|CLASSIC DIVE BOOKS
Novels, fiction, and other underwater stories.
|Please note: The books are listed for interest only, and not offered for sale.|
|No longer includes adollescent
and children's titles. See juvenile
It is not always that easy to determine if a book is a work of fiction or not. It should b made clear through the cover blurb if there is any doubt, and certainly books by Harry Reiseberg have a measure of fantasy to them, but ostensibly they are non-fiction works. Of course, works by Jules Verne and Herman Melville are fiction - there is no mistaking this fact. But others ? Well, use your judgement.
|TWENTY THOUSAND LEAGUES UNDER
Ward, Lock & Co., London, Melbourne, Toronto. No date.
This edition: Hardcover, embossed boards with pasted illustration. The frontispiece is a painting of a ship; same as on the front board; 320 pages. [ps]
There are hundreds of ewditions
of this remarkable book.
|A CRIME OF THE UNDER SEAS.
London, Ward Lock. 1905.
Decorated dark blue cloth, attractively embellished in gilt (gilded fish no less) and green. 8vo.
A series of short stories from the man who invented Dr.Nicola (and his cat), including the title story involving a sunken steamer, a murdered jewel courier and a variety of copper-helmeted diving suit shenanigans.
|A DIVER WENT DOWN
The Mandrake Press, London.Undated C.1929. Hardcover , dustjacket. 16mo - over 5" - 6" tall. 84pp.
Stephen at Grant's Bookshop in