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Great Deep: The Sea and Its Thresholds

Hamilton-Paterson, James

104 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0679405968 / ISBN 13: 9780679405962
Published by Random House, New York, 1992
Condition: Very good Hardcover
From Ground Zero Books, Ltd. (Silver Spring, MD, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

300 pages. Illus., index. Name of previous owner present. Sticker residue on rear DJ, some pencil additions to the index. James Hamilton-Paterson is a wandering explorer of all things watery who is equally at home accompanying a scientific survey voyage or snorkeling alone on a remote coral reef. Now he shares with readers his immense knowledge of the sea as well as his diverse adventures, provocative musings, and intriguing speculations. Hamilton-Paterson begins his examination of the ocean through the eyes of a panicky, drowning swimmer, far from shore. Via this unique, possibly gruesome vehicle, he discusses charts and naming; islands and boundaries; reefs and seeing; wrecks and death; deeps and the dark; fishing and loss; pirates and nomads. This is the work of a knowledgeable man of the sea. Bookseller Inventory # 44687

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Great Deep: The Sea and Its Thresholds

Publisher: Random House, New York

Publication Date: 1992

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition: Very good

Dust Jacket Condition: very good

Edition: Presumed First Edition/First Printing.

About this title


A voyage through the mind of a writer with a passion for the sea dives into lyrical explanations of a watery world with sections on charts, islands, reefs, wrecks, fishing, and pirates

From Kirkus Reviews:

Hamilton-Paterson--Englishman, novelist (Gerontius, 1991, etc.), poet, journalist, traveler--has written an impressive book reflecting all these attributes. For starters, he creates a spine-tingling scare in the form of a lone swimmer, tethered to his boat, peering at the tropical depths. The tether becomes untied; the swimmer looks up to find his vessel gone and himself alone in a featureless seascape. We meet the swimmer throughout the text, in wonderful, self-reflecting passages of hope and despair. In between are rich chapters covering an idiosyncratic collection of sea lore, anthropology, coral-reef ecology, war stories, commercial fishing, and, as an abiding theme, sad commentary on man's exploitation of man and nature. Hamilton- Paterson is particularly eloquent in describing the Philippine archipelago (he lives in a fishing village on one of the islands, when not in Tuscany), lamenting the transformation there of a tiny, arid island into a Japanese businessman's haven for golf, sun, and sex. In a chapter on piracy, the author describes the casual violence that pits one native group of sea ``nomads'' against another, abetted by the easy acquisition of guns. But there is nothing new under the sun, he reminds us, telling of Caribbean pirates of centuries ago, or of the plundering of survivors by rescuers then and now. Similarly, he notes, the despoiling of nature and the decimation of species are nothing new--except that the stakes are higher. Hamilton-Paterson comments ironically on the rules governing the size of fish that can be sold, culled from drift nets and other megatraps. The small fry and porpoises and other protected species are already dead or will die, he says, when returned to the deep. Some light moments on mythical islands, some straightforward history, and some high-tech mapping of the sea floor are also included in this very personal and well-informed collection--and, yes, we do find out what happened to that swimmer stranded at sea. -- Copyright ©1992, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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