Friday, January 1, 2010

The Deep by Claire Nouvian

I was going to talk about Avatar this week, but I think plenty of people are doing that. Suffice it to say that I didn't love it unconditionally, but I did love it. Among (many) other things, the alien planet really looked alien, and it had a variety of cool animals and creatures populating it.

Which brings me around to The Deep. I'm absolutely terrified by creatures that live in the ocean--not in rivers or fishbowls, just in the ocean--but I'm also fascinated by them. They're so beautiful, and different, and complex, and simple, and alien. That's what this book is about.

This is an oversize book, one that you'll want to read at a table, and there's hardly any text. The whole book is huge, full-color pictures of deep-sea animals on black, like the cover, and it is truly amazing. The vast majority of them were animals I had never seen before, despite my ocean-dweller fixations, and they're animals I couldn't have made up if I tried. Each one has a small, inconspicuous paragraph with it's significant informtion, and every so often there are short essays to give you an impression of the big picture (ha, pun) but they support the pictures, not the other way around.

After I read this I immediately went out to look for more, but there's not much out there for laymen. This is the best of its kind, with current information and pictures you can stare at for hours. I knew there was some strange life on Earth, from pachyderms with prehensile noses to my weird grandmother, but I never knew there were things like this.

Buy The Deep

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