Chill Out: An Antarctic Odyssey is more than a book; in truth, it is a deep spiritual awakening. I could relate to the depth of your journey through my own life's odyssey ... but I want to add that your writing of such a cathartic experience, cleared all between where you were and where you are today.
Congratulations Brian!Kayleen Parr
With a long held desire to undertake scientific research in Antarctica, Brian Gaull finally realises his dream when he arrives at Mawson Station in his role as geophysicist. The memoirs of his time in this exceptionally remote part of the world are laid out with impressive detail in Chill Out and are, quite simply, awe inspiring.
In total, Gaull spent sixteen months away from his family, three months longer than originally intended. With underlying problems in his marriage, the reader will often feel incredulous that Gaull made the decision to leave his two young sons for such a large chunk of time, however, as the memoirs progress it is clear that this dilemma was never resolved in the author's mind and was a source of constant anxiety.
The reader is propelled through the book from one experience to another. The eagerness to uncover more scientific revelations, recounts of life versus death situations, descriptions of majestic scenery and insights into the psyche of the men stationed far from home.
Chill Out is raw and honest, and written with an overriding passion. It is a fascinating book of extremes, confronting us with not only extreme location and conditions but also extreme emotions.Mark Boden
The book is worth purchasing just for the Prologue.
I was surprised by the brutal candor of the author regarding his personal life. Straight away I knew that Brian Gaull (Author) would not be "pulling any punches" when it came to the truth. It also reinforced to me just how important family and friends are in your life.
It's only a few souls that get to experience living in such a beautiful environment and Brian does a great job in describing it...Using "Aussie" down to earth humor. In one section he describes how his exhaled breath would turn instantly into snowflakes. I could just feel the bitter cold reading that!
His passion for people and the environment shine through.
Great book to read on a cold day with a glass of mulled wine.Mark Walsh
I enjoyed your book on what you went through and for that I thank you.
You're adventure "South" to Antarctica provided inspirational and entertaining stories often through anecdotal adventures with your colleagues. The fellowship that grew between you gave you the spirit and strength required for survival: despite being dented by your personal life provided the will to finish the task at hand. Also, the love for your two boys kept you buoyed through blizzards and difficult circumstances.
I particularly enjoyed the nicknames, especially yours: Big Dee, as it added so much to the characters involved. Then you showed your readers how nature played such a big part and its effect on everyone. This was most apparent when you were working with the huskies travelling through magnificent land and seascapes.
All in all a well balanced book of nature and human endeavour.Jim Gaull
The author writes in a self-deprecating manner when he feels justified and writes in short, descriptive sentences. He has a vast knowledge of the subject, but writes in such a way and style, that the reader can soak it up.
Furthermore, he is not afraid to express his emotions, which are often raw: this is brave of him and I find it not only unexpected, but also refreshing!
This book is not one I would have chosen myself as I thought it would be boring, but I found it quite the opposite. It made me want to go and see this amazing place for myself. I now would like to either take a flight over it or perhaps cruise there, but not in the way Brian experienced it!
Finally, the book is printed in a large, clear font which is easy to read.Sandra Valli
The subject matter is priceless: how many of us will ever know what it must really be like in such an isolated, unique environment which you capture most convincingly? The journey south is enveloping and graphic. Meeting the fellow sojourners sets up a framework for the relationships ahead.
The reluctance to leave the family is to be an ongoing theme. First glimpses of the icy seas are encompassing and narrowing the focus. The activities at the base and your work are obviously not for the layman but, as you point out, the story has several purposes.
There are plenty of thrills with bogged vehicles, health scares and losing the horizon in the white world. The helicopters add another perspective.
Life at the base is also well covered for those who might venture south. The aurora must be amazing and feels like it.
As a female I feel it is a " Blokey" book and women can read it if they wish. I found the homosexuality scene unnecessary - we know! but it might titillate some readers.
I would like the artwork to have been professionally done but it adds to costs. I am nit picking but "mate" is overdone, mate.
Lastly, as an English teacher, I resisted the red pencil - there are just a few minor errors in grammar that an editor would have picked up.Marie Gill
There was a young man called Brian,
Who went to Antarctica ... no lying,
When he got home he gave great pout,
Sat down and wrote his memoir "Chillout",
Best seller: quite a surprise, cause he wasn't even tryin!
There once was a writer named Brian
All in all I would give it a seven out of ten, maybe nudging an eight.
A very easy read that mostly kept me interested, and when it got a bit deep I kept in mind your comment from the preface and I scanned through those parts to get to the remainder that did interest me.
I wish I had managed to find the time, inspiration and drive to get to Antarctica for a season, and your book has filled in some of the gaps for me. It in no way can enable me to fully understand what it was like, but it has given me an inkling and for that I am grateful indeed.
In fact, sitting here on reflection, make that a definite eight out of ten. A few more pictures would have been great, but it is hard to remember a time before digital when photos were something treasured and carefully framed and timed. Imagine if you had a digital camera with you during your time down there.
Anyway mate, I really enjoyed the book and am glad you put pen to paper to record your time down south.Mike Keir