Saturday, 15 August 2015

Voices in the Ocean: A Journey into the Wild and Haunting World of Dolphins

A Journey into the Wild and 
Haunting World of Dolphins
by Susan Casey
Hardcover, 320 pages
Publisher: Doubleday Canada

It generally takes me twice as long to read non-fiction as it does a novel. Generally.

For this one I stayed home for three days. Okay, I also had a tooth out. But still.

Prepare to have your life changed. To laugh, love and cry. A lot.

To want to be a better person.

A better part of the environment that we live in.

Susan Casey is a journalist and a damned good one. She spent two years working on this book and it shows. Dolphins are close to her heart. Granted, most of us feel an affinity for them, but I guarantee you will be a champion for them when you finish this incredible book. After you finish crying. Or raising your fist in fury. Or smiling. Or thinking about who needs to read this right after you finish it.

Being a journalist she is able to share some of the science needed to understand dolphins without being 'science-y'. I had no idea how complex they were. I doubt most people do.

Susan travels the world to experience first-hand the good, the bad, and the ugly in regards to man's relationship with dolphins. Ancient civilizations, New Agers, Marine parks, conservation areas, studies done on and with dolphins, and of course our impact on their lives and habitat.

Some can be hard to read. But this is an important book. She does not tell you how to think or what to do. Just shares what she has learned.

It's important that we know this stuff. Especially for such an incredible animal with such a complex brain. (Far more so than ours)

Read it. Then buy it for people for Christmas, or birthdays. Or just because it is a special book.

From the Back Flap:

From Susan Casey, the New York Times bestselling author of The Devil's Teeth and The Wave, a breathtaking look into the mysterious world of dolphins and their conflicted history with man.

     Since the dawn of recorded history, humans have felt a kinship with the sleek and beautiful dolphin, an animal whose playfulness, sociability and intelligence seems like an aquatic mirror of mankind. In recent decades, scientists have discovered dolphins recognize themselves in reflections, count, feel despondent, adorn themselves, rescue each other (and humans), deduce, infer, form cliques, throw tantrums, gossip and scheme.

     Several native peoples trace their lineage to dolphins. They are the stars of multi-million dollar aquatic theme parks, money which has fueled a sinister illicit trade as shown in the documentary Blackfish. The U.S. Navy has a secret program using dolphins as undersea soldiers. The theory that they are a superior, extraterrestial species is popular among the new age fringe. They are the victims of brutal slaughters as depicted in the documentary The Cove. To swim with a dolphin is a transporting experience, an encounter with a being seemingly so like us, yet so alien.

     No writer is better positioned to portray these magical creatures than Susan Casey, whose combination of personal reporting, intense scientific research, and evocative prose made The Wave and The Devil's Teeth contemporary classics of writing on the oceans. For two years Casey traveled the world, and has written a thrilling book about the other intelligent life on the planet.

About the Author

Susan Casey, author of New York Times bestseller The Devil’s Teeth: A True Story of Obsession and Survival Among America’s Great White Sharks, is editor in chief of O, The Oprah Magazine. She is a National Magazine Award-winning journalist whose work has been featured in the Best American Science and Nature Writing, Best American Sports Writing, and Best American Magazine Writing anthologies; and has appeared in Esquire, Sports Illustrated, Fortune, Outside, and National Geographic. Casey lives in New York City and Maui.