Descent: The Heroic Discovery of the Abyss
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Descent: The Heroic Discovery of the Abyss

3.86 of 5 stars 3.86  ·  rating details  ·  42 ratings  ·  4 reviews
In Descent: The Heroic Discovery of the Abyss, Brad Matsen brings to vivid life the famous deep-sea expeditions of Otis Barton and William Beebe. Beebe was a very well-connected and internationally acclaimed naturalist, with the power to generate media attention. Barton was an engineer and heir to a considerable fortune, who had long dreamed of making his mark on the world...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published June 6th 2006 by Vintage (first published April 12th 2005)
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I became interested, after watching footage of deep-sea creatures, in just how and when mankind managed to find its way to the deep ocean. This book describes the development of the first deep sea craft, and the strained relationship between the two men who built and used it together.

This book is quite informative and not bad at all, but it reads in places as if the author was struggling to write in the current breezy, personal pop-science style (see: Mary Roach). It has flow issues, since he ke...more
For anyone who loves PBS specials about deep submersibles, or who wants to go down in a sub themselves, this book is a must. The description of the bathysphere, how small it was, the open trays of chemicals they had to use to scrub the air, is enough to make your hair stand up. Imagining crawling into that thing, and saying "go ahead, drop me a mile down, let's see what happens" just freaks me out. It's a little slow in some places, and you never quite figure out how these guys managed to pay fo...more
William Beebe and Otis Barton traveled underwater, beyond where sunlight would reach, in a tiny metal ball called the Blathysphere. There they found things they had never even dared imagine. This is history of their descents, the work that led up to them, and their lives after them. I found it interesting.
Rita Brinkerhoff
This is full of correspondence - it is all about the first time people went deep into the ocean in Beebe's Bathysphere. It's full of intrigue! Non-fiction FTW!
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Brad Matsen has been writing about wonders of the sea for forty years. He is the author of Jacques Cousteau: The Sea King; Descent: The Heroic Discovery of the Abyss, which was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in 2006; the New York Times bestseller Titanic's Last Secrets; Planet Ocean: A Story of Life in the Sea; and Dancing to the Fossil Record with artist Ray Troll; the award-winn...more
More about Bradford Matsen...
Titanic's Last Secrets: The Further Adventures of Shadow Divers John Chatterton and Richie Kohler Jacques Cousteau: The Sea King Planet Ocean: A Story of Life, the Sea, and Dancing to the Fossil Record Ray Troll's Shocking Fish Tales: Fish, Romance, and Death in Pictures Fishing Up North: Stories of Luck and Loss in Alaskan Waters

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