Perhaps the chatty Popular Science style (and content) of this book makes it seem more superficial than it is. In any event, Soule's account of the exploits of the D/RVs (deep research vehicles) and his conversations with the scientists and technicians who man them sadly misses. ""I wish I could convey to you,"" the driver of Deepstar 4000 tells Soule, ""the anticipation and curiosity we feel on every dive as we approach the bottom."" But he can't, except in a mundane fashion since these aquanauts--much like the astronauts--are not very articulate. Their contribution is to the science of oceanography and its applied technology. Soule does recount the recovery of the lost H-bomb, discovery of an undersea desert, an attack by squids, the deepest dive (and plans for the longest, in time and miles). He tries to render this data through the impressions of the participants. But thin characterization and skimming of subject matter is a persistent fault in Soule's popularizations. His aim here is to tell what deep-divers see at the base of the farthest frontier. But he fails to make it interesting.