“Philip Hoare’s The Whale is everything you want from a book. It is unpredictable and amusing and informative and original, cavorting between biology, history, travel writing, and memoir with an engaging sense of the subject’s charisma.” -Mark Kurlansky, author of Salt and Cod
A yearlong adventure through the world’s oceans with Philip Hoare, the award-winning author of The Whale.
In colorful prose and lively line drawings, Hoare sets out to rediscover the sea and its islands, birds, and beasts. Starting at his home on the shores of Britain’s Southampton Water and moving in ever widening circles—like the migration patterns of whales—Hoare explores London, the Isle of Wight, the Azores, Sri Lanka, Tasmania, and New Zealand.
As Hoare brilliantly weaves together literary and natural history, we encounter memorable people as well as the dolphins, whales, and other creatures above and below the water (even one species formerly believed to be extinct).
Echoing the fine tradition of W. G. Sebald, but in a voice all Hoare’s own, The Sea Inside is bursting with an endless series of delights and revelations from the ever-changing sea.
“The Sea Inside is a charming book: learned, passionate, idiosyncratic, and more than a bit melancholy.” —Boston Globe
“In his fascinating travelogue…Hoare has adopted the Sebald approach, complete with text-embedded photographs and artwork, as he wanders around and across a variety of seas from England to New Zealand in search of their tales, lore, history, ecology, biological complexity and elusive beauty.” —New York Times Book Review
“Whether you’re looking for ruminations on whales or what ‘counter-shading’ means in the context of grebes, this series of essays on our relationship to our oceans is incredibly rewarding.” —Jeff VanderMeer, ”10 Influences on the Southern Reach Trilogy” for the Huffington Post
“Part memoir and part natural history, [Hoare's] narrative is simultaneously philosophical and engaging.” —Salon, Memorial Day weekend reading list
“An evocative memoir about one man’s relationship with the sea, as well as an elegiac account of dying environments.” —Green Apple Books recommendations, SF Gate
“Mr. Hoare’s The Sea Inside embraces the dangers and mysteries of the natural world and in them finds transcendental awe…Mr. Hoare’s gimlet eye sees the magical in the mundane.” —Wall Street Journal
”I can honestly say I have never read anything that was more attuned to the connections between science, history, and the mysteries of existence. Hoare takes us on many a welcome tangent, always bringing us deeper inside ourselves, putting us in touch with our humanity…for better or for worse.” —Provincetown Magazine
“The Sea Inside offers discoveries in every chapter—Hoare, in addition to being an inherently interesting writer, has a talent for uncovering fascinating historical narratives. This author is a virtuosic storyteller, and The Sea Inside is a welcome opportunity to accompany him on his wanderings—be they geographical, philosophical, or narrative.” —Daily Beast, This Week’s Hot Reads
“Here is the distilled essence of Hoare’s work: one part poetry, one part record, and one part a plea for us to pay attention to these oceans, our oceans—and ourselves.” —Electric Literature
“Literary history and natural history entwine so seamlessly in Hoare’s narrative that the barrier between readers and the sea within all of us blurs and disappears.” —Booklist, starred review
“Hoare’s writing awakens the senses with visions, sounds, and smells of the ocean; his delight and interest in nature will encourage readers to look around with new eyes.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review
“This is not a book following the geography of the sea; nor is it a history of sailing. It is an attempt to establish and examine the oneness that the Maori have understood for years: There is no difference between life on land and life in the sea… A beautifully written memoir/travelogue with readable diversions into philosophy.” —Kirkus Reviews
“A profound and lyrical love affair.” -The Observer
“As bracing as a great blustery lungful of ozone-filled air… His passionate engagement will infect you.” -The Times
“The range, variety and enthusiasm… elevates the work into the realm of sheer entertainment… A delight.” -Sunday Telegraph
“Philip Hoare’s writing is quite untrammelled by convention and opens up astonishing views at every turn.” -W.G. Sebald