From Susan Casey, the New York Times bestselling author of The Wave and The Devil’s Teeth, a breathtaking journey through the extraordinary world of dolphins
Since the dawn of recorded history, humans have felt a kinship with the sleek and beautiful dolphin, an animal whose playfulness, sociability, and intelligence seem like an aquatic mirror of mankind. In recent decades, we have learned that dolphins recognize themselves in reflections, count, grieve, adorn themselves, feel despondent, rescue one another (and humans), deduce, infer, seduce, form cliques, throw tantrums, and call themselves by name. Scientists still don’t completely understand their incredibly sophisticated navigation and communication abilities, or their immensely complicated brains.
While swimming off the coast of Maui, Susan Casey was surrounded by a pod of spinner dolphins. It was a profoundly transporting experience, and it inspired her to embark on a two-year global adventure to explore the nature of these remarkable beings and their complex relationship to humanity. Casey examines the career of the controversial John Lilly, the pioneer of modern dolphin studies whose work eventually led him down some very strange paths. She visits a community in Hawaii whose adherents believe dolphins are the key to spiritual enlightenment, travels to Ireland, where a dolphin named as “the world’s most loyal animal” has delighted tourists and locals for decades with his friendly antics, and consults with the world’s leading marine researchers, whose sense of wonder inspired by the dolphins they study increases the more they discover.
Yet there is a dark side to our relationship with dolphins. They are the stars of a global multibillion-dollar captivity industry, whose money has fueled a sinister and lucrative trade in which dolphins are captured violently, then shipped and kept in brutal conditions. Casey’s investigation into this cruel underground takes her to the harrowing epicenter of the trade in the Solomon Islands, and to the Japanese town of Taiji, made famous by the Oscar-winning documentary The Cove, where she chronicles the annual slaughter and sale of dolphins in its narrow bay.
Casey ends her narrative on the island of Crete, where millennia-old frescoes and artwork document the great Minoan civilization, a culture which lived in harmony with dolphins, and whose example shows the way to a more enlightened coexistence with the natural world.
No writer is better positioned to portray these magical creatures than Susan Casey, whose combination of personal reporting, intense scientific research, and evocative prose made The Wave and The Devil’s Teeth contemporary classics of writing about the sea. In Voices in the Ocean, she has written a thrilling book about the other intelligent life on the planet.
Voice-over actress Campbell delivers a powerful performance of journalist Casey's moving (and often heart-wrenching) title exploring one of our planet's most complex and mysterious species. Campbell possesses a gift for channeling the personalities of the people who Casey encounters during her travels; this talent makes for a gripping listening experience. For example, Campbell perfectly captures the ethereal charm of a New Age marine guru named Joan Ocean. She also scores in her colorful rendering of Lawrence Makili, a native of the Solomon Islands who has channeled his considerable grit and savvy into activism on behalf of the beleaguered dolphins in the waters of his nation. In the section of the narrative devoted to Taiji, Japan's notorious annual dolphin hunt, Campbell's ability to project the tones of bitter confrontation without descending into simplistic caricature is a notable accomplishment. Listeners will be utterly enthralled. A Doubleday hardcover.
Fascinating book, well rounded and very absorbing
I really enjoyed this book! I felt the author did a great job covering all aspects of dolphin lore, from ancient cultures to new age gurus to impassioned activists, without getting too deep into any one of them. It's obvious she is a lover of the species, but the book is grounded in science. In fact, interviews with scientists who've experimented with dolphins and the ex-trainers who abandoned their trade were some of my favorite parts of the book. The book is fascinating, heartbreaking, and overall very illuminating. The book is well written and easy to read. Totally worth your time!
Voices in the Ocean
Not worth the price to read re-hashed stories of Dolphins with little new and/or credible information.