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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
A world-class athlete on the order of cyclist Lance Armstrong or triathlon champ Mark Allen, Lynn Cox has accomplished some amazing goals during her extraordinary career as a long-distance swimmer. At 15, she crossed the English Channel in record time; she was the first swimmer to navigate the Strait of Magellan and to round the Cape of Good Hope; and in 1987, she fulfilled a lifelong dream by swimming across the Bering Strait as a gesture of goodwill between the U.S. and Russia. But beyond the thrill of breaking records and meeting challenges, Cox is driven by her spirit of adventure and a boundless love of the open sea -- a mysterious, mutable medium that produces in her an almost Zen-like bliss that radiates from every page of this delightful memoir.
In sparkling prose that evokes each euphoric moment, she recounts the highlights of an astonishing career that began at age 14 with her first nighttime swim in the phosphorescent waters of Catalina Channel, where flying fish sailed over her head in giddy, iridescent arcs. Buoyed -- literally -- by a perfectly balanced ratio of body fat to muscle, Cox's plump physique endowed her with an unusual tolerance for cold water, motivating her to undertake ever more ambitious challenges culminating in the event of the book's title: her historic one-mile swim to Antarctica in bone-numbing 32-degree waters.
Shot through with colorful portraits of family and friends and vignettes of the daunting challenges she has faced (dead rats, treacherous whirlpools, man-eating sharks, and glacial ice, to name a few), Cox's autobiography also includes fascinating tidbits of meteorological, navigational, and medical arcana. Dive into it for a mesmerizing read! Anne Markowski