Seven-Tenths: The Sea and its Thresholds and over 2 million other books are available for Amazon Kindle . Learn more

Sign in to turn on 1-Click ordering.
Trade in Yours
For a £0.10 Gift Card
Trade in
More Buying Choices
Have one to sell? Sell yours here
Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Image not available

Start reading Seven-Tenths: The Sea and its Thresholds on your Kindle in under a minute.

Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here, or download a FREE Kindle Reading App.

Seven-Tenths: The Sea and its Thresholds [Paperback]

James Hamilton-Paterson
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
Price: £9.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
Only 2 left in stock (more on the way).
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
Want it tomorrow, 20 Sep.? Choose Express delivery at checkout. Details


Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition £5.99  
Hardcover --  
Paperback £9.99  
Trade In this Item for up to £0.10
Trade in Seven-Tenths: The Sea and its Thresholds for an Amazon Gift Card of up to £0.10, which you can then spend on millions of items across the site. Trade-in values may vary (terms apply). Learn more

Book Description

1 Mar 2007
Seven-Tenths is James Hamilton-Paterson's classic exploration of the sea. A beautifully-written blend of literature and science, it is here brought back into print in a revised and updated edition which includes the acclaimed essay Sea Burial.

Frequently Bought Together

Seven-Tenths: The Sea and its Thresholds + Rancid Pansies
Price For Both: £16.38

Buy the selected items together
  • Rancid Pansies £6.39

Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber (1 Mar 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571229387
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571229383
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 261,264 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

Product Description


"'Informative, arcane, sometimes poetic, and always articulate.' William Golding"

About the Author

James Hamilton-Paterson is the author of the bestselling Empire of the Clouds, which was hailed as a classic account of the golden age of British aviation. He won a Whitbread Prize for his first novel, Gerontius, and among his many other celebrated books are Seven-Tenths, one of the finest books written in recent times about the oceans, the satirical trilogy that began with Cooking with Fernet Branca, and the autobiographical Playing With Water. Born and educated in England, he has lived in the Philippines and Italy and now makes his home in Austria.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
Search inside this book:

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

3 star
2 star
1 star
4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars simply incredible writing 17 Jun 2007
Seven-tenths is a bookshop's nightmare of a book. Where to place a book which describes maps, islands, love, loss, death and passion - in poet's language?

Taking our complex relationship with the sea as the starting point, this book is a philosophical meditation on the sea as physical birthplace of our race and the emotional abyss of our dreams. Moving between aspects of science, cartography, biography, poetry and philosophy, this book is, unsurprisingly, difficult to define or describe. It is simply outstanding. The language is hauntingly beautiful, even when describing exactly what happens to a human body during and after a burial at sea, as it sinks through miles of water.

James Hamilton-Paterson has an unflinching gaze coupled with a poet's exactitude. If my house were burning and I could save only one book from the multitudes, this would be it.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wide-ranging, elegant, fact-filled, poetic... 2 Dec 2010
The book: the Earth is 70 % water, and so are our bodies. With an insatiable appetite for facts and a real love of his subject, Hamilton-Patterson gives us his book of the sea, and the human/sea interface - where the problems are, the myths, the lack of knowledge; remote and personal islands, Pearl Harbour's wrecks, seamount surveys, the need for pre-atomic metal, the cucumber solution, the feeling of free-diving at night... which bits of drowned people get eaten first, epibenthic sledging, calenture... a treasury of information, coupled to a thoughtful review of the state of the Oceans, leading inexorably to a bitter conclusion - but with H-P's joy and wonder at the seas' beauty intact.

My opinion: full of detailed observations or snippets, and still forming a coherent whole; like swimming among reefs, where "details must be noted but never seen in isolation". At times bitter and cynical, but always elegant, provoking and fascinating. "Objets trouvés should be marvelled at, then allowed to become perdus at once. Only thus can the transient pleasure of crossed trajectories be sustained in the memory." "The mode of travel determines the place reached." "what one finds never finds the cavity which the search hollows out." Don't think it is all philosophical, it ranges from the earthy to the exciting, from the bitter to the melancholy, and often poetic.
A beautiful book.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
4.0 out of 5 stars wonderfull book.. 11 Jan 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
this is a fantastic book, beautifully written and still very relevant. the author has a terrific style its a modern classic.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 23 Aug 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I have the feeling the author of "Life of Pi" read this book somewhere along the way 16 Mar 2013
By Pretzelcuatl - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Seven Tenths deserves to be a lot more well known. It's a series of interconnected essays about the sea, and exhaustively covers subjects like undersea geo-mapping, modern oceanic piracy, overfishing, and nomadism. But it's the author's amazing voice that makes it all most worthwhile, filled with beauty and aching need to understand something that will outlast us all, and never be fully understood.
Was this review helpful?   Let us know
Search Customer Reviews
Only search this product's reviews

Customer Discussions

This product's forum
Discussion Replies Latest Post
No discussions yet

Ask questions, Share opinions, Gain insight
Start a new discussion
First post:
Prompts for sign-in

Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions

Look for similar items by category