A vivid, up-to-date tour of the Earth's last frontier, a remote and mysterious realm that nonetheless lies close to the heart of even the most land-locked reader.
Kunzig, the European editor of Discover magazine, has written a comprehensive and fascinating book about ocean science that will appeal to true science fansespecially those who are drawn to the mysteries of Earth's final frontier. Kunzig has a gifted storyteller's flair for capturing vivid images in lyric prose ("Imagine you looked out your window one morning and saw jellyfish," he begins). That is a good thing, for he covers a wealth of material that might otherwise overwhelm even dedicated ocean-loving readers. Do you want information about abyssal storms, bristle worms, epibenthic sleds, fracture zones and ocean dispersal of larvae? Would you like to know more about the big names in oceanography and hear some true-life stories about how they go about their work? Would you like to see pictures of five-foot tube worms and the thermohaline circulation of the ocean and an edible bologna sandwich that survived underwater for 10 months in a sunken submersible? That and much more are all within these 345 pages. While his focus is on oceanography, Kunzig makes an eloquent case against the over fishing and release of pollutants that have damaged this vast resource so pervasively. Still, as his awe-inspiring final pages make clear, the ocean will outlast us, though, like us, will eventually die. Anyone who wants to know more about the ocean will enjoy Mapping the Deep. For any budding oceanographers, it is a "must read." KLIATT Codes: SARecommended for senior high school students, advanced students, and adults. 2000, Norton, 246p, illus, bibliog, index, 21cm, $15.95. Ages 16 to adult. Reviewer: Gloria Levine; Freelance Education Writer, Potomac, MD, March 2001 (Vol. 35 No.2)