Under the Sea Wind
Silent Spring author Rachel Carson’s early masterwork brings to life the elegiac, subtle beauty of birds and the sea, blending her natural storytelling ability with clear-eyed science
In her first book, preeminent nature writer Rachel Carson tells the story of the sea creatures and birds that dwell in and around the waters along North America’s eastern coast—and the delic...more
Nature writing at its best in vivid, lyrical prose. She writes about ocean and shore life so you feel you are there. The reader follows birds, fish, crustaceans and even eel! You follow an interlude in these creatures’ respective lives. It is utterly amazing the extent to which Carson makes the reader feel part of their aquatic existence. Violent storms, dense fog and lulling, lapping seas under blue skies. Preda ...more
The next day Carson sat in Higgins’s Washington D.C. office waiting for his verdict.The government ichthyologist knew at once that it was unsuitable. What he was reading wa...more
The island lay in shadows only a little deeper than those that were swiftly stealing across the sound from the east. On its western shore the wet sand of the narrow beach caught the same reflection of palely gleaming sky that laid a bright path across the water from island beach to horizon. Both water and sand were the color of steel overlaid with the sheen of silver, so that it was hard to say where water ended and land began.
That's just beautiful, right? This is the opening paragraph in a 20 ...more
It reads almost like a nature documentary, a narrative description (illustrated with pencil sketch ...more
It can be challenging to read what we are so accustomed to seeing visually. However, Carson's narration is spectacular, taking the reader through ecosystems with the animals themselves as characters. I would say that Caron's writing actually eclipses nature film: it allows to push deeper beyond the exciting, shimmeri ...more
✱ A Sand County Almanac and Sketches Here and There
✱ Winter World: The Ingenuity of Animal Survival
✱ Summer World: A Season of Bounty
✱ At the Water's Edge
✱ The Book of Barely Imagined Beings: A 21st Century Bestiary
✱ The Forest Unseen: A Year's Watch in Nature
A Midsummer Night's Dream:
Reading Rachel Carson's first book, "Under the Sea Wind" (1941), is like reading poetry. Not so much a science book, even though the science therein is accurate, but more of an intimate look into the lives of the fish, birds and mammals that live in and around the sea. The text follows a continual narrative, spotlighting various animals as they go about their lives in a challenging environment. Carson's narrative shows that each animal is part a a larger picture, one th ...more
Before I read Under the Sea-Wind, I looked into your other literature including your best known work, Silent Spring, and the lovely book you wrote for your nephew Roger, The Sense of Wonder. I read your works with the kind of respect I know only for five hundred year old oak trees with Spanish moss hanging from their ancient bows. You are the only writer I ever have read who knows how to bring the ocean that I know to me, into my grasps, simply through words. Honestly, I did n ...more
Clearly this is a classic (the cover says "Penguin Classics"). I enjoyed the brief introduction that told the story of how Carson came to write the book and how the advent of World War II delayed the "discovery" of this classic for a decade.
I really liked how she highlighted the circles of life. We more often see the circle of life where larger a ...more
The narrative takes place as if each animal was a character in a novel and Carson follows all ...more
It was fascinating and compelling, I did not want to put it down, and it made me want to be at the beach in the wo ...more
From the foreword:
Carson's mother flawlessly typed the finished manuscript, and Carson sent it off on New Year's Eve 1940. Editors at Simon & Schuster still tell the story of how Under the Sea-Wind was the only manuscript ever received ...more
It is perhaps aimed at much younger readers - I think so because she gives human names to the animals, thereby making them characters and tells their story. The names are usually male - I hate this practice. The default is not male and while I understand that she was writing "way back then", but there are a lot of people who do so even now i.e. refer to animals by default as "he". "It" is more suitable. Of course, if I was learning a lot from the book, I would have overlooked this issue.
I felt l ...more
So pleased to have finally read this one. I think it's going to be my favourite of hers. Well, perhaps after Sense of Wonder, which I read whenever I feel unsure.
Rachel owns quite a bit of my heart an ...more
It points out how things in Nature are interconnected and how much Mankind has upset this fine balance.
Although this book was one of, if not the first, "environmental" book, it still is important in the present time when many of its predictions have come true.
I would suggest t ...more
"Glumdor the clam skittered away using his jets, as Biltrix the sea otter gave chase! Biltrix used his mighty paws to clobber Glumdor against the rock clutched tightly to Biltrix's chest. As Glumdor's life seeped away, Biltrix was nourished with renewed vigor, to face another day in the heaving seas..."
Not an actual quote, but kinda how she writes in this book. Silly personifications and named characters abound unceasingly, and not in a "Watership Down" or "Charlotte's Web" kinda way, but ra ...more
Carson began her career as an aquatic biologist in the U.S. Bureau of Fisheries, and became a full-time nature writer in the 1950s. Her widely praised 1951 bestseller The Sea Around Us won ...more