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The Sea Insideby Philip Hoare
Synopses & Reviews
A yearlong adventure through the world’s oceans with Philip Hoare, the award-winning author of The Whale
In colorful prose and lively line drawings, Hoare sets out to rediscover the sea and its islands, birds, and beasts. Starting at his home on the shores of Britain’s Southampton Water and moving in ever widening circles — like the migration patterns of whales — Hoare explores London, the Isle of Wight, the Azores, Sri Lanka, Tasmania, and New Zealand.
As Hoare brilliantly weaves together literary and natural history, we encounter memorable people as well as the dolphins, whales, and other creatures above and below the water (even one species formerly believed to be extinct).
Echoing the fine tradition of W. G. Sebald, but in a voice all Hoare’s own, The Sea Inside is bursting with an endless series of delights and revelations from the ever-changing sea.
"Hoare (The Whale: In Search of the Giants of the Sea) takes readers on a leisurely and lyrical tour of the world's waters and their inhabitants. A regular visitor to the sea near his home in England, Hoare shares his love and fascination for nature of all kinds, from the Eurasian oystercatcher and seals to the vestigial structures humans possess that provide evidence of ancestry. Hoare's writing reads like a postcard or journal demarcating his travels. On the Isle of Wight, he discusses ravens and the life of pilgrims. He encounters sperm whales around the Azores, sharing how they hear sound and make vibrations, and blue whales in the Indian Ocean, contemplating how near they came to extinction due to hunting. A journey to Tasmania reminds Hoare of his ancestors who landed there and brings to mind the haunting tale of the Tasmanian tiger, possibly hunted to extinction decades ago but with rumored sightings in recent years. Hoare swims with dolphins, observes a porpoise autopsy, and visits the island of Kapiti, an avian reserve. Hoare's writing awakens the senses with visions, sounds, and smells of the ocean; his delight and interest in nature will encourage readers to look around with new eyes. Agent: Gillon Aitken, Aitken Alexander Associates. (Apr.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Mr. Hoare's gimlet eye sees the magical in the mundane...The Sea Inside embraces the dangers and mysteries of the natural world and in them finds transcendental awe." The Wall Street Journal
“This is not a book following the geography of the sea; nor is it a history of sailing. It is an attempt to establish and examine the oneness that the Maori have understood for years: There is no difference between life on land and life in the sea….A beautifully written memoir/travelogue with readable diversions into philosophy.” Kirkus Reviews
“Literary history and natural history entwine so seamlessly in Hoare’s narrative that the barrier between readers and the sea within all of us blurs and disappears.” Booklist, starred review
“The Sea Inside offers discoveries in every chapter — Hoare, in addition to being an inherently interesting writer, has a talent for uncovering fascinating historical narratives. This author is a virtuosic storyteller, and The Sea Inside is a welcome opportunity to accompany him on his wanderings — be they geographical, philosophical, or narrative.” Daily Beast
“A crammed treasure chest.” The London Review of Books
“Here is the distilled essence of Hoare’s work: one part poetry, one part record, and one part a plea for us to pay attention to these oceans, our oceans — and ourselves.” Electric Literature
“A magnificent book.” Financial Times
About the Author
Philip Hoare lives and works in Southampton, England. He is the author of The Whale: In Search of the Giants of the Sea, winner of the BBC Samuel Johnson Prize for Nonfiction, as well as biographies of Noel Coward, Stephen Tennant, and a study of Oscar Wilde. He is Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Southampton; artist in residence at the Marine Institute, Plymouth University; and cocurator of the Moby-Dick Big Read. Follow him on Twitter at @philipwhale.
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