Risingtidefallingstar: In Search of the Soul of the Sea

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Product Details

University of Chicago Press
Publish Date
5.5 X 1.1 X 8.4 inches | 1.2 pounds
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About the Author

Philip Hoare is the author of biographies of Stephen Tennant and NoΓ«l Coward and the historical studies Wilde's Last Stand, Spike Island and England's Lost Eden. He is also the writer and presenter of the BBC Arena film, The Hunt for Moby-Dick. He lives in Southampton, England.


["Philip Hoare's] writing is quite untrammeled by convention and opens up astonishing views at every turn."--W. G. Sebald
"Rich and strange."--Olivia Laing, author of The Lonely City
"Hoare is drawn more to mystery than to science, less to the known than the unknowable, to the amateur more than the professional, preferring to find those who stumble on the sea than those who devote their lives to it. . . . With the all-encompassing model of Moby-Dick behind it, Hoare presents a vast and billowing medley of marinaria, with a tumbling sequence of biographical sketches and autobiographical moments, a half-lyrical, half-narrative encyclopaedia in which everything and anyone can be contained like a bundling of gusts and siroccos shut for a moment into the bag of winds. . . . Hoare writes with a beautiful and liquid assurance, luxuriantly at home in this half-modernist, half-conventional medium and capable of astonishingly realised visions of floating moments and sea encounters. . . . There is a genius for empathy here."--Adam Nicolson "Spectator "
"RisingTideFallingStar is so well written, so impassioned, so aqua-obsessed that after reading it you may actually want to drown."
--John Waters
"This is a book that is at once nature writing, memoir, literary criticism, travelogue and elegy. Like Sebald, the glue that binds it together is the narrative voice, a lonely, antique, erudite voice that speaks in long sentences studded with semi-colons; something liquid, tidal about the surge and flow of the words. . . . The passages that burn brightest here in the reader's mind are those in which the author turns his focus fully on his own life amid the waves. . . . Rarely have I read a book that felt as if it were speaking so directly, so confidentially to me. RisingTideFallingStar is about books and about swimming, but most of all it does what all great books do: makes you feel that it's a private conversation between you and the author. I finished it with an obscure feeling of privilege, to have been granted such access to Hoare's most secret, intimate self. . . . RisingTideFallingStar is a masterpiece."
"Reading Hoare is as strange, invigorating and disorienting as the experience of a sea swim."--Telegraph
"There is romance in [Hoare's] art, but it is never sentimental. On the contrary, he is reforging a primitive bond, paying attention to the natural world with compassion and curiosity. This is a truly mesmerizing read, its writer so very human but clearly wishing to be a part of nature rather than society."--Wall Street Journal, year's best nature books