The audio version of The Tide should be read by that extreme-movie-preview voiceover guy—you know the one—because this writer is More Intense About the Ocean Than You. Melville, eat your heart out! Challenging, intellectual, flowery, and epic, the book opens with 13 hours of the author watching the tide go in and out. Thereafter, The Tide takes us on a tour of Greek mythology, classical history, the art of Andy Goldsworthy, and the linguistics of water…for crying out loud, people die tied to stakes on the shore! Delightful madness.
“Superb. . . . A gently studious Bill Bryson crossed with an upbeat and relaxed WG Sebald.”—James McConnachie, Sunday Times (UK)
Half of the world’s population today lives in coastal regions lapped by tidal waters. But the tide rises and falls according to rules that are a mystery to almost all of us. In The Tide, celebrated science writer Hugh Aldersey-Williams weaves together centuries of scientific thinking with the literature and folklore the tide has inspired to explain the power and workings of this most remarkable force.
Here is the epic story of the long search to understand the tide from Aristotle, to Galileo and Newton, to classic literary portrayals of the tide from Shakespeare to Dickens, Melville to Jules Verne. Throughout, Aldersey-Williams whisks the reader along on his travels: He visits the Bay of Fundy in Nova Scotia, where the tides are the strongest in the world; arctic Norway, home of the raging tidal whirlpool known as the maelstrom; and Venice, to investigate efforts to defend the city against flooding caused by the famed acqua alta.
About the Author
Hugh Aldersey-Williams is the author of many books, including The Tide, Anatomies, Periodic Tales, and The Most Beautiful Molecule, a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. He lives in Norfolk, England.
This fascinating book deftly explores the dramatic history, critical importance, and scientific wonder of the tides. Hugh Aldersey-Williams is a marvelous guide who takes the reader on a sweeping and thought-provoking adventure into the heart of one of the most captivating, mysterious, and elemental forces of nature. — Eric Jay Dolin, author of Brilliant Beacons
Prepare for a voyage with the best of companions—Hugh Aldersey-Williams is a storyteller supreme, and he’s found a subject worthy of his talents. — Edward Dolnick, author of The Clockwork Universe
A wonderfully enjoyable exploration of the mysterious rhythms of the sea. I loved the combination of literary, historical, scientific, and experiential accounts of the tides, each ebbing and then flowing to allow the others to wash up on the pages of this remarkable book. — Mark Miodownik, author of Stuff Matters
A superb book [and] a delight to read. . . . Imagine, if possible, a gently studious Bill Bryson crossed with an upbeat and relaxed WG Sebald. — James McConnachie
Exposes new facts and ideas every other page. — Horatio Clare