Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “One Would Think the Deep” as Want to Read:
One Would Think the Deep
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

One Would Think the Deep

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  527 ratings  ·  110 reviews
It’s 1997 and seventeen-year-old Sam is mourning the sudden loss of his mum …

Sam has always had things going on in his head that no one else understands, even his mum. And now she’s dead, it’s worse than ever.

With nothing but his skateboard and a few belongings in a garbage bag, Sam goes to live with the strangers his mum cut ties with seven years ago: Aunty L
Paperback, 305 pages
Published June 13th 2016 by University of Queensland Press (UQP)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about One Would Think the Deep, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about One Would Think the Deep

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.95  · 
Rating details
 ·  527 ratings  ·  110 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of One Would Think the Deep
C.G. Drews
You know that moment when you read a good book and you just sit back and go, "YEAH I'M GONNA HUG THIS ONE AND PERHAPS SMILE WIDELY AND THEN SHRIEK ONCE OR TWICE AND NOD ENTHUSIASTICALLY"? Because I just had that feeling. I really liked this book! I mean, duh. I'm flapping about enthusiastically with my feelings for it.

I do have a small surfboard full of quibbles, but the facts of the day are:
a) I couldn't put it down
b) I loved Sam
c) g'day Aussieness, mate

The thing that got me is/>The
Jeann (Happy Indulgence)
This review appears on Happy Indulgence! Check it out for more reviews.

I’m so disappointed that I didn’t enjoy One Would Think The Deep. I have given 5 stars to Claire Zorn’s other novels, but this one just felt so different to her other novels.

Set in a small surfing town, the characters talk like “ridin’ waves brah” or “epic ay!”. It was difficult to get into because of the language and subject matter, as it really delves deep into hitting the waves and the music culture of the 90s
Kelly (Diva Booknerd)
Mar 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: uqp, loveozya
One Would Think The Deep is an honest and unflinching account of Australia and it's often backwater culture. Sam is an intelligent young man whose passion for music is only surpassed by his love of meteorology. Until his mother dies suddenly and leaves Sam stranded with his estranged aunt. Sam is a multilayered and complex young man, he feels the loss of his mother so deeply but rather than grieve, he uses the water as an escape. My heart ached for Sam. Losing his only parent and now having move ...more
Rosanne Hawke
Jun 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Claire Zorn has done it again. One Would Think the Deep is set in a NSW coastal town in the surfing scene. Sam loses his mum, doesn't know his father and has to live with his estranged aunt and cousins. None of it is easy for Sam: the grief, the relationships or the direction of his life. My heart broke for him. I wished I was there, but he wouldn't have wanted my help. What could I have said? Better to just love him. These characters are so real. You'd think Sam's blond surfing cousin would be ...more
One Would Think the Deep is Claire Zorn's third novel. Set in a fictional town between Sydney and Wollongong, we meet sixteen year old Sam Hudson. His mum has just died and he turns to the family he used to know, Aunty Lorraine, and her sons, Minty and Shane.

It was easy to feel for Sam, he and his mum have always been together, and he has fond memories of time spent with his grandparents, and with Minty. But his nan went missing one year, followed by the death of his granddad, and then his mum told him th

'You want something, you gotta get it for yourself. Sit around and expect to get handed it all on a silver platter,’ she shook her head, ‘you’re in for a rude shock. I reckon you have a choice: you can listen to the radio and think Jeff fuckin’ Buckley is singin’ about you or you can listen and know that he’s not and he never will be and the chances of anyone ever singing about you are tiny and the chances of your song being played on the radio are smaller still'

Honestly this book right here is
Dimity Powell
May 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kids-lit
Accomplished and artful. Brimming with emotion in every shade. Beautifully rendered, this moved me from all angles. Look out for my full review on Boomerang Books Blog, here:
So much goodness here.

