomalously suited to swimming long distances in water so cold, it would kill an ordinary swimmer within minutes. At 15, Cox swam the English Channel, breaking the world record. The next year, she went back to England and broke the record again.
It would be a mistake to think that Cox's new autobiography, Swimming to Antarctica: Tales of a Long-Distance Swimmer, is of interest only to swimmers. In fact, the book has more in common with heroic literature of the ancient world-like Beowulf and The Odyssey-than with the typical athlete's success story. Like those ancient heroes, Cox isn't satisfied with races that have a designated course. Instead, she looks for unique athletic challenges that only she can overcome. That's why, at 17, she fell out of love with channel swimming and, instead, took on the unknown-swimming icy lakes, straits and channels that had been thought impossible for a swimmer to breach. Her famous 1987 swim across the Bering Sea from Alaska to the Soviet Union took 10 years to plan, and the water, in August, was barely above freezing.
Although Cox isn't a professional writer, she has a keen eye for details that turn an important life experience into an entertaining story. Readers will be amused, for instance, by the English cab driver who told Cox she was too fat to swim the Channel-as he was driving her to the beach for that express purpose.
While other athletes were wooed by corporate sponsors, Cox had to finance her own projects. Her story is a powerful account of clinging hard to a bigger dream.
I was also disappointed by the fact that there are no photos or maps ! How is that possible in such a book?
Also, I feel that least 50 pages of the current edition could have been dropped. I would like to have read more about Ms. Cox's training, nutrition, etc. I don't even know what she looks like (height, weight).
In short: good story, bad editor.
Her book, her adventures, her swims, and especially Lynne herself - are all fantastic! Not only did she set and achieve personal goals, she did it keeping in mind her involvement with those around her - family, coaches, fellow swimmers, the community, and even those non-swimmers who cheered on her achievements!
I can't stop using exclamation marks because I admire and am thrilled by everything Lynne has done!
I wish the book had photographs! I wish I read Lynne's book or heard about herin high school - it might have inspired me to do more over the years.
The writing is engaging and you feel you are right in the stormy, foggy ocean or in the murky slime of the Nile or in the icy, freezing water of Antarctica. Lynne rates as high as Thor Heyerdahl (Kon Tiki) as a modern adventurer. When I saw a photograph of her in People Magazine - it was wonderful to put that smiling face to the smiling voice that comes through clearly in her writing!
I will read and re-read this book many times over the years.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Love this book!
I have given it as a gift and it always ends up being a book that is passed on to other.
If you want to know what swimming is about for those long distance swimmers who take on oceans, seas, and lakes with frigid temperatures (you and I most likely would not last for... Read morePublished 5 months ago by MPOLLACK
I have read this book several times. It is simply great read. Lynne is incredible. I am a swimmer and swam Alcatraz but drop in the bucket to her activitiesPublished 9 months ago by thomas Beener
I recently read this book to get psyched up for an open water swimming vacation my husband and I had signed up for. Read morePublished 10 months ago by AquaJock
Great and easy read! I recently started open water swimming and Cox's story was so motivating and helped me to push my thoughts of sharks to the back of my mind and just keep... Read morePublished 10 months ago by Amber Baker
I liked the book. It is for our Bethel Library discussion. Win BrickmeierPublished 10 months ago by W. Brickmeier