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Underwater to Get Out of the Rain : An Odyssey in Search of Shores
On a hot summer's day there could be no quicker transport to the seaside than Trevor Norton's cool and entrancing account of a lifetime's adventures under or near the water. Norton's eye for the bizarre, amazing, and beautiful inhabitants of the oceans, and the eccentric characters who work, study, and live by the shore make his book a wonder-filled experience. An intrepid diver and distinguished scientist, Norton's writing is self-deprecating, very funny, and full of wry and intriguing anecdotes; he is an unfailingly delightful companion. Whether his setting is a bed of jewel anemones in an Irish lough, a giant California cavern shared with sea lions, a mildewed research station, or the glittering coral gardens of Sharm el Sheikh, his captivating prose always finds the mark. Sometimes following the shoreline with earlier beachcombers such as Darwin, John Steinbeck, and George Orwell, Norton also takes the reader to depths where the shapes of creatures living without sunlight defy imagination. Admirers of the gorgeous detail of Rachel Carson's The Sea Around Us will revel in Norton's writing, his observations, and irreverent wit.
This delightfully wry account of a lifetime enchanted by the sea should enshrine marine biologist Norton in the pantheon of sea-struck pioneers he brilliantly profiled in his earlier Stars Beneath the Sea. Norton details a love affair that began in his hometown of Whitley Bay, a fading English resort town, where he one day dove into the water and discovered a "fresh and alive sea" that was "everything that the land wasn't." Though he'd been a less-than-average student, his newfound love propelled him to undergraduate and graduate work and then to a life full of oceanographic adventures from the Canary Islands to Sweden and Yemen. Whether discussing the sea lions of Southern California or the coral gardens of Sharm el Sheikh, Norton writes in a charming, tongue-in-cheek style. He is equally adept at elucidating the politics behind the pollution he finds in places such as the Philippines--where fishermen have been allowed to dynamite and poison coral reefs--as he is at illuminating the beauty of what others might consider odd, such as the "magical properties" of slime as used by the limpets off the Isle of Man. (June 1)
Copyright (c) Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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Da Capo Press
June 29, 2007
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