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Voices In The Ocean

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.
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Recent Praise

"Painstakingly researched and gorgeously written…"

  • “Casey transports us through the many truths and myths about dolphins.”
  • USA Today

“Casey skillfully weaves global adventure travelogues..."

  • "...first-person reportage and deep archival research. She exhibits a flair for peppering her tales with complex scientific concepts but keeps them accessible.”

  • Miami Herald

"...timely voice of reason urging us to connect with nature.”

  • “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.”

  • — BBC

"[Voices in the Ocean] fascinates.”

  • “Part science, part memoir, part impassioned plea for change."

  • People

“A meticulously reported global odyssey…"

  • "[Casey] has an inexhaustible curiosity and a knack for fully embracing her subject.”

  • Outside

"Gripping…"

  • "Casey is a joyously lyrical writer, and her descriptions of dolphin and human behaviour are mostly laugh-out-loud funny’

  • —The Mail on Sunday

Susan's Books

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Voices In The Ocean

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...

more
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Devil's Teeth

Since Jaws scared a nation of moviegoers out of the water three decades ago, great white sharks have attained a mythic status as the most frightening and mysterious monsters to still live among us. Each fall, just twenty-seven miles off the San Francisco coast, in the waters surrounding a desolate rocky island chain, the world’s largest congregation of these fearsome predators gathers to feed.

  • Journalist Susan Casey first...
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The Wave

From Susan Casey, bestselling author of The Devil’s Teeth, an astonishing book about colossal, ship-swallowing rogue waves and the surfers who seek them out.

For centuries, mariners have spun tales of gargantuan waves, 100-feet high or taller. Until recently scientists dismissed these stories—waves that high would seem to violate the laws of physics. But in the past few decades, as a startling number of ships vanished and new...

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