Total Addiction: The Life of an Eclipse Chaser

Photo/Paul McErlane

Total Addiction: The Life of an Eclipse Chaser, published by Springer, is my first book about eclipse chasing.

An eclipse-chasing psychologist delves into the experiences of those who chase eclipses to reveal why a total solar eclipse is so powerful, and what motivates people to travel around the world to experience totality.

This book is about people who are passionate about the total eclipse of the Sun, one of the most amazing spectacles in nature. Experiencing a total eclipse is a life-changing event for many people, and is described by some as an unforgettable event to experience at least once in your life. However, there are many people who believe that once in a lifetime is not enough. These people – eclipse chasers – travel every 18 months or so to very specific locations around the world in order to experience a total solar eclipse. What motivates eclipse chasers to do this?

This book gives an insight into the world of the eclipse chaser by first describing the experience of totality, and then exploring their lives and motivations. Those who chase eclipses will find this book useful in helping them to understand their experiences. Those not lucky enough to have seen a total solar eclipse will obtain a glimpse into the intriguing world of the eclipse chaser, and perhaps by the end of it, will want to experience totality for themselves.

I was delighted to see that the book became an Amazon bestseller based upon pre-orders, and was No 1 bestselling book by Collins Bookstore in Cairns after the total eclipse in November. The book has been extremely well received by eclipse chasers, and also by those who have not yet seen a total eclipse.

See here for a detailed review by David Makepeace – the most diehard Canadian eclipse chaser.

The book is available in all good bookshops, and can be ordered via Amazon by clicking this affiliate link.

If you are in Australia, the book can be ordered online at Copyright Publishing.

You can also visit the publisher’s website and download excerpts at Springer.

When researching the book, I undertook a survey of eclipse chasers to describe what is currently known about the people who chase eclipses. I then detailed the accounts of nine eclipse chasers. By undertaking a phenomenological analysis of these interview accounts, I then was able to describe ‘the essence’ of the experience of a total solar eclipse – what it is like to experience totality.

Here are the nine eclipse chasers I interviewed for the book:

Sir Patrick Moore – British Amateur Astronomer and Author / Broadcaster. Sadly recently passed away at age 89, leaving an amazing legacy of having inspired millions.

Terry Moseley – Recently retired civil servant, and media officer for the Irish Astronomical Association. The go-to person for any question, and project mentor.

Dave Balch – American Speaker and author. Great storyteller and is passionate about eclipses and life generally.

Rick Brown – American commodities broker and eclipse tour operator. There is no problem that this man cannot solve.

Jay Anderson – Canadian meteorologist and eclipse chasing weather guru. The man every eclipse chaser consults with about the weather.

James McClean – World Citizen artist and photographer. Will move anywhere to get a bit of eclipse / aurora action.

David Makepeace – Canadian filmmaker and speaker. Makes eclipse documentaries that elicit goosebumps every time.

Sue Garlick – British drainage engineer. Loves travel and lives life to the full.

Chris Pigott – Scottish film and music connections. All about enjoying the groovy things in life.


If you have read the book, I would be grateful if you could post a review on Amazon or else get in touch and let me know what you thought.

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