by Philip Hoare
Whale-obsessed author explores our relationship with the sea.
I loved Philip Hoare's big book about whales, Leviathan, so looked forward to reading The Sea Inside, which appeared to be something of a sequel.
To be honest, I struggled to get into this book. It jumped around from subject to subject an awful lot. This isn't necessarily a bad thing—in fact, I usually like it— but I often found myself having to backtrack several pages to try to work out how the hell we had got to here. To be fair to Hoare, I made the mistake of trying to read The Sea Inside in snatched moments, which probably didn't do the book justice. Perhaps I should have waited until I had more time, and could simply have let the jumping about waft over me.
In terms of subject matter, not all of the topics covered in The Sea Inside had obvious connections with the sea, but they were all interesting, and well-researched. Topics covered included: Hoare's native Southampton; the Isle of Wight; ravens; wheatears; Tasmanian tigers; Richard Owen (a hero of mine) and his giant moa; and plenty of encounters with cetaceans of various species.
A book to to return to, I think, when I have time to do it justice.