NEUTRAL BUOYANCY: Adventures in a Liquid World

Tim Ecott, Author . Grove/Atlantic $26 (345p) ISBN 978-0-87113-794-4

Plunging off the shores of Florida, Australia, the Western Pacific islands and other coastal locales, BBC world service reporter and producer—and certified dive-master—Ecott provides a fascinating, albeit uncritical, look at the fast-growing world of undersea diving. Vivid descriptions of what's to be seen show skeptics what they're missing: coral as green as a "fine piece of carved jade," as scarlet as a "humming-bird feather" and as pink as the "petals of a carnation in a buttonhole." Along the way, he recounts the history of the sport, which has grown from a risky enterprise practiced by a brave few to a far more mainstream, increasingly high-tech recreational endeavor. In interviews, the sport's pioneers (crusty individualists, not surprisingly) express some resentment toward Jacques Cousteau; they believe he stole glory due others. Though Ecott at times suggests discomfort with the diving world's competitive ethos, he seems reluctant to criticize it outright or to question the sport's cult of extreme risk-taking. And while mindful of the sport's dangers (in one particularly terrifying incident, Ecott nearly dies in the English Channel), he emphasizes its spiritual appeal: the title refers to a state of equilibrium that scuba divers aspire to—a feeling of weightlessness. Agent, Natasha Fairweather of A.P. Watt. (July)

Forecast:Ecott's journalistic acumen—his pieces have appeared in Esquire, the Economist, National Geographic and elsewhere—makes this an above-average look into a microculture. Lifestyle magazine coverage, plus word-of-mouth recommendations or summer-oriented displays, will lead fans and curious readers alike to this title.

Reviewed on: 05/14/2001
Release date: 07/01/2001
Show other formats
FORMATS
Paperback - 345 pages - 978-0-14-028730-1
Paperback - 368 pages - 978-0-8021-3907-8
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.