Antarctic Eats (New York Times Book Review)

Antarctic Eats (Rebecca P. Sinkler/New York Times Book Review)

And then there was the hunger, the persistent, maddening, gut-cramping hunger. You thought, dreamed and talked of little but food. Forget that other primal urge. The closest you got to sex was eyeballing the woman on the Land O’Lakes butter box. You would have slaughtered your favorite dog and gladly eaten it. And you would have happily devoured hoosh — a mix of dried meat, ground biscuits and whatever else was on hand, usually watered down into a revolting stew. As Jason C. Anthony puts it in the prologue to “Hoosh,” “cold, isolation and a lack of worldly alternatives have conspired to make Antarctica’s captive inhabitants desperate for generally lousy food.”

…Anthony is a fine, visceral writer and a witty observer. He paints his cast of questers with a Monty-Pythonesque brush, but balances the telling with a refusal to sneer or giggle. He demonstrates genuine respect, compassion and a kind of hopeless love for his quixotic subjects and their grandiose, miserable hungers.

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