He does an excellent job of placing each wreck within a broader context, as well as examining the human elements of the story. The result is a book that will appeal to readers with an interest in maritime history and who would enjoy a different, and enlightening, perspective. Gibbins combines historical knowledge with a sense of adventure, making this book a highly enjoyable package.
An inviting, eclectic book . . . a cornucopia of information and stories, lengthy but very readable, drawing in a wide net of maritime figures and explorers.
[An] excellent, endlessly interesting book... Kings and commoners alike are drawn together in richly detailed, often spellbinding narratives which genuinely do, to use the old cliché, "bring history to life".
A real-life Indiana Jones takes readers on a dive through these underwater museums, revealing the sunken secrets of the past... Prepare to be flabbergasted by the treasures Gibbins uncovers and by the stories they represent.
From every corner of our ship-hungry oceans, from simple oar-propelled boats of the Bronze Age to great 19th century steam-powered juggernauts of trade and war, the author (an esteemed archaeologist) gives us a history of the world in a sea-salted way that has never been done before. A bravura work, insightfully woven, grippingly told and beautifully illustrated.
Absolutely fascinating, beautifully written and impeccably researched. David Gibbin's deep dive into maritime archaeology is masterful and entrancing - this is big history at its best.
A well-informed and dynamic narrator, Gibbins glides breezily between stories of his scuba dives and quotes from medieval Chinese poetry. History buffs will find this smooth sailing.
Engrossing . . . Gibbins is the ideal person to tell the story of shipwrecks. He is a distinguished underwater archaeologist, veteran of thousands of dives and a best-selling novelist whose narrative skills are here harnessed to fact rather than fiction . . . Gibbins is a sensitive narrator; he never loses sight of the reality that wrecks represent the tragic loss of human lives. However, he also knows they can open up 'many fascinating byways of history to those willing to be fully immersed.
[A] fantastic voyage both under the waves and into the past
David Gibbins's fascinating exploration of historic shipwrecks reveals that there is more to them than simple tragedy. Detailing everything from the exploits of prehistoric sea traders to the heroic actions of those on board the second world war cargo ship Gairsoppa, Gibbins conveys unimaginable courage in tales of people pushing beyond their reach and leaving a valuable legacy.
Fascinating... he offers wonderful material, well researched and placed in its wider context, illuminating the history of trade and warfare from unaccustomed angles.
Gibbins' remarkable research will grant both maritime and general historians a deeper perspective on how our world developed.
I love this book. It shows the talents of the researcher married to the skills of a master storyteller, and every page recreates the frisson of my youth at the anticipation of a discovery or a mystery revealed. This book will be treasured by all who are hooked on the mystique of loss, the romance of discovery and the sense that shipwrecks give of having captured a moment in time.