Tom Blass The Naked Shore: Of the North Sea

ISBN 13: 9781408815496

The Naked Shore: Of the North Sea

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9781408815496: The Naked Shore: Of the North Sea

Like the Celtic and Nordic gods of the countries surrounding it, the North Sea has battered and bewildered, produced and provided, damaged and destroyed in equal measure. Its inclement weather and perilous tides have made it a playground and a proving ground, a nursery and a grave, an object of veneration and a mighty adversary. A sea like no other, it has shaped our modern world and yet remained the same ancient beast known to the earliest inhabitants of its shores.

In North Sea, journalist Tom Blass trawls the bottom and skims the waves of the North Sea, searching for all that glistens, enraptures, enrages, and appalls. He sets out to meet the men and women who have devoted their lives to uncovering its secrets, from marine biologists studying the North Sea's submerged landscapes to the world's leading expert on Doggerland.

Traveling by tram, ferry, and twelve-seater aircraft around the eclectic borderlands, Blass interviews local fishermen, ornithologists, and bomb-disposal experts, capturing the wild, war-torn history of the North Sea, as well as the ways in which humanity has ecologically transformed it through overfishing and the race for energy.

North Sea scatters light into the sea's cold and murky depths, exploring its wonders and its relationship with humanity--from drug gangs to the Schleswig Holstein question to the sea's new role as a headline-grabbing environmental battleground.

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About the Author:

Tom Blass is a journalist who has traveled widely in search of stories. Tom studied social anthropology and, more recently, political geography at university and is the director of a small consultancy which advises on international boundaries and borders.
www.tomblass.com

Review:

Tom Blass's The Naked Shore is a wonderfully bracing journey around the North Sea. His gaze misses nothing, and his robust prose glitters with story and lore and surprise -- Philip Marsden, author of 'Rising Ground' Tom Blass ... Has undertaken in this remarkable book to portray it in the round, winds and all, and thus makes a reassuring whole of it ... I was relieved to find that his work is not of the trendy Thoreau-esque school of travel writing, but more down to earth ... The sunless subject of the narrative, which threatens to be monotonous, turns out of be almost kaleidoscopically varied ... Blass opens the performance with a virtuoso summary of its history ... Terrifically enjoyable -- Jan Morris * Literary Review * The more I read the more I loved it, precisely because the subject is so slippery between the fingers. Because this is not the rocky definable obvious romanticism of the Atlantic shore, is it, but something much subtler and shiftier and siltier than that: islands which are the remains of half eroded polders, Europe's edgelands, where definitions are scarcely available and lives are half forgotten, a world of marginalia filled with half identities and half histories, leftover stories and arbitrary distinctions . What is lovely about this book is the patience and confidence with which he slowly unfolds his chosen, cold, muddy, delicate world, the shards and twigs and lumps of peat, the social distinctions that do or don't matter, the lives of the herring and the fishermen who long for them, the encountered realities, all conveyed wittily, modestly, lightly, melancholically, full of brilliant findings and unforgettable rediscovered octopussies. The whole book I felt at the end is like a beach which he has strolled along with such a generous eye picking up all the disregarded things that took his fancy. So bravo! Such a good way of conveying the nature of the thing he has explored through the manner of writing about it. Nothing imposed; everything seen for what it is. Above all, you end up really liking him -- Adam Nicolson Rich, illuminating and enjoyable ... Blass's attentiveness and curiosity are such that you are seldom a few pages from encountering an invigorating detail ... An arresting fact ... Or fantastical coast dwellers and obscure communities. There is much to savour ... An invigorating and atmospheric account of a world that is central to our identity, and it is to Blass's credit that he keeps its own true nature hovering somewhere only just out of view * Observer * Blass writes sentences that soar ... He has done enough poking and nuzzling around its waters to make a good effort at giving this dour, dramatic sea is vast, multilingual, beguiling due * Guardian * Who would have thought that a book about a treacherous expanse of freezing, grey-green water, feared by mariners through the centuries, could turn out to be such a delight? ... A large and colourful cast of characters marches through the book * Daily Mail * In a wonderfully English way ... Tom Blass zigzags from the Thames Estuary via the British and continental coasts the Shetland, journeying to the desolate edges ... He champions a subtlety of vision, a determination to discern the marvellous in the unprepossessing ... Blass traces telling historical patterns ... Blass's descriptions of them are a great pleasure in what becomes a fine travel book ... If neither he nor the reader falls for the subject of The Naked Shore, its details reveal a sea bordered here and there by worlds brightly unexpected and transporting -- Horatio Clare * Daily Telegraph * Captivating ... Rich, evocative prose ... The Naked Shore vividly describes some of the wildest, windswept corners of the North Sea and its remote coastal communities ... Part travelogue, part history book and part antshropological study, Blass's intensely rewarding memoir succeeds in scattering some light into the North Sea's cold and murky depths, revealing both its wonders and its indivisible relationship with humanity * Independent * Tom Blass' riveting new book, The Naked Shore, is so extremely good that we hope it will bring a warmth and richness to your early spring reading. That said, you'll probably want to dive into this fabulous account somewhere indoors rather than settling down on a blustery beach -- Non-fiction Book of the Month * Guardian * A hugely enjoyable anti-tour, and a wonderful eulogy to an implacable ocean -- Joanna Kavenna * Times Literary Supplement * `This book records the ambiguous charm of estuaries, discovers the link between herring and sterling, tells strange tales of the Half-Islands and transforms the chilly Northern waters into a realm of mystery and intrigue' * Daily Mail *

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Book Description Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, United Kingdom, 2016. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Saturnine and quick-tempered, the formidable North Sea is often overlooked - even by those living within a stone s throw of its steel-grey waters. But as playground, theatre of war and cultural crossing-point, it has shaped the world in myriad ways, forged villains and heroes, and determined the fates of nations. It s not all grim, though: the seaside holiday was born on North Sea beaches, and artists, poets and writers have been as equally inspired by glinting sun on the wave-tops as they have the drama of a winter storm. With a wry eye and a warm coat, Tom Blass travels the edges of the North Sea meeting fishermen, artists, bomb disposal experts, burgermeisters - and those who have found themselves flung to the sea s perimeters quite by chance. In doing so he attempts to piece together its manifold histories and to reveal truths, half-truths and fictions otherwise submerged. Bookseller Inventory # AAU9781408815496

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Book Description Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, United Kingdom, 2016. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Saturnine and quick-tempered, the formidable North Sea is often overlooked - even by those living within a stone s throw of its steel-grey waters. But as playground, theatre of war and cultural crossing-point, it has shaped the world in myriad ways, forged villains and heroes, and determined the fates of nations. It s not all grim, though: the seaside holiday was born on North Sea beaches, and artists, poets and writers have been as equally inspired by glinting sun on the wave-tops as they have the drama of a winter storm. With a wry eye and a warm coat, Tom Blass travels the edges of the North Sea meeting fishermen, artists, bomb disposal experts, burgermeisters - and those who have found themselves flung to the sea s perimeters quite by chance. In doing so he attempts to piece together its manifold histories and to reveal truths, half-truths and fictions otherwise submerged. Bookseller Inventory # AAU9781408815496

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