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Regions of Thick-Ribbed Ice

(Short Blacks)

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  202 ratings  ·  17 reviews
They say that tourist ships to Antarctica, even more than ordinary human conveyances, are loaded down with aching hearts. Deceived wives and widowers, men who've never been loved and don't know why, Russian crew forced to leave their children behind for years at a time ... And then there are the married couples: how calm the old ones, how eager the new! - but isn't a coupl ...more
ebook, 64 pages
Published September 23rd 2015 by Black Inc. Short Blacks (first published 2001)
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Nov 06, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was such a quick read that I finished it before I could even form an opinion about it!!! But true to form Helen Garner doesn't disappoint. Here she describes her short trip to Antarctica aboard the Professor Molchanov with some other characters. Her description, even in this short piece,is immaculate. Conjuring up the cold icebergs she brings them to life and even gives us a small glimpse of animal life and of her fellow travelers. Here is a short example of her powerful prose..."I am engag ...more
Grace Coppinger
Sep 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was introduced to Helen Garner in a Creative Writing course, and subsequently found myself devouring This House of Grief. It stands as my favourite work of non-fiction. After reading Regions Of Thick-Ribbed Ice, that preference has to extend to the author herself: Helen Garner is my favourite non-fiction author.

As short as it is, this little book is a glorious snapshot of an Antarctic ocean voyage, filed with humour and masterfully crafted imagery. I found it to be a lovely little interlude t
True to form, this essay is an unflinchingly honest account the authors experience visiting the Antarctic - without a camera on principle. Hilarious moments as she recounts her very real anger and hate towards the battalion photographers scrambling for "the shot" and then laments the difficulty of writing in her notebook with 3 pairs of gloves on. Garner confesses her own failing to find the right words, yet I felt she found the perfect ones.
Feb 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I would read anything by Helen Garner and this did not disappoint. Although I find Helen a bit annoying in this book. Perhaps not as annoying as she found herself though...!
Catherine Davison
Oct 17, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: australian
True to form Helen Garner manages to say more about herself and her crabbiness and grumpy mood than she does about the subject matter. She's such an angry writer and she never misses a chance to tell her reader what is making her angry, grumpy, cranky or irritated. How can any writer make a trip to the Antarctic and an up close experience of penguins in their native environment sound like an ordeal to be endured? She's extremely privileged yet she complains pretty much all the way through this s ...more
Jan 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
More, more, more! Why is this only 44 pages? Where is the rest of it? Surely this is just a preview of a longer work? I loved the sarcastic viewing of other passengers, the photographers in particular; I enjoyed the iceberg descriptions and the descriptions of animals (even though she didn't care for them). Only Helen Garner could treat a trip to Antarctica, of all places, with this much disdain! Still waiting for a book-length version, though.
Jenny Esots
Helen goes to Antarctica without a camera on principle.
Takes notes and debates the experience of the event as opposed to recording it in any form.
Perceptive writing, as always.
However after reading about two gale force storms I am not inclined to sign up for a voyage of my own.
Cherise Wolas
I thought this was a full-length book, but it's a short essay about Garner's trip to the Antartica. What I love about her writing is that with her keen eye, she is always somewhere in her work, and often the way she presents herself is as a writer focusing, and sometimes like a curmudgeon.
Becca Osborn
What an enjoyable short story about Helen's trip to Antarctica and a great springboard for my Antarctica reading before our trip.
Jodie Warner
Oct 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I want more. She can do no wrong!
Jan 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library, memoir, novellas
Like all Garner, I just wanted this to go on for another 3000 pages for me to sink into.
Jan 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is very short but not at all slight. It's a blast of Antarctica and it's wonderful.

I've set myself an unprecedented reading target this year in part because I intend to read more things like this, short and brilliant stand-alone pieces. Not a hundred of them but maybe twenty. And also some long things. To hell with the middle ground of 400 pages to suit a publisher's shelf-image.
Sep 05, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A short essay. Wish it was a whole book.
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Helen Garner was born in Geelong in 1942. She has published many works of fiction including Monkey Grip, Cosmo Cosmolino and The Children's Bach. Her fiction has won numerous awards. She is also one of Australia's most respected non-fiction writers, and received a Walkley Award for journalism in 1993.

Her most recent books are The First Stone, True Stories, My Hard Heart, The Feel of Stone and Joe

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