E. F. Bartley

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Last Updated on June 7, 2022, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 260

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There is no question about the fact that Jacques Cousteau is an interesting showman as well as a competent researcher of the ocean depths. That he writes well is attested to by [Life and Death in a Coral Sea]…. Credit also must be given to the technical writing assistance of Philippe Diolé and the capable translation by J. F. Bernard….

In addition to giving the reader many new insights into the world of the sea, Cousteau provides an account of the exploration processes themselves. Historical aspects of sea exploration are woven into the text in order that one can get some feeling for the advances that have been made. The description of Cousteau's new diving saucers, called fleas, gives a look into how far advanced the art of diving has become. The design and construction of this equipment must have been a most complicated project in its own way.

Space limits the inclusion of each of the items that the reviewer found intriguing and felt worthy of mention; suffice it to say that there is an abundance of informative and interesting material. Mention must be made of the numerous times that Cousteau warns of the dangers to the existence of sea life that pollution is causing. He gives detailed proof of the deterioration that has taken place and adds his voice to the many that have been raised in warning that action must be taken to protect the environment.

E. F. Bartley, in a review of "Life and Death in a Coral Sea," in Best Sellers, Vol. 31, No. 17, December 1, 1971, p. 397.


The Times Literary Supplement


Nelson Bryant