Update: This book comes out today. I whipped up a longer review for Megan's blog and it's now posted . Megan made my words pretty with some surfing pictures.
rachel ☾
Nov 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
Although I did struggle with Zorn’s debut, The Sky So Heavy, earlier this year and the mixed reviews were a little bit intimidating, I knew that I would have to give this story a chance… and I’m so glad I did! One Would Think the Deep was such an unexpectedly complex and gritty story which reduced me to a sobbing wreck. Narrated by the blessed little tragic cinnamon roll that is Sam, I loved how Zorn explored so many important themes within in such an engaging storyline. There is no doubt in my heart that ...more
May 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, australian
Another excellent read from Claire Zorn. I didn't love this quite as much as her first two books (which blew me away), but I certainly enjoyed it. I do wonder about the little trend in Aussie YA to set books in the 1990s - seems a bit too much nostalgia for the author and not far enough away from daggy for the reader! Still good though (well, I AM a teen of the '90s!), and made me cry - par for the Zorn course!
Dec 03, 2015 marked it as to-read
Claire Zorn quickly became one of my auto buy authors. I devour her books -- in one sitting, no less! I cannot wait to read this.
Emily Mead
Jan 13, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: contemporary
Claire Zorn can seriously do no wrong.
Emily O’Beirne
Lovely, lovely writing.
May 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Claire Zorn does it again!
I loved being in a new world of hers, and after knowing the accuracy of her previous books, I completely fell into this one with trust.
The heartache never stops though, right from start to finish, I wanted to cry so many times, and finally did at the end when it was all too much!
I couldn't predict a single thing in this book, especially at the end, I did not see that coming until the paragraph before! I'm so happy I bought this and put it ahead of everything I had to
Kaysia (bookskay)
May 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book- it was one that I definitely got immersed in and thought about a lot. I cared about the main character from page one, and cried quite a bit in the first 100 pages. after that, the story progressed and developed so well that I felt like I was living it, and the characters' lives seemed so real to me. this book dealt with grief and mental illness very well, by showing how it affects lives, but also that it isn't simple to identify and overcome. despite the book being se ...more
May 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing

Claire Zorn writes about surfers as though she’s locked into their hearts and souls, riding every wave and rush with them.
She writes dialogue like she’s been secretly taping the warts and all conversations of real people. Her magic tape recorder also finds its way into their thoughts and feelings, so we get to know them, truly. And most importantly, we care about them.

This is a beautifully crafted novel about love lost and regained, about families and the secrets that tear them apart, and
Trigger warnings: death of a parent, violence, mentions of past domestic violence.

I am coming to the conclusion that Claire Zorn's books are not really for me. I read The Protected last year after it won the CBCA Book of the Year for Older Readers in 2015, and...I didn't love it. I mean, I liked the characters. But the story just didn't really work for me.

And I had the same problem here, with this year's CBCA Book of the Year for Older Readers.

I liked the characters. I liked how incredibly Au
Dinah Browne
Jul 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
I liked this book, but I have no idea how the title relates to the actual book.
Nov 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
Take me back to the late 90's and bring back all the memories of music I love - Jeff Buckley is the perfect soundtrack to this book, his beautiful, devastating, haunting voice...........
This was a great read. I enjoyed the story, connected with the characters and because of the fantastic writing, I was instantly pulled into this world. At times I was sure I could taste the hot chips mixed in with the salt from the ocean. When I finished I realised that for most of the book, I had been read
Sep 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: year-ahead
I bow down to the awesomeness that is Claire Zorn. She is an amazing writer who can make someone like me who doesn't like the beach and who's never been surfing (and never will) get drawn into that kind of world.

I had to stop reading when Sam found out Jeff Buckley died. I knew nothing about this singer and had never heard his music. So I listened to a few of his songs on YouTube before continuing, and after hearing them I felt that I connected to Sam more than before.

