Reviews - What do customers think about Dark Descent: Diving And The Deadly Allure Of The Empress Of Ireland?
Outstanding Technical Diving Book Sep 6, 2008
It is really hard to find a good and well written book on diving. This is a great book. I couldn't set it down. Felt like it was there and in the moment. Made me want to postpone diving the Doria to dive the Empress. Exelent Book. If you like this book then you should check out Fatal Depth, and Deep Descent. Both also great books.
Could have made room for some better quality photographs. Jan 19, 2008
Make no mistake, this is as complete a work on the ship "Empress of Ireland" as one might wish to find. The story of the tragedy itself is told in fascinating detail and the individual accounts of personal loss, survival and even the death of a professional salvage diver in the days following the demise of this once great ship reveal a level of research which is both thorough and complete.
It all happened in 1914, only two years after the loss of the Titanic but also only a few months before Europe would be plunged into a conflict which would become known as the Great War, or the War to end all Wars. How curious, therefore, that the story of the Titanic lives on - and on, and that that of the Empress of Ireland seems to have become lost alongside the wreck itself.
Anyone wanting to know anything at all about the Empress of Ireland need hardly look further than this book - which is, indeed a job well done. My only criticism is reserved for the standard of reproduced photographs - some of which are no bigger than postage stamps and many of which are not clear.
First class reference material for historians, anyone with an interest and, especially, those contemplating diving the wreck itself. Read the book first, you might just change your mind.
Duffy Jul 30, 2007
Beautifully written! McMurray shares with us his passion for the Empress and all of her history. He shares with us her majestic beauty above the sea, as well as beneath the sea. I never knew of the Empress of Ireland until reading this book, and I will visit her site one day. McMurray not only writes about the Empress and the divers that love her, but he makes the reader want to be included in that world, too. Thank you Mr. McMurray for writing such a touching story.
This one is a good one Feb 7, 2007
A good book, a great book, actually. Although I'm more impressed with The Last Attempt, The true Story of Freediving Champion Audrey Mestre and the Mystery of her death" by Carlos Serra.
That book gave me goose bumps, especially on the way the whole story develops and the twist in the end. Expect something like The Sixth Sense with Bruce Willis, because the final point about Audrey's death is in your face throughout the narrative but hard to see until it's told by the author. Amazing book The Last Attempt!
Mainly of interest to divers Oct 14, 2006
While the book reads quickly, it is no page-turner. Unlike Shadow Divers or The Last Dive, the descriptions of the dives were not gripping. I did find the local politics of controlling the dive site to be interesting, but only a diver would.
The reason the book is not a page-turner is that there is no spine to the story. True, there is a central theme to the book, namely, the Empress of Ireland, but that is a ship, not a person. Stories about objects simply can't evoke much emotion from readers unless the object is anthropromorphized (think Pinocchio). Hollywood has made a number of movies about cars, guns, hotel rooms, and other things that pass from one person to another and what happens to those people while in possession of the thing, and those movies all suffer from the same problem: they are episodic in nature. There is nothing inherently bad about being episodic, but a book of short stories usually can't sustain your interest in the same way as a novel can.
So Dark Descent is good reportage of a series of incidents involving the Empress of Ireland, but I think it of interest mainly to divers. I wouldn't recommend it to a friend unless the friend was a diver or an armchair technical diver.