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This is another book from parent publishers White Star Publishing of Italy. 27 dive-sites are covered which include 3 from Israel, 16 from Egypt, 5 From Sudan and 3 from Eritrea. Each section commences with an introduction and each specific dive site contains maps, an artistic impression of the entire site and a written description. Whilst the book is well supported with good photographs throughout, the artwork is not up to any acceptable standard with some of the pictures looking as though they might have been drawn by schoolchildren. Most are far from accurate, the maps even more so.

The very first page shows the "Contents" on the left-hand side revealing those 27 numbered dive sites. Opposite this is a full page map showing the approximate location of those sites. The book does not, however, contain any of the vital information so essential to the modern, discerning, travelling diver. There is no information about; travel agencies, airlines, airport tax, Tourist Board details, hotels, safari boats, available equipment, what to bring, what to wear, electricity, currency, language, time differences, photography, local traders - and if I missed anything, yet again, we have a book which missed everything.

Difficulties with the English Language are found from the very beginning. This Publisher's own brand of "Italian-English" actually makes you want to throw the book away. In addition, the Authors cannot make up their mind whether to use the spelling is Gobal or Gubal so they use both. Similarly, the correct spelling of the Egyptian shipwreck "Ghiannis D" is Giannis D and the Sudanese "Blue Bell" is actually the Blue Belt. It is high time this Publisher - with so many titles on the market, found someone to translate their works to "English-English" - or is it simply lack of research?

Sadly, one of the very few interesting things about this book is comparing how they have changed their depiction of the Thistlegorm over four books. This particular version shows an artist's impression of a ship that bears no resemblance to the Thistlegorm whatsoever and even includes Battle Tanks - complete with long barrels strewn over the seabed. There never were any Tanks on board the Thistlegorm! Similarly, the pictures of the Carnatic and Giannis D (correct spelling!) look nothing like the wrecks divers have come to know so well. With further basic inaccuracies on other shipwrecks, any reader must be left wondering just how much of this book "is" factually correct? The answer is; Not a lot.

Altogether, I find it a great pity that a format with such great potential is being misused in such a way. Another example is the way in which the maps are drawn. It is standard practise to show maps with North being at the top of the page. On different pages from this book, however, we find the "North Pointer" shown pointing south-east, then north, then south - and that from 3 consecutive sites taken at random.

The book's one redeeming feature, however, is a very high standard of photography - for which it retains its one star rating. What a pity such excellent photography is wasted on such an abysmal product.

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on 24 February 2002
This book is one of the greatest books about marine life in the Red Sea. it is a guide to divers exploring the Red Sea for the first time or need to learn more about it. wonderful pictures and useful text.
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on 3 February 2011
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