Since the dawn of history, humans have felt a kinship with dolphins. But these playful aquatic creatures are also mysterious: scientists still don’t fully understand their sophisticated navigation and communication abilities, or their complicated brains.
In 2010, following her father’s death, Susan Casey had a remarkable encounter with a pod of spinner dolphins off the coast of Maui. It inspired her on a two-year global adventure to learn about these beautiful animals. Casey visits a Hawaiian community that believes dolphins are the key to enlightenment; travels to Ireland to meet ‘the world’s most loyal dolphin’, and visits Crete to explore the ancient Minoans’ interdependence on the animals.
Yet dolphins are also the subjects of a sinister lucrative global trade. Casey’s reportage takes her to the harrowing epicentre in the Solomon Islands, and to the Japanese town of Taiji, made infamous by the Oscar–winning documentary The Cove, where she chronicles protests against the annual slaughter of dolphins.
In the tradition of Susan Orlean and Donovan Hohn, Voices in the Ocean is a thrilling, compassionate, imperative account of the other intelligent life on the planet.
‘[Casey’s] fascination with dolphins leads her on a globe-trotting trek around the world to study dolphins, porpoises, and whales … Voices in the Ocean begins with a near-perfect set piece … Casey loves her subject, and we all know there is something special about dolphins.’
Amazon Best Book of August 2015
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‘This book puts our contradictory relationship with the natural world under the spotlight. We supposedly love and revere marine mammals, yet even today we still treat them with savage cruelty. Susan Casey uses her journalistic eye to skilfully expose the duality of our relationship with the ocean’s most charismatic inhabitants. Voices in the Ocean exposes the shameful abuse we inflict on our cetacean cousins.’
Tim Ecott, author of Stealing Water and Neutral Buoyancy
‘Voices in the Ocean is as much a beautiful, well-researched narrative about dolphins as it is a powerful and timely voice of reason urging us to connect with nature. You will be keenly recommending this to friends so that you can explore its depths together into the small hours.’
Maya Plass, marine and coastal ecologist, author of Handbook of the Seashore
‘[A] meticulously reported global odyssey … Fans of Casey’s writing know that she has an inexhaustible curiosity and a knack for fully embracing her subject … We’re never quite sure where Casey’s investigation will take us … Casey isn’t afraid.’
‘In making the case for animals possessing thoughts and feelings like our own, [this book] implicitly and explicitly argues for treating our fellow animals with more compassion and respect. Only a few decades ago, books like [this] would not have been possible. Animal minds were considered by many scientists to be unknowable “black boxes”. Recent trends in brain studies and field research have made understanding animal minds a possibility … Demonstrates how interested we as humans are in the minds of other animals, and just how much we still don’t know about other animals’ subjective experiences … Persuasively argues that the question isn’t “What are animals?”; it’s “Who are they?”’
Mary Bates, Slate
‘A masterful, accessible book.’
Jennifer Ridgway, Everyday Ebook
‘An eye-opening look at the world below the sea.’
Abby Haglage, The Daily Beast
‘Casey transports us through the many truths and myths about dolphins … Painstakingly researched and gorgeously written, Voices in the Ocean provides textbook-depth education that is based on Casey’s years of swimming the open seas with dolphins, interviews with leading experts and protectors, and harrowing trips to the nether reaches of the globe where horrific brutalities occur.’
‘[W]hat starts out as a feelgood, new-agey account darkens like the sunlight diminishing in the deep, subtly turning into a devastating chronicle of one of the most egregious mismatches in natural-human history. The result is a brilliantly written and passionate book ... timely and urgent.’
‘Part science, part memoir, part impassioned plea for change, Casey's look at the world of dolphins — and our mistreatment of them — fascinates.’
‘Humans have always wondered if there is intelligent life elsewhere in the universe, when all the time it has been right alongside them, in the sea, in the form of dolphins.’
Noel Shaw, Launceston Examiner