The Sea Inside

Overview

A yearlong adventure through the world’s oceans with Philip Hoare, the award-winning author of The Whale

In colorful prose and lively line drawings, Hoare sets out to rediscover the sea and its islands, birds, and beasts. Starting at his home on the shores of Britain’s Southampton Water and moving in ever widening circles—like the migration patterns of whales—Hoare explores ...
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The Sea Inside

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Overview

A yearlong adventure through the world’s oceans with Philip Hoare, the award-winning author of The Whale

In colorful prose and lively line drawings, Hoare sets out to rediscover the sea and its islands, birds, and beasts. Starting at his home on the shores of Britain’s Southampton Water and moving in ever widening circles—like the migration patterns of whales—Hoare explores London, the Isle of Wight, the Azores, Sri Lanka, Tasmania, and New Zealand.

As Hoare brilliantly weaves together literary and natural history, we encounter memorable people as well as the dolphins, whales, and other creatures above and below the water (even one species formerly believed to 
be extinct).

Echoing the fine tradition of W. G. Sebald, but in a voice all Hoare’s own, The Sea Inside is bursting with an endless series of delights and revelations from the ever-changing sea.
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Editorial Reviews

The New York Times Book Review - Lawrence Osborne
…[a] fascinating travelogue…The mystical tone is deliberate, enabling Hoare to replace a linear narrative with a circuitous one. Here, it goes without saying, the digression is everything, and the tale is in the roundabout telling. The journey is in the digression…Hoare continually reaches for the transcendent and often finds it.
Publishers Weekly
★ 03/03/2014
Hoare (The Whale: In Search of the Giants of the Sea) takes readers on a leisurely and lyrical tour of the world's waters and their inhabitants. A regular visitor to the sea near his home in England, Hoare shares his love and fascination for nature of all kinds, from the Eurasian oystercatcher and seals to the vestigial structures humans possess that provide evidence of ancestry. Hoare's writing reads like a postcard or journal demarcating his travels. On the Isle of Wight, he discusses ravens and the life of pilgrims. He encounters sperm whales around the Azores, sharing how they hear sound and make vibrations, and blue whales in the Indian Ocean, contemplating how near they came to extinction due to hunting. A journey to Tasmania reminds Hoare of his ancestors who landed there and brings to mind the haunting tale of the Tasmanian tiger, possibly hunted to extinction decades ago but with rumored sightings in recent years. Hoare swims with dolphins, observes a porpoise autopsy, and visits the island of Kapiti, an avian reserve. Hoare's writing awakens the senses with visions, sounds, and smells of the ocean; his delight and interest in nature will encourage readers to look around with new eyes. Agent: Gillon Aitken, Aitken Alexander Associates. (Apr.)
Kirkus Reviews
2014-01-23
Do we come from the sea? Hoare's (The Whale: In Search of the Giants of the Sea, 2010, etc.) absorbing book may well lead you to think so. Could not man have come from the sea in search of the bounty of tidal beaches? Anyone who has an affinity, indeed a need, for the water will understand the author's desire to swim every day near his home in Southampton, England, where "it is never not beautiful." "At low tide," he writes, "the beach is an indecent expanse laid bare by retreat, more like farmland than anything of the sea: an inundated field, almost peaty with sediment, as much charcoal as it is sludge." No matter what country or continent he visits, the author makes a point to swim and become a part of that sea. He's fearless as he leaps into oceans near and far to commune with any swimming mammal that may be near; whether whales or a superpod of 200 dolphins, the mammals of the sea circle him, inspect him and accept him. His travels and his meandering, humorous writing take us from the Isle of Wight to the Azores, Sri Lanka, and the nearly primeval Tasmania and New Zealand, and Hoare delivers delightful descriptions of sea creatures and shore birds, bemoaning animals newly and nearly extinct. This is not a book following the geography of the sea; nor is it a history of sailing. It is an attempt to establish and examine the oneness that the Maori have understood for years: There is no difference between life on land and life in the sea. While the author may digress occasionally, readers will relish his writing and devotion to nature and likely won't begrudge him a bit of family history here and there. A beautifully written memoir/travelogue with readable diversions into philosophy.
From the Publisher
“Quite remarkable.”
House of Speakeasy

“Mr. Hoare's gimlet eye sees the magical in the mundane...'The Sea Inside' embraces the dangers and mysteries of the natural world and in them finds transcendental awe.”
The Wall Street Journal

“This is not a book following the geography of the sea; nor is it a history of sailing. It is an attempt to establish and examine the oneness that the Maori have understood for years: There is no difference between life on land and life in the sea… A beautifully written memoir/travelogue with readable diversions into philosophy.”
Kirkus Reviews

“Hoare’s writing awakens the senses with visions, sounds, and smells of the ocean; his delight and interest in nature will encourage readers to look around with new eyes.”
Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Literary history and natural history entwine so seamlessly in Hoare’s narrative that the barrier between readers and the sea within all of us blurs and disappears.”
Booklist, starred review

“Here is the distilled essence of Hoare’s work: one part poetry, one part record, and one part a plea for us to pay attention to these oceans, our oceans—and ourselves.”
Electric Literature

“The Sea Inside offers discoveries in every chapter—Hoare, in addition to being an inherently interesting writer, has a talent for uncovering fascinating historical narratives. This author is a virtuosic storyteller, and The Sea Inside is a welcome opportunity to accompany him on his wanderings—be they geographical, philosophical, or narrative.”
Daily Beast

“A magnificent book.” 

Financial Times

“A crammed treasure chest.”
The London Review of Books

Praise for The Whale

“Philip Hoare’s The Whale is everything you want from a book. It is unpredictable and amusing and informative and original, cavorting between biology, history, travel writing, and memoir with an engaging sense of the subject’s charisma.”    
—Mark Kurlansky, author of Salt and Cod

“Philip Hoare’s writing is quite untrammelled by convention and opens up astonishing views at every turn.”    
—W. G. Sebald

“Genius . . . The Whale [is] a rhapsodic mediation on all things cetacean. Hoare is always on the lookout for the revealing detail. He also has a finely tuned sense of perspective and pacing.”    
—Nathaniel Philbrick, The New York Times Book Review

“This singular, magnificent book inspires both awe and shame—awe of the whales, shame of the human species that has tried to destroy them. In the end, Hoare’s virtuosic sympathy for his subject makes you believe in the better angels of our nature.”
—Alex Ross, bestselling author of The Rest Is Noise

“A love letter to the ‘largest, loudest, oldest’ mammal ever to have existed, Brit biographer Hoare’s book romps through science, history and literature to chronicle his obsession with the mighty whale. Salted with astounding facts (the calls of blue whales were once mistaken for earthquakes), this is an exhilarating valentine.”    
—People

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781612193595
  • Publisher: Melville House Publishing
  • Publication date: 4/29/2014
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 252,437
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Philip Hoare lives and works in Southampton, England. He is the author of The Whale: In Search of the Giants of the Sea, winner of the BBC Samuel Johnson Prize for Nonfiction, as well as biographies of Noel Coward, Stephen Tennant, and a study of Oscar Wilde. He is Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Southampton; artist in residence at the Marine Institute, Plymouth University; and cocurator of the Moby-Dick Big Read. Follow him on Twitter at @philipwhale.

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