The Sea Inside
A startling new book, his most personal to date, from Philip Hoare, co-curator of the Moby-Dick Big Read and winner of the 2009 Samuel Johnson Prize for 'Leviathan'. The sea surrounds us. It gives us life, provides us with the air we breathe and the food we eat. It is ceaseless change and constant presence. It covers two-thirds of our planet. Yet caught up in our everyday lives, we barely notice it. In 'The Sea Inside', Philip Hoare sets out to rediscover the sea, its islands, birds and beasts. He begins on the south coast where he grew up, a place of almost monastic escape. From there he travels to the other side of the world - the Azores, Sri Lanka, New Zealand - in search of encounters with animals and people. Navigating between human and natural history, he asks what these stories mean for us now. Along the way we meet an amazing cast; from scientists to tattooed warriors; from ravens to whales and bizarre creatures that may, or may not, be extinct. Part memoir, part fantastical travelogue, 'The Sea Inside' takes us on an astounding journey of discovery.
From the reviews of 'The Sea Inside': 'As bracing as a great blustery lungful of ozone-filled air ... Hoare has wonderful, almost child-like relish for colourful stories and incredible facts ... His passionate engagement will infect you. As you close this book, you will probably feel as ecstatic as the author does after one of his cold morning dips.' Rachel Campbell-Johnston, The Times 'A passionate, wonderfully engaging book ... His oceanic pursuit of the most remarkable animals on the planet has produced two books of the utmost interest.' Christopher Hirst, Independent 'This enthralling book exhibits Hoare's talent both for writing about nature and for bringing to life the human dramas played out over centuries on or beside the beach.' Ian Critchley, Sunday Times 'Everything he writes is remarkably interesting, and always expressed in his singular prose, at the one and the same time both exact and numinous ... Hoare's enthusiasms are boundless ... packed full of strange delights - perhaps a bit of a ragbag, but what rags! And what a bag!' Craig Brown, Mail on Sunday **** 'The range, variety and enthusiasm of the whole performance ... elevates the work into the realm of sheer entertainment. The pace is exhilarating. The learning is profound. The surprises are tumultuous and the simple love of nature, in all its forms ... is a delight.' Jan Morris, Sunday Telegraph 'Ceaselessly fascinating ... In flowing, liquid prose, Hoare is drawn back and forth from story to story, place to place ... This is a magnificent book.' Carl Wilkinson, Financial Times 'A profound and lyrical love affair.' Bella Bathurst, Observer 'Hoare weaves together stories of magic, faith and fear, of wilderness, destruction, mortality and nature's often savage beauty ... This is a work where it pays to go with the flow.' Gerard Henderson, Daily Express **** 'Glorious stuff.' Caspar Henderson, Guardian
Philip Hoare's is the author of several books, including 'Serious Pleasures: The Life of Stephen Tennant'; 'Noel Coward'; 'Oscar Wilde's Last Stand'; 'Spike Island'; 'England's Lost Eden'; and 'Leviathan, or, The Whale', winner of the 2009 Samuel Johnson Prize for non-fiction. He lives in Southampton.