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9 Reviews
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful read, 27 Aug 2013
This review is from: The Sea Inside (Hardcover)
This is such a difficult book to quantify; it is not all about the sea; just a series of anecdotes, stories, histories and tales that are in some way or other linked to the sea. His main philosophy here is that we are all derived from the sea, and are still made from water, and he quotes Arthur C Clarke, who says that the third planet from the Sun would have been more aptly named Sea, rather than Earth.

The interaction with the sea has defined this island, and what Hoare does is weave his daily interaction with the sea and landscape around Southampton with stories of people, creatures, history, mythology and the future of the ocean environment. The stories are in no particular order, and are loosely linked, in a meandering sort of way. He is a big advocate for the natural world, whales and dolphins in particular, and recounts his swimming with several types of them.

It is such a difficult book to categorise, in some ways it reminds me of the meanders of a river, and it is not focused in the way that Levathian was. That said the writing is exquisite at times, and he conveys his emotions and feeling for a huge passion of his.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Wonders of The Sea., 13 Jun 2013
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ACB (swansea) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: The Sea Inside (Hardcover)
Philip Hoares's latest book is a labour of love. From early words 'The sea defines us, connects us, separates us', he embarks on an adventure that takes us from his home near Southampton to London and then faraway destinations of Sri Lanka, Australia, New Zealand and The Azores. His journey is written with passion, fascination and intimate knowledge of his subject. His narrative is wrapped in poetical prose with references to scientists, adventurers, indigenous populations, human and animal and the everpresent and ongoing threat to their survival. The author imparts a portrait of the beauty and alluring attraction of the sea and it's environment. 'No chart presents the reality of it's greatest ocean', he writes, with the oceans covering two thirds of the Earth's surface.

Philip Hoare has once again written a personalised and charming account of his marvellous pursuit of the glories of the sea and it's surroundings with illustrations. Reading it is an exhilarating experience, impossible not to be embraced within the fire of the author; but at times I am glad to be on 'terra firma'.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Thoughtful, Moving Meditation on our Relationship with the Sea., 29 July 2013
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This review is from: The Sea Inside (Kindle Edition)
We are 50% water - `we all contain the sea inside us' - and evolution shows that life on earth originally crawled out of the sea. But there is a theory that human beings may have emerged out of the ocean more recently than other life-forms. We still have vestigial webbed feet and fingers, almost the same ratio of fat to body mass as a dolphin, a natural instinct to hold our breath under water, and other adaptations that suggest a close connection with the mammals who live in the watery elements. Was our ancestor a `watery ape'?

Our relationship with the sea fascinates Philip Hoare, who swims in it every day, often before dawn, and in every type of weather. `The Sea Inside' is a series of meditations on its mythologies, its biological and chemical complexity, its influence on our climate, and the importance of the oceanic eco-systems to our own survival. `The sea defines us,' he writes, `connects us, separates us. Most of us experience only its edges, our available wilderness on a crowded island'.

Philip Hoare lives in these edgelands, on the fringes of the city of Southampton. `I didn't choose to; it chose me. I might have found a more picturesque place, wild and romantic or urban and exciting; the kind of places people pass through here to reach. A port city relies on its relationship to elsewhere. Perhaps that's why I like it so well, since it does not impose any identity on me'. Living there, he is more aware than most of the dangerous foundations we have built our civilisation on. When he cycles to the shore every morning, he passes a forest of industrial installations; `tapering spires for a new place of worship; circular tanks as giant igloos... silos like newly-landed space ships ... There's no human scale to this petropolis ... it is brutal, practical, inevitable.'

In the book the author travels the world to swim with whales and record the sad history of human depredation. We are not being kind to the ocean, but we need to change our ways, because our own salvation is carried in its deepest currents.

This is a thoughtful, moving book, as you'd expect from the author of Leviathan - Philip Hoare also lectures in creative non-fiction - not quite in the same league, but beautifully written - haunting.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars TOP QUALITY, 29 July 2013
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This review is from: The Sea Inside (Hardcover)
I love this book in so many ways! I love the fact that it's hardback and has beautiful drawings and interesting illustrations as part of wonderfully written narrative about the sea and it's many aspects. It makes for a stimulating and relaxing read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good book, 29 May 2014
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This review is from: The Sea Inside (Hardcover)
Good book. Great if you like quirky points on natural history. The authors ability to capture his enthusiasm for the subjects in this book is clear to see. His writing style is engaging.
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5.0 out of 5 stars a fantastic read, 9 May 2014
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This review is from: The Sea Inside (Paperback)
This is the best meandering factual prose I've ever read. Every page is a delight, so full of interest., an incredible number of strands drawn together.. it be read and reread many times
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good stuff, 12 Jan 2014
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This review is from: The Sea Inside (Hardcover)
If you like a book that takes you to a real and current place and time and gives you observation to reflect on this will do it.
I'm already looking forward to re-reading.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A really lovely book, 20 Dec 2013
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This review is from: The Sea Inside (Hardcover)
Nice read - GREAT AUTHOR!! Can't go wrong really. Would make a lovely Christmas present too.jdjd ss s s ss
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 5star, 28 July 2013
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This review is from: The Sea Inside (Hardcover)
As usual excellent service and 5 star in all areas .I would recommend to anybody who is having thoughts on this.
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The Sea Inside
The Sea Inside by Philip Hoare
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