An instant classic of nature history--a science-driven work of seaside grandeur.
The Sound of the Sea is one of those rare, knockout books that has you gasping in surprise on every page. From the prehistoric to the present, seashells have suffused human life, from giving voice to ancient gods to spurring climate solutions today.
The Sound of the Sea is as exquisite, many-chambered, and luminous as the shells Cynthia Barnett describes in her wild and hybrid book. It is a travelogue, a finely argued indictment of colonization and capitalism, a reanimation of scientists lost to the official narrative, and, most ringingly, the story of the way shells and the soft and vulnerable animals within them reflect back both the greatness of human ingenuity and the equally immense and rippling effect of human harm to the natural world. This song of mingled praise and warning left me shell-shocked, wonder-struck, utterly delighted.