You don't need to own a Kindle device to enjoy Kindle books. Download one of our FREE Kindle apps to start reading Kindle books on all your devices.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
HarperCollins Publishers (AU)
This price was set by the publisher.
Atlantic: A Vast Ocean of a Million Stories Kindle Edition
The best device for reading, full stop. Learn more
"Atlantic...is at once satisying, suspenseful (no mean trick on the subject of an ocean), thought-provoking, occasionally funny, and always absorbing. So big a subject as the Atlantic Ocean requires a certain largeness of spirit, and amplitude of descriptive power, and Simon Winchester is gloriously up to the task."-- "Daily Beast"
"[An] epic new book...With his excellent research and engrossing anecdotes about the ocean as a 'living thing, ' Winchester spotlights its inspiration on poets, painters, and writers in its majestic beauty...Winchester's sea saga is necessary reading for those who want to understand the planet better."-- "Publishers Weekly "
"[A] tale about the Atlantic Ocean that is variably genial, cautionary, lyrical, admonitory, terrifying, horrifying, and inspiring...A lifetime of thought, travel, reading, imagination, and memory inform this affecting account."-- "Kirkus Reviews (starred review) "
"A formidable writer and storyteller."-- "Entertainment Weekly"
"Convincing...A fascinating look at a long sweep of history."-- "Los Angeles Times"
"Fascinating...Simon Winchester's storytelling abilities shine, with personal anecdote and research expertly woven."-- "Guardian (London) "
"Few writers working today can tackle such broad, sprawling--and at times overwhelming--material as Simon Winchester and deliver it with such skill, verve, and grace...Epic...Winchester is a master craftsman, and Atlantic is well worth the effort...deftly executed, audacious."-- "Miami Herald "
"History is rarely as charming and entertaining as when it's told by Simon Winchester. There are fabulous set pieces in Atlantic--on piracy, on packet ships, on trans-Atlantic cables and the speeding up of information, on codfish, on sea bass, on plankton."-- "New York Times Book Review "
"Inspired."-- "San Francisco Chronicle "
"Interesting and informative...Mr. Winchester's yarns are not just sea stories; they are documented adventures...delightful...a fantastic yarn."-- "Washington Times " --This text refers to the audioCD edition.
From the Inside Flap
Atlantic is a biography of a tremendous space that has been central to the ambitions of explorers, scientists, and warriors, and continues profoundly to affect our character, attitudes, and dreams. Simon Winchester makes the Atlantic come vividly alive. Spanning the ocean's story from its geological origins to the age of exploration--covering the Vikings, the Irish, the Basques, John Cabot, and Christopher Columbus in the north, and the Portuguese and the Spanish in the south--and from World War II battles to today's struggles with pollution and overfishing, his narrative is epic, intimate, and awe inspiring. More than a mere history, this is an unforgettable journey of unprecedented scope by one of the most gifted writers in the English language.--Entertainment Weekly --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
- ASIN : B0044DE992
- Publisher : HarperPress (17 March 2011)
- Language : English
- File size : 781 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 555 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: 201,050 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Review this product
Top reviews from Australia
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Top reviews from other countries
He also tells of shipwrecks and oil spillages, freak weather conditions, world wars and treasure ships that are still down there. The coming of the telegraph and then radio needed ships that could lay the giant cables that were required and it took many months to complete this operation. With the coming of air travel the great ocean liners that carried hundreds of thousands of immigrants from Europe to the US to start a new life are a relic of their former glory - did you know that the derivation of the word "liner" comes from the fact that the great ships would line up to leave port on their
transatlantic journeys back in late Victorian times.
There is so much fascinating information and stories to be had in this book that it will keep you enthralled for days - I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in the sea and everything related to it and its surroundings.
But he paints on a wider canvas to describe the importance of the Atlantic over the years - an ocean that with today's air travel does not have a high profile. For example parliamentary democracy as it is understood today was very much an Atlantic creation. No such institutions arose in Russia or China or Greece. The Icelandic Rock of Laws set the pattern for governance of the rest of the world, mimicked by the Faroe Islands, Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Britain.
He approaches the Atlantic from all angles, from its early exploration to pirates and the slave trade; from sea battles through the ages to commerce; from the laying of the transatlantic cable and air routes across the ocean to climate change, ocean currents and receding ice cap.
The question of what motivated men to make the dangerous voyage into the Atlantic before America was "discovered" is answered by fish and whales. He makes a convincing case that the Norsemen created settlements in Newfoundland and Labrador between 975 and 1020 AD. The allure of fish, and specifically cod, drew the Vikings and the Basques as well as John Cabot who named Newfoundland before the imperial claims made by Christopher Colombus in 1492.
The technical tribulations of the USS Niagra and HMS Agamemnon in laying 2,500 miles of transatlantic cable in 1857 is ascribed as the most ambitious construction project ever envisaged in the world. The visionary and financier behind the project was Cyrus Field. After only 15 days the cable succumbed to some unknown submarine malady and no further cable was laid until Brunel's Great Eastern in 1866. By 1900 there were 15 cables but then in 1901 Marconi successfully sent the first radio signal across the Atlantic. The "distance in time" across the Atlantic rapidly diminished.
The immense research and colourful stories makes it another of Winchester's compelling books.
Second, Winchester's ocean really is "a vast ocean of a million stories," and most of them are fascinating. While I enjoyed the historical chapters, more than the geological ones, Winchester has put together a book that covers nearly every aspect of interest. I was amazed to see that so much of our modern world today has grown and developed in and around the Atlantic Ocean. I did not know, for example, the "hidden story" of the eventual creation of the State of Israel. The Royal Navy's need for acetone led Chaim Weizmann, who had developed a special technique to create the substance, to come into favour with such figures as the future Prime Minister David Lloyd George and his foreign secretary Arthur Balfour. The rest of course is history and we all know how important the Balfour Declaration was in Israel's eventual independence. But "Atlantic" is filled with such stories.
Third, Winchester is just a great writer and knowledgeable on a wide variety of subjects. I was endlessly amazed at all the things he's done and the places he's been. He can turn what one might think a very dull matter into a truly exciting read (for example his The Meaning of Everything: The Story of the Oxford English Dictionary Who would think a dictionary could be so interesting?)
Fourth, I liked that he tried to be objective in his coverage of climate change and other environmental issues, showing both sides of the matter. No matter where you stand politically on some of these questions, it is hard not to see that man is doing some damage to the ocean, although much of the change may be natural.
The one thing I noticed, however, was that the book could have used a better proofreader. Winchester is clearly an intellect, and so it was unfortunate that there were quite a few mistakes (additional words or spelling mistakes, for example) that took away from the polished finish.
All in all, however, I would definitely recommend this book.