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Neutral Buoyancy: Adventures in a Liquid World Paperback – 30 May 2002


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Neutral Buoyancy: Adventures in a Liquid World + Diver Down: Real-World SCUBA Accidents and How to Avoid Them + The Complete Diver: The History, Science and Practice of Scuba Diving
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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin; New Ed edition (30 May 2002)
  • Language: Unknown
  • ISBN-10: 0140287302
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140287301
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.3 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 101,068 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

Amazon Review

In Neutral Buoyancy, BBC journalist Tim Ecott recounts his ongoing adventures in the "liquid world" of scuba diving--from battling rip-tides off the Dorset coast to exploring the shark-rich waters of the Caribbean--musing along the way on the history and meaning of man's fascination with diving, and reflecting on how his underwater experience has reshaped his life.

Four days after my mother's funeral I went scuba diving for the first time ... Surfacing from a dive ... I often think it strange that this mind-cleansing, emotionally charged experience is one that my mother never knew I had. It is something akin to the sense of regret I feel that she never met my daughter, born a few years after her passing. How odd that something so wonderful was not part of our shared experience.

The launch hype surrounding this book pushed it as scuba diving's answer to Nick Hornby's bestselling homage to football fandom, Fever Pitch, but even allowing for a hearty dose of wishful thinking on the publisher's part, there are two key similarities. Ecott, like Hornby, succeeds in explaining his passion in a way that speaks directly to the wannabe or even to the merely curious--lightly humorous; strong on characters; cross-references to popular culture (James Bond puts in an appearance); natural history in the TV prime-time style, rooted in personal experience. And just as Hornby's football fandom carries him back to the same sense of wonder and certainty of purpose that intoxicated him as a young boy, so Ecott portrays a link between diving and dissolving the anxieties and fearfulness of adulthood.

Be warned: if you are already a diver, Neutral Buoyancy will heighten the sense that you are wasting far too much precious time on dry land. For the rest, even if the last time you ventured underwater was in the bath, this inspirational book will have you contemplating a trip to your local swimming pool at the very least. --Alex Hankin --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"* 'The Fever Pitch of scuba diving... a modern classic, vivid, lyrical and quite brilliantly written' Tony Parsons * 'A wonderfully engaging book... kept me gripped from beginning to end' Fergal Keane" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A. J. Rabet on 10 Aug 2007
Format: Paperback
I lent this book to a diving friend of mine whilst doing a TDI course and he kept it for 4 years until it arrived at my house yesterday. His comments were that he had forgotten he had it but what a great read it was. I think all people who dive and who have read this echo his sentiments as Ecott manages to encapsulate what it feels like to be underwater and especially those moments when you feel weightless and the diving becomes as natural as being on dry land.

Also enjoyable are Ecott's thoughts on other diving such as Apnea and his introductions to the history of diving.

All those who dive should read this as well as those who want to plus I would recommend it to any partners who cannot understand their love of this great pastime.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Phil, Cheshire on 4 Mar 2005
Format: Paperback
At last a book about diving that doesn't harp on about how dangerously deep and narked you can get if you're man enough (and so on ad nauseum). Tim's accounts of enjoying the sensation of breathing underwater and its de-stressing effects are a breath of fresh compressed air. The history and technical detail that goes with it is just fascinating, and nicely written. A must for anyone who fancies a challenge - just try putting it down.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By ND1234 on 26 May 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm just getting interested in scuba after a trial dive on holiday, and a friend who has the diving bug badly lent me this book.

To be honest I wasn't sure what to make of it at the outset. I wasn't sure I especially needed to know about how people dived before scuba, or even why they bothered. Surely scuba with all its possibilities must be the only thing worth reading about nowadays? But I trusted my friend's judgement (we read lots of other similar books) and so I pushed on past my initial misgiving.

What a result! This is such a fascinating, beautifully-written book.

Tim Ecott has written about the technology (no it is NOT boring!), the real-life heroes, and the needs and wants of divers and diving through centuries of human endeavours; he also met some of the modern icons and has such an admiration for them that the interviewees gave plenty of time to him.

In any book there are high points. One I didn't expect was Umberto Pellizzari. Why should I be interested in free diving? Some people who just hold their breath and dive - why don't they use cylinders etc.? But Tim Ecott captures the passion and excitement of these athletes so wonderfully that I savoured every word.

He also spends alternate chapters covering his own diving experiences. He doesn't hold back, his passion for the sport is infectious and his emotions so near the surface [sic] that it is quite moving.

Anyone with even a mild interest in diving, be it free diving, snorkelling, scuba or whatever, should read this. The imagery of the author's own dives and his fascinating research into others is brilliantly conveyed. And to be honest I would recommend it to almost anyone else too. It's a fine read.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Mr. I. Savage on 5 Feb 2007
Format: Paperback
I was recommended this book by a friend who, like me, has been a passionate diver for many years. I read this book in one go last year whilst on holiday diving and I wish I had stumbled across it earlier. It is an excellent summary of diving history in general but more specifically why people like me are passionate about diving. Tim avoids the usual macho aspects of diving literature and gives us a really good insight to how and why diving has progressed and become such a popular sport. I am involved in developing new ideas and products for diving and found the history of the development of diving technology fascinating and useful. Perhaps most importantly for students learning to dive, Tim has managed to provide a no nonsense guide to what diving does to the body and his descriptions are worth ten textbooks. This book really is required reading for divers
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 22 Oct 2004
Format: Paperback
I am hugely impressed by this book. It is well written and the author very cleverly weaves historical accounts of attempts to explore the depths with lively narrative. He gives names in history books life and character. His own wide experience of diving lends credibility and continuity to the flow of the book. I believe this book is a great read for divers and land-lubbers alike. It may even give a mystified non-diving partner or family member an insight into the 'buzz' of scuba diving.
Very enjoyable and readable book. Well done Mr. Ecott.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 2 Jun 2003
Format: Paperback
This is an excellant book for anybody with even a passing interest in divbing and being in the water. There are not that many books that can take a subject as complex as dive table theory and development and make it as easily accessible, but Ecott has managed to achive this in netutral bounyancy making the reasearch of JS Haldene gripping stuff indeed !
After reading the book some time back, I'm re-reading my copy to help with revision for my Divemaster exams. As an enjoyable read as the firtst time round, I highly recommend this book.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By sccmillhouse on 28 Jan 2002
Format: Hardcover
Once I'd read the account of a sub-aqua dance with a manta ray off Desroches Island in a Qantas in flight magazine in October I was hooked. Although I initially hoped the rest of the book would tell of other beautifully written underwater adventures, it soon became apparent that this book was much more than just a series of dive memoirs that can be heard on every dive boat, everyday, everywhere. Tim Ecott not only informs divers and non-divers alike but also gives the reader an insight as to why people dive. Divers can relate to his personal experiences and I can imagine non-divers will finish this book and start leafing through the travel brochures dreaming of joining the underwater world. Brilliant!
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