on 30 May 2007
I have just read this captivating read on a recent diving holiday to Sardinia. Despite only a passing interest in marine life, Trevor Norton talks with such well-researched enthusiasm about his varied subjects that you cannot fail to be captivated by each chapter. From the sex life of algae to accidental trysts with amorous dophins the range of subjects covered is considerable. i truly enjoyed every single page and reading this was a pleasure.
on 31 July 2016
It was very enjoyable, light reading.
Full of interesting facts about diving and the state of the world's reefs. Nice that he spent most of his time in and around the British Isles, talking about the sea life there - something many books tend to neglect or avoid altogether.
I'm only giving it less because he takes a little bit of a sad tone at the end of the book, which I feel let it down somewhat. But other than that, it was excellent.
Full of lots of giggle worthy facts.
on 7 November 2010
Under Water to Get out of the Rain
This book heralds another delightful marine adventure by Norton, who has written two other beautifully crafted, and wonderfully humorous, books about the characters he has met, and some of the adventures he has had, in a lifetime as a marine biologist. It starts out with his memories of his childhood home, on St Mary's Island, Northumberland, before whisking us away to a series of globally-based adventures: Devon, via Liverpool to the island of Anglesey, North Wales, to his first encounter with the Port Erin Marine Laboratory, where... `I was the least famous marine biologist ever to work on the Isle of Man'. From Port Erin we are whisked over the oceans to Lanzarote, in the Canary Islands, where by chance, I happened to read the book. How changed the Canaries are today from the time when the party of "least famous marine biologists" were met on the quay by Don Mariano López, local dignitary and ex-mayor, who arranged for their luggage to be taken away by donkey cart while inviting the all-too-rare visitors to join him in an eight-course lunch, followed by coffee and cognac.
As one follows his ocean-bound circumambulations, back to Scotland, and the Scottish Islands, to Lough Ine, in the Southwest of Ireland - where he based his book, Reflections on a Summer Sea - to San Juan Island, Washington, then the Monterey California of Steinbeck's day, every journey is imbued with characteristic charm and wit, and all the while enlivened by his sharp observation of the idiosyncrasies of human nature. His odyssey takes him a good deal further than I have room to describe, but permeating the exhilarating narrative of courage, luck, humor and adventure, is a chronicle of change, painful to witness in the working lifetime of one man. We observe, by degrees, the progressive overfishing and pollution of the oceans, and we share his dismay over the loss of a more innocent world. And, finally, we embrace Professor Norton's caretaker role in the closure of the Marine Laboratory in Port Erin, a victim of the financial constraints that have afflicted many university centers in the UK in the first years of the New Millennium.
on 27 January 2012
I read this because I love autobiography and was fascinated by the title - I had no idea that I had any interest at all in marine biology - but I have discovered that it is riveting! Trevor Norton has done that really difficult thing in writing his own memoirs in a very amusing and light way, he has succeeded in interesting the reader in his own subject - simply because he doesn't take himself too seriously. We discover that he is climbing the career ladder completely by the way, whilst he is busy regaling us with hilarious tales of his time in the middle east or the US. I have driven my husband mad by snorting with laughter, reading bits out and telling him he simply MUST read this book next. What a discovery! I shall now read all his other books. If you read this, Professor, thank you, for a great read, if only there were more experts who could write so interestingly out there, we'd all be a lot more educated in all sorts of fields we never dreamed could interest us!