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Neutral Buoyancy: Adventures in a Liquid World [Paperback]

Tim Ecott
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
RRP: 9.99
Price: 7.49 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

30 May 2002
A brilliant mix of vivid reportage, history and science. Historical diving bells, greek sponge divers, world war two frogmen and record-setting breath hold divers compete for space with misunderstood sharks, weeping turtles, smiling dolphins and erotically shaped sea slugs. From Ireland to Florida, Papua New Guinea to Vienna and the Bahamas to Seychelles, Neutral Buoyancy is travel writing of the most fascinating, readable kind; providing a window - or a view from a glass bottomed boat - on a rich, unfamiliar and unique destination. Travel writing of this quality makes Neutral Buoyancy a must for all armchair travellers, not just divers.

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Neutral Buoyancy: Adventures in a Liquid World + Diver Down: Real-World SCUBA Accidents and How to Avoid Them + Amazing Diving Stories: Incredible Tales from Deep Beneath the Sea
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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: 2.4 x 12.9 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 143,311 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.


"* '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.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Diving Book 10 Aug 2007
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
5.0 out of 5 stars At last! 4 Mar 2005
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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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating, captivating book 26 May 2006
By ND1234
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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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Required reading for divers.. 5 Feb 2007
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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb read on Man's exploration of the Sea 22 Oct 2004
By A Customer
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a great read if your interested in diving 2 Jun 2003
By A Customer
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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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Go on, Dive In 28 Jan 2002
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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book for anyone interested in anything sub aqua
I've read this book twice. I enjoy everything nautical, and have about 200 UK dives, plus Med, Red Sea, Caribbean and Pacific diving - this book was easy to read (very engaging)... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Ed B
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Diving/Travel Book
Great diving/travel book. Particularly loved his description of the diving in the Bismarck Sea it was absolutely spell binding. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Nico
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book
Educational, funny in places. Most importantly the whole book conveys the author's love of diving. A great read for divers and non divers alike
Published 3 months ago by Michael Loane
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read
A very good book. . There is a lot of useful information for all level of divers. I wouldn't mind reading this again some time
Published 10 months ago by sv_lon
4.0 out of 5 stars some ones love of diving, could be us all
an introduction to history, development of aqua lung and travel destinations for sports divers not too long. I wished when finishing that he had written more. Read more
Published 14 months ago by ct
5.0 out of 5 stars read this!
I go back to this time and again, it refreshes and revives esp when I cant go diving - enjoy
Published 18 months ago by Julia House
3.0 out of 5 stars Curate's Egg of a book on diving
The overview I read suggested this was a book of personal experiences of diving.

In fact it's a rather uneasy mix of personal experiences and diving history. Read more
Published 20 months ago by M. Saxby
4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent book!
I loved this book - a mix of travel, history and natural history. I'd recommend it to anyone who enjoys diving or is interested in the marine world.
Published 24 months ago by Sarah
5.0 out of 5 stars Not the usual sort of diving adventure book.
I read this book from cover to cover during one very long aircraft flight. It is a different take on the world of scuba diving and I enjoyed it very much. Read more
Published on 17 Aug 2012 by Frufrub
1.0 out of 5 stars Boring, don't bother!!!
I'm a Divemaster and was looking forward to reading this book, but after the first few pages regretted buying it. It's that boring I didn't bother reading much further. Read more
Published on 12 April 2012 by Bodfest
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