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

Book - 2014
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New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice * An Amazon Best Science Book of 2014 * Scientific American Recommended Read

"Fascinating, informative, exhilarating." -- Wall Street Journal

Deep is a voyage from the ocean's surface to its darkest trenches, the most mysterious places on Earth. Fascinated by the sport of freediving--in which competitors descend great depths on a single breath--James Nestor embeds with a gang of oceangoing extreme athletes and renegade researchers. He finds whales that communicate with other whales hundreds of miles away, sharks that swim in unerringly straight lines through pitch-black waters, and other strange phenomena. Most illuminating of all, he learns that these abilities are reflected in our own remarkable, and often hidden, potential--including echolocation, directional sense, and the profound bodily changes humans undergo when underwater. Along the way, Nestor unlocks his own freediving skills as he communes with the pioneers who are expanding our definition of what is possible in the natural world, and in ourselves.

"A journey well worth taking." --David Epstein, New York Times Book Review

"Nestor pulls us below the surface into a world far beyond imagining and opens our eyes to these unseen places." -- Dallas Morning News

"This is popular science writing at its best." -- Christian Science Monitor
Publisher: New York, New York : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014.
ISBN: 9780544484078
Branch Call Number: 797.23 NESTOR J
Characteristics: 266 pages, 8 pages of color plates ; 24 cm


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TSCPL_ScarlettFH May 04, 2016

The best nonfiction book I read in 2014, Deep will inspire you to think about the ocean's vast, mysterious depths in a whole new way. An excellent read.

Apr 04, 2016

Great book and a fun read. I am not interested in going free-diving myself but the author's information on other topics (whales, sharks, deep sea vents, origins of life) was terrific.

Jul 07, 2015

Easy and fascinating read, if I had made the time I could've read it straight through. One of the most interesting subjects and easily in my top 5 books.

Jun 25, 2015

Absolutely enthralling!

Mar 30, 2015

I found this book really fascinating and would recommend it to anyone with an interest in free-diving and/or the ocean in general. It kept my attention the entire time.

Feb 17, 2015

I often don't finish books, but this held my attention throughout.
Very good read

lescarmure009 Feb 09, 2015

I'm a trained Freediver & took an immediate interest in Nestor's little "journey", as details in publisher's blurb reminded me of my own adventures, getting trained to the Intermediate level. Yes folks, there are schools out there, teaching responsible diving--complete with well-conceived Syllabii! But, I also see some parts of this book distorting Freediving, presumably for the sake of drama & to garner "cred" with casual readers who're non-divers & total outsiders.

Freedivers: I suggest you not try to read this book with out a calculator @ hand--since Nestor militantly used Imperial units (chiefly of depths, but also some temps.) throughout. For non-Freedivers: I suggest you read James Nestor's tome with a saltshaker @ your elbow, since some of what you will encounter needs to be taken "with a pinch of salt". ;-)

Some sections of Nestor's work puts me in mind of Director Bob Talbot's film: "Ocean Men: Extreme Dive". Sure they're dramatic, but for a general audience--which includes folks decidedly phobic around the Sea, in the 1st. place--the attempts @ dramatic tension just reinforce the presumption that diving is mortally dangerous & patently crazy...An impression fostered more by primal fear, than by statistical truth.

Jan 21, 2015

Fascinating. In spite of how much us humans have learned, there is much more left to be understood. Also a reminder that some things we "know" about our limitations or environment are actually unexamined assumptions.


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