I never fully
Libby Armstrong
May 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
You need to give yourself time to read this properly, Zorn's characters deserve your full attention and Sam is such a complicated young man, the true extent of his grief is layers deep. Like her earlier work there is crushing pain followed by the sun of redemptive friendships shining through...and then more crushing pain. Surfing is an excellent metaphor - and there's lots of it going on. Strong female characters you'll also love. Fans who've been hanging out for the new Claire Zorn will be very ...more
Mar 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Full review to come upon release. Outstanding Australian talent.
Sep 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
I’m the first to admit I may have been a bit snobby about YA books in the past, never thought they were my thing and pretty much dismissed them. I know! Pretty silly really. In terms of quality writing, important themes and excellent characters there is no difference whatsoever. I was drawn to One Would Think The Deep by the fantastic cover and I’m so happy I had the chance to read it, many thanks to Ransom Publishing for sending me a complimentary copy.

What’s it about?

Rachel Sanderson
Sep 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
(This review is also published on my blog at

In the opening scene of Claire Zorn’s award-winning YA contemporary novel, the main character Sam is in a hospital feeding coins into a payphone that’s eating them just as fast. He’s trying to contact his aunty Lorraine who he hasn’t seen in years, but who he hopes will let him come and stay. His mum has died unexpectedly and he’s on his own.
Something of the feeling of that scene stayed with me throughout the book. Sam is in a precarious pos
Janay Brazier
I liked this book even though it isn’t my usual choice. It’s heavily focused on surfing, which works as a distraction for the main character, Sam, who has just lost his mother. The story is character driven rather than being moved along by events/plot. It also has a lot of dialogue, which I don’t normally see but I liked the longer conversations. There was a reveal at the end that I did guess, but it was really good. I think this book is a good look into how a young adult copes with these change ...more
Clare M
Nov 19, 2017 rated it it was ok
Jeanne of Happy Indulgence summed up my thoughts perfectly. I didn't like any of the characters or the surfing aspect. I loved Claire Zorn's first book, The Sky so Heavy so I was really disappointed that I could connect with this story.
Jenny Williams
Sep 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
An excellent read. This book won Australia's top YA award: CBCA 2017 'Book of the Year for Older Readers'
Clare Snow
That broke me...

the line-up
"How long could you stand there in one spot, not moving, before someone noticed or said something or asked you to move?"

Back in August One Would Think the Deep by Claire Zorn (UQP, 2016) was shortlisted for the Inky Award 2017 and won CBCA Book of The Year Older Readers 2017. I was paying so little attention, I noticed neither. But I know what I feel for One Would Think the Deep, as it twisted my heart and wrung me dry.

My incom
Wendy Orr
Beautifully written though raw with emotion; real and amazing. That's all you need to know - just read it.
Sep 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
"Sam fell into a pattern without making a conscious decision. Out of the water he was messed up, he had turned every good thing he had to shit. In the water he was Minty Booner’s cousin and he would take on any wave that rose up against him. Recklessness or measured risk – the hazy space in-between was solace."

In the summer of 1997, 17-year old Sam Hudson catches his mother as she collapses, felled by an aneurysm. Sam hasn’t seen his Auntie Lorraine Booner in 7 years, but she is the
« previous 1 3 4 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Yellow
  • Frankie
  • Small Spaces
  • Take Three Girls
  • The Sidekicks
  • In the Dark Spaces
  • Zac and Mia
  • The Bone Sparrow
  • The Boundless Sublime
  • Waer
  • The Road to Winter (Winter, #1)
  • Hive (Hive #1)
  • Lenny's Book of Everything
  • Wreck
  • Breathing Under Water
  • The Elephant
  • The Place on Dalhousie
  • It Sounded Better in My Head
See similar books…
Claire Zorn grew up in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney. She studied Fine Arts at UWS and Writing at UTS. She currently lives on the South Coast of NSW with her husband and two small children.
“The space between the notes was loaded. Negative space.” 1 likes
“the desire to breathe that was the problem.” 1 likes
More quotes…