This is almost a good book. It is the product of conscientious research, rife with detail and anecdotes, and marked by an enthusiastic desire to explain who is doing what in the field of oceanography. But. . . will the author ever shut up? No. He ambles from lab to lab, (principally Scripps, Woods Hole, and Lamont), tells us how he's feeling, what the weather's like, and how inadequate he is. The need to communicate information to the general public is not served by asides like. . . ""I was ready for another losing battle of wits with science."" Had these remarks, coy phrases, and most of the humor (jokes which are screamingly funny during an interview almost always are disastrous in print) been sharply excised, the result would have been a creditable if somewhat diffuse performance. The diffusion comes from the author's organization of material by lab rather than by subject, so we get all the fine fellows at Scripps presented in sequence, each with his own specialty, whether it be zooplankton or deep ocean tides or continental drift. Still if you are willing to hold your tongue and sift through the material Behrman does a commendable job of presenting the problems, going so far as to explain not only the theories but often the complex and improbable gear invented to perform the experiments.