Log in

Welcome to Dive Gear Reviews, a comprehensive guide to scuba diving equipment. Scuba diving is an expensive pursuit, so looking up reviews for a particular article of equipment is a wise precaution before investing any hard-earned money in it. However, consumer reviews may or may not be written by an experienced diver, and magazine reviews could be suspect due to the advertising ties of the publication in question. Dive Gear Reviews provides cross-referenced reviews assembled by an expert, making it possible to see at a glance what multiple sources said about a particular piece of scuba equipment. If one magazine loved a scuba regulator or a dive computer, but the consumers hated it, that information will be found here.

Dive Book Review: “Stars Beneath the Sea: The Pioneers of Diving” by Trevor Norton

Written by Dive Gear Reviews Editor. Comments Off on Dive Book Review: “Stars Beneath the Sea: The Pioneers of Diving” by Trevor Norton Posted in: Book and Film Reviews

Stars Beneath the Series is a collection of profiles, with each chapter devoted to an inventor, biologist, archaeologist or adventurer who in one way or another contributed to the development of diving. Some of these personalities date to before the invention of practical air compressors, such as Belgian Henri Milne Edwards and his mid-19th Century diving bell. This book is no a spine-tingling non-fiction thriller about the perilous trial and error of advancing diving technology and techniques. Instead, it is a strongly science-oriented history as told through the stories of individual people. Norton’s subjects are sometimes colorful and quirky and sometimes staid and conservative, but all of them pushed the boundaries in one way or another.

One of the questions that inevitably arises from thumbing through the pages of a book like this one is how Norton chose his subjects. In an odd and rather debatable twist, the author apparently chose to avoid writing about anyone whose contributions to diving and underwater exploration might have made them remotely famous with the general public. While a book like Stars Beneath the Sea does not need to include a chapter on Jacques Cousteau, none of the notable pioneers of hardhat diving were included, nor was anyone who pushed the boundaries of scuba diving in the 1970s and 1980s with mixed gas diving. Norton chose to narrowly focus on the sort of science figures who might figure nicely in a Bill Nye the Science Guy program, which is fine, but it isn’t a complete picture nor what at least some readers might have expected from a book with the subtitle like “The Pioneers of Diving.”

For some, Stars Beneath the Sea will be a fascinating read, and it is hands-down a worthwhile history of the science and invention of diving. However, for others the book’s narrow choice of subjects will prove a little dull. Basically, it’s the kind of book that belongs on the shelf of every public library, but maybe not on the shelf of every diver.