Friday, December 3, 2010


The Read: Atlantic

The Writer: Simon Winchester

The Dealio: OK...I admit it: I have got this huge cerebellum-crush on Simon Winchester. Pretty much everything he writes turns me into cream cheese (exception: The Man Who Loved China). This time, his attention, which is ferocious, is turned towards the mama of all oceans: the Atlantic. Although Winchester cruises through the history of the ocean, and gooses it to life with some lovely 'insider stories' about its misspent youth, this is a tale fully realised. Drama, warfare, the sciences, the arts: it's all there. And I dare you to fine a boring passage throughout.

The Grading Session: 4.91 pengies out of 5. This is a wonderful tale- what I am used to expecting from Winchester: solid research into the historicity of the story, plus the romance, adventure and surprise of what we absolutely think we know about this familiar topic...and do not! PS-The soundtrack is terrific. Kidding. Just checking to see if you are still awake!

Lessons Learned: Numero Uno is that we, humankind, all of us, are totally messing up our natural resources, starting with the Atlantic. Then, too, is the sitch involving the desperation with which our governments are willfully turning a blind eye on our folly. Lastly this: would you go for a lovely fillet of tooth fish or slime head? No? How about Chilean Sea Bass and Orange Roughy, respectively. Never was an advertising campaign waged more effectively to get people out of their seats and buying fishes which were in abundance, but, for some reason, got mis- and unappealingly- labelled.

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