Biology, Reviews

Review: Nouvian, The Deep

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Claire Nouvian’s The Deep: The Extraordinary Creatures of the Abyss has been making waves in the media lately with reviews in Discover Magazine, the BBC’s Focus Magazine, and the Literary Review among others. But this morning’s piece in the New York Times probably weighs in as the book’s best review yet. The science section of the May 22 edition features an enthusiastic review of Nouvian’s fascinating illustrated journey into the abyss, complete with an interactive slide show featuring a sampling of the often beautiful—and sometimes scary—images that grace the pages of her new book. Reviewer William J. Broad writes for the NYT:

In [the book’s] preface, Ms. Nouvian writes of an epiphany that began her undersea journey.
“It was as though a veil had been lifted,” she says, “revealing unexpected points of view, vaster and more promising.”
The photographs she has selected celebrate that sense of the unexpected. Bizarre species from as far down as four and half miles are shown in remarkable detail, their tentacles lashing, eyes bulging, lights flashing. The eerie translucence of many of the gelatinous creatures seems to defy common sense. They seem to be living water.
On page after page, it is as if aliens had descended from another world to amaze and delight. A small octopus looks like a child’s squeeze toy. A seadevil looks like something out of a bad dream. A Ping-Pong tree sponge rivals artwork that might be seen in an upscale gallery.

The review also notes the “essays by some of the world’s top experts on deep-sea life” that complement the book’s breathtaking images with fascinating commentary on the science of marine biology, the ecology of deep-sea habitats, and the history of deep-sea exploration—making this book one of the most comprehensive introductions to life in the deep sea ever published.
The Press has put together a special website where you can view even more images, learn more about the book, and read some of the other great reviews it has received.