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Review : The Bathysphere Book by Brad Fox

We’re delighted to be sharing Laura’s thoughts about The Bathysphere Book : Effects of the Luminous Ocean Depths by Brad Fox.

A book to read again and again.

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  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Pushkin Press (6 July 2023)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 272 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1911590855
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1911590859

11 June, 1930. On a ship floating near the Atlantic island of Nonsuch, a curious steel ball is lowered 3000 feet into the sea. Crumpled up inside, gazing through three-inch thick quartz windows, sits the famed zoologist William Beebe. With uncontrollable excitement, he watches as bizarre, never-before-seen creatures flit out of the inky blackness, illuminated by explosions of bioluminescence. He is the first person to witness this alien world.

Beebe’s dives take place against the backdrop of a transforming and paradoxical America, home to ground-breaking scientists, eccentric adventurers, and eugenicist billionaires. Yet under the ocean’s crushing pressure, scientific expectations disintegrate; the colour spectrum shatters into new dimensions; outlandish organisms thrive where no one expected them.

The Bathysphere Book blends research, storytelling, and poetic experiments, traveling through entangled histories of scientific discovery into the bottomless magic of the deep unknown.

Book Review

I think I have fallen in love with The Bathysphere Book!

This book is based on William Berne’s 1930’s bathysphere expedition, the very first deep-sea voyage of more than 3000 feet below sea level.

As Beebe witnessed new creatures not seen before, his colleague Hollister listened and noted all of his observations whilst aboard their boat.

This is a wonderful book of not just descriptions of their adventures but also includes historical and scientific notes of the time.  The illustrations of the new marine life and detailed drawings of the equipment used on the expeditions is wonderful.

Before I started reading, I thought this book would be a historical novel of just the exploration however I loved the added details of our wonderful planet and the beautiful creatures which are continually being discovered in the ocean depths.

I already feel that I want to read this book again to gather new information not read the first time.

I found myself pleasantly surprised with The Bathysphere Book. It’s a beautifully written book with great illustrations.

About the Author

Brad Fox is a writer, journalist, translator and former relief contractor living in New York. His work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review Daily and Guernica, among other publications. His novel To Remain Nameless was a finalist for the Big Other Fiction award and a staff pick at The Paris Review. Fox is a certified scuba diver and has been cave diving in central Budapest, wreck diving in Bermuda, and dived a decommissioned oil platform off the coast of Peru.

Twitter @BredFoks

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