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The Edge of the Sea

4.24 of 5 stars 4.24  ·  rating details  ·  517 ratings  ·  44 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
Hardcover, 276 pages
Published June 1st 1999 by Peter Smith Pub Inc (first published 1955)
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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ever a reason to fight for keep the oceans clean and free of oil, pesticides, or hidden poisons, this book ( however outdated) is an absolute must.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
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
Even though some of the information was outdated, I learned quite a bit.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.
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.
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
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
Nov 09, 2007 Josephine rated it 4 of 5 stars
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
Eva A.
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.
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
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
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
Peter Milligan
Few books have moved me more than those by Ms. Carson.
Jason G
Some of the best nature writing!
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!
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.
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.
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.
Jan 15, 2013 Dominika rated it 4 of 5 stars
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.
Jim Krosschell
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 05, 2007 eidelyn rated it 5 of 5 stars
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.
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.
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.
Greg Collver
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.

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.
Lindsey Doolan
Carson describes each section of the Atlantic coast with a different chapter: the rocky New England coasts, the dunes of the mid-Atlantic, and the mangrove swamps of the South. Fun look at each of these ecosystems.
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.
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.
Sep 01, 2011 Michelle-Marie is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Each summer I pick a title or two from a shelf full of books on the Sea and the accompanying field guides. Carson is a lovely writer. A real pleasure to read on a balmy summer's eve.
I loved this book. It's the sort of read from which you constantly interrupt yourself in order to interrupt someone else by saying, "Hey, listen to this..."
I will never think of the ocean or the beach in the same way. Not just vacuous space, but teeming with the wildest kinds of lifeforms I had no idea existed.
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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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