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The Edge of the Sea
Rachel Carson
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The Edge of the Sea

4.25  ·  Rating Details ·  651 Ratings  ·  58 Reviews
"The edge of the sea is a strange & beautiful place." A book to be read for pleasure as well as a practical identification guide, The Edge of the Sea introduces a world of teeming life where the sea meets the land. Rachel Carson's books have become cornerstones of the environmental & conservation movements.
The marginal world
Patterns of shore
Published April 1st 1970 by Signet (first published 1955)
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Apr 12, 2009 Davey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Rachel Carson would be cause for serious regrets re: my career if she didn't write in such a damned inspirational way. You don't need to be a marine biologist to do and see the things she does, you just need to love nature and hang out by the sea. Barring that, all you need is free time to read and an open canvas of a mind for her words to paint on.

I was with a girl digging up Coquina Clams a week or two ago, and realized how little time I'd spent by the water. That, plus finishing Carson's book
If there was ever a reason to fight for keep the oceans clean and free of oil, pesticides, or hidden poisons, this book ( however outdated) is an absolute must. This should renew your desire, set a fire under your lazy arse, or raise the volume of your ecologically minded soul to do SOMETHING to save this planet..
This was written so many decades ago and you can imagine how much worse things have gotten since this first was published. The powers that be have all but destroyed our way of life. Car
May 11, 2014 Robin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Even though some of the information was outdated, I learned quite a bit. This book was densely packed with knowledge and because of this it took me quite a while to finish. I enjoyed all that I learned, enough so that I even read the appendices (though I don't think the editors did by the number of typographical errors). Well worth it, but maybe try to pace yourself and intersperse your reading with something a little lighter.
Nov 09, 2007 jo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of nature books
Shelves: non-fiction
Scientist and ecologist Rachel Carson is famously the author of Silent Spring (a landmark book challenging the use of pesticides), and not-quite-so-famously the author of The Sense of Wonder (a short book about helping children develop a sense of wonder and appreciation for the natural world) which I have gushed about in the past.

The Edge of the Sea is a great read for anyone who likes to spend time mucking around in tide pools, or is curious about the strange creatures that live in them. The ti
Aug 31, 2013 Florence rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was a gift from my son during a trip to Acadia, USA. It was a wake-up call. Though we loved hiking in the rocky areas, we did not really explore the coastline.
I took a long time to finish the book, because this is a virtual text book! When my family sugggested a trip to the Florida Keys, I was inspired to finish the read.
Carson's book focuses on the plants and invertebrates surviving in the Atlantic zones between the lowest and the highest tides, between Newfoundland and the Florida k
Jul 21, 2008 Madeleine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I think if Rachel Carson and Muriel Wylie Blanchet had lived at the same time on the same side of the continent, they would have been friends.

This is like Pagoo for grownups :) My other favorite book about sea creatures.
Dec 31, 2010 Raven rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of my most-loved books of all time. Packed with illustrations, it's like having a marine biologist walk along the beach with you. Or, for a marine biologist like me, it's a reminder of the wonder and the grandeur of the sea, the motivation that got me my vocation.
LInda L
Jan 25, 2017 LInda L rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was not quite as wonderful as The Sea Around Us, but it's pretty great. The drawings help to envision whatever she's writing about (many of which were unknown to me), Time magazine got it perfectly: "remarkable talent for catching the life breath of science on the still glass of poetry". Isn't that fantastic? Also, someone said: "is packed with precise knowledge, and derives its constant awareness that beyond knowledge still lies mystery". Too true. Her writing is inspirational in many ways ...more
Jan 08, 2009 Robin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another sea classic by Rachel Carson, this one focusing on life in the zones between lowest and highest tides. All animals and plants described here are directly observable without diving equipment, which makes this a valuable resource for beachcombers. Carson’s descriptive and lyrical writing make this a worthwhile read for anyone who enjoys visiting the beach or is curious about what life forms may be present below the waters at high tide.

The book describes intertidal life on the US East Coas
Sep 11, 2016 Owain rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A book that departs once more from the context of its predecessors. All the books in this series would make good stand alone titles as there is no narrative they follow other than their discourse on the sea in general. Well written and packed with a lot of knowledge as it was; I found it to be too centred on sea life on the eastern coast of the USA. Which is my only criticism of the book. Carson remains as poetic and romantic in her prose as ever,
It was a mere yesterday in the life of the eart
Jim Hurley
Rachel Carson is a trained marine biologist, but this book is much more than a scientific study regarding the flora and fauna at "The Edge of the Sea". It resonates with a poignant and reverential awareness of the life force and life cycles that colonize our world. It never retreats from a sense of awe at that same life force which eventually produced the human race, and which is still the heart of a mystery. The details of individual life cycles are portrayed for a multitude of species, and als ...more
Rachel Carson was undoubtedly a spectacular writer, but this is essentially just a collection of descriptions, and no matter how precisely and beautifully written those descriptions are, I can only take so much before my eyes start to glaze over. Maybe I had the wrong expectations for this book going into it. I was expecting something more like Loren Eiseley's The Immense Journey, which I had just finished and loved, and which expertly combines natural description with historical trivia, persona ...more
Jan 17, 2013 Hilary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was beautiful. It was a combination of poetic descriptions of sea life and absolutely fantastic drawings. Everything was careful, everything was perfect. The Edge of the Sea created this gorgeous, intricate illusion of sitting serenely by the shore and watching these perfect little animals crawl around you, trying to survive in the best way they know how. Rachel talks about these creatures as intimately as if they were her personal friends. This book was informative and completely love ...more
On my way home from Nova Scotia we stopped in Bar Harbor and that meant Acadia National Park. I happened to see this book in the gift store and though I of course knew about Silent Spring (which I've never read) I've never read any of her books and all the people who say this book combines poetry and science are absolutely true. I didn't think that reading a book about various ecological zones along the seashore could ever be interesting, but the book is written in an accessible manner and with ...more
Apr 30, 2016 Claire rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: conservation
A lovely stroll at the edge the sea, a place where land and water meet - where a rich, fascinating, elusive and indefinable life takes place. A nature walk in company of a wonderful marine biologist and conservationist.

This is a lesser known writing from Rachel Carson, who brought environmental concerns to an unprecedented share of the American people when she published Silent Spring in 1962.

The Edge of the Sea is wonderfully illustrated with the Bob Hines' drawings, and is to become my field
Dec 11, 2010 David rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Carson writes with clarity about the life to be found on Atlantic shores, from Newfoundland to Key West, focusing on plants and invertebrates. Her style perhaps reflects the primness, the starchiness of her mid-century era. Bob Hines' black and white drawings are helpful; some of the diagrams and maps are less clear. An appendix recaps the taxonomy of the sea life, such as it was known at the time.
Apr 20, 2013 Kala rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The perfect read for a winter beach vacation or to unplug before bedtime. Rachel wrote this before Silent Spring; this book is a sweet blending of her artistic and scientific regard for the natural world. She is a superb writer in the traditional sense and manages to present scientific facts in a storytelling way that is engaging and poignant. I scored a first edition in a used bookstore in Mendocino on a camping trip in the Redwoods.
Apr 24, 2008 Anna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, ocean, nature, 2009
A guided tour of coastal ecology, focusing on the Atlantic coast of the US and divided into three sections: rocky northern, sandy mid-Atlantic, and the coral coast of the far south. Carson is an excellent writer and her passion for marine life makes this an excellent read. Highly recommended for those interested in the ocean and the lives of tidal creatures. I read parts of this while sitting in the tide line at Emerald Isle, NC. A perfect beach read!
Kathy Gilbert
Jan 28, 2016 Kathy Gilbert rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't read a lot of nonfiction, can't really remember what made me read this book, possibly familiarity with the author's name. Anyway, it is a book I bought and had for a while, sharing with anyone who would read it. If you don't want to muck about along the shores of the East Coast after reading this book, read it again! Sure made me want to go there. Some people can really make nonfiction sing.
Jan 15, 2013 Dominika rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ever wondered how jellyfish reproduce? I didn't, but I'm awed now that I know. It's my current night time reading and each night I go to sleep with visions of barnacles and periwinkles and long, flowing seaweed fronds that nourish and shelter life forms I never knew existed.
Eva A.
May 26, 2014 Eva A. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I saw on Google that today is Rachel Carson's birthday. She is a personal hero of mine. Besides being a brilliant scientist at a time when very few women were taken seriously, she was an amazing and lyrical scientific writer. I highly recommend this book and any other by her.
Jan 27, 2008 Jennifer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rachel Carson has a beautiful way of writing about the world around her. I find myself captivated when I read her descriptions of things normally found only in textbooks. Her words bring life to the pages. The sketches in here are also great.
Reina Smoley-balog
Carson has the rare combination of scientific thought and gorgeous, creative prose. The subtlety and pace of the book required me, an impatient 21st century reader, to slow down and re-read passages, and it was well worth it.
Jun 28, 2007 eidelyn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: nature lovers, science nerds
Shelves: science-is-fun, wordy
Rachel's respect and admiration for the ocean is seen in every word she writes- a dedicated prose to its beauty, protection and preservation. Though written nearly half a century ago, her words still bring strength to the modern conservation movement.
Skip Stoddard
Loved it in spots, but it just got too encyclopedic for me. If you want to learn all about the three different types of coastal areas of the eastern US, and about the zillions of creatures, this is the book for you.
Jim Krosschell
Sep 03, 2011 Jim Krosschell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: maine-books
Rachel Carson (1907-1964) came late to Maine, at the age of 46, to summer in Southport, where the beaches and tide pools inspired The Edge of the Sea, a thrilling marriage of science and poetry. The National Wildlife Refuge in Wells and vicinity is named after her.
Jul 21, 2010 LINDA rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nature
Read this at the beach, it will open your eyes to the world of activity happening beneath your toes in the sand. My favorite part is about the mole crabs and how they move up the shore in masses as the tide comes in.
Aug 07, 2007 Mark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So far, this is a fascinating read. It is certainly dense - it has been interrupted a couple times by easier reading - but every time I pick it up I'm just amazed by her descriptions of the life of the shore.
Greg Collver
Nov 16, 2009 Greg Collver rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book, like all of Carson's. Her descriptions have a poetic effect and she always inspires a sense of discovery, to explore the beach and to look closer at all the life that you can find there and to wonder.

Jan 11, 2016 Liz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Perfect book to read at bedtime, no storyline to keep you turning pages till the wee hours, but the writing is still beautiful and the subject matter fascinating enough that I was distracted from the one thing that always keeps me from sleeping: a brain full of a million thoughts.
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Rachel Louise Carson (May 27, 1907 – April 14, 1964) was an American marine biologist and conservationist whose book Silent Spring and other writings are credited with advancing the global environmental movement.

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 about Rachel Carson...

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