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

James Nestor. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $27 (272p) ISBN 978-0-547-98552-7
This exploration of the “human connection to the ocean” begins with free diving, the technique of depth diving on single breaths of air. While free diving may have earned YouTube notoriety as a danger-laden sport with “fringe disciplines” and stunning depth records, Nestor is only briefly fascinated by the “ego-driven competition,” and focuses instead on free diving as the elemental mode for accessing the wonders of the ocean. A surfer with a lifelong connection to the ocean, Nestor interpolates his own training to “go deep” with encounters with scientists researching at the limits of ocean knowledge. He avoids the “quasi-religious terms” encountered in others’ experiences of deep dives, yet still offers an acute sense of wonder and respect for the ocean, from the disappearing diving traditions of ancient cultures to the diversity of life in earth’s deepest trenches. Nestor’s explorations of the “outer limits of amphibious abilities” and “latent and unconscious senses” that link humans to our aquatic evolutionary heritage make for a thrilling account, made timely by the rapidly changing state of earth’s most expansive environment. Agent: Danielle Svetcov. (July)
Reviewed on: 04/28/2014
Release date: 06/24/2014
Open Ebook - 304 pages - 978-0-547-98563-3
Paperback - 288 pages - 978-0-544-48407-8
MP3 CD - 978-1-5226-1405-0
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