DEEP by James Nestor

DEEP

Freediving, Renegade Science, and What the Ocean Tells Us About Ourselves

KIRKUS REVIEW

Nestor (Get High Now (without drugs), 2009, etc.) takes readers around the world as he explores the ocean’s mysterious and revealing depths—and what the deep might reveal about mankind’s origin and future.

We’ve all seen documentary footage of strange deep-sea creatures, trundling along a hazy ocean floor, maybe even glowing in the dark. But how much do we really know about these ecosystems, and how much have we forgotten about our own profound connection to the ocean? With verve and humor, the author describes his own risk-taking attempts to understand the ocean's ancient secrets and future potential and the daring and brilliant people who have dedicated their lives to probing deeper. Take free diving, for example: Historical accounts suggest that humans have been diving hundreds of feet deep for centuries, with no equipment and holding just one breath of air. Our bodies are capable of withstanding the crushing pressure in deep water, and we have a built-in instinct called the “master switch of life” that activates to give human bodies amphibious skills. Nestor goes into great detail about his own free-dive training, and his writing is sharp, colorful and thrilling. Equally magnetic is the account of his adventure in a deep-sea submarine, a cramped contraption that dove to 2,600 feet below the surface, where light can’t penetrate the water but a variety of organisms thrive. Perhaps the most memorable chapter covers the author’s experience diving with sperm whales, whose enigmatic vocalizations may be the most complex language we can imagine. Throughout, scientific mini-lessons and lively character profiles give context to the author's anecdotes, bringing the ocean to life from a research perspective as well as a human one.

An adventurous and frequently dazzling look at our planet's most massive habitat.

Pub Date: June 24th, 2014
ISBN: 978-0-547-98552-7
Page count: 304pp
Publisher: Eamon Dolan/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 2014




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