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Monday, August 25, 2014

The Great Barrier Reef, a book

Or, to be exact, the review.

"Australia’s Great Barrier Reef stretches for around 1,430 miles along the continent’s northeast coast, encompassing an area roughly half the size of Texas. Those who have dived into its pristine reaches know firsthand that it is one of Earth’s natural wonders—a coral world of exceptional beauty and diversity. Yet as Iain McCalman’s “passionate history” of the reef makes clear, it is also a stage on which dreams, ambitions, and great human tragedies have been played out. He tells his story by chronicling lives that, either inadvertently or intentionally, have shaped our perception of the coralline labyrinth..."
So begins Tim Flannery's review of McCalman's The Reef in The New York Review of Books.

It's the kind of review that every writer dreads -- it goes on and on in the same vein, picking out all the sensational bits and relating all the best anecdotes.  Worse still, instead of giving compelling reasons to go out and buy the book, it summarizes the story so you don't have to read it.

Pretty picture, though. 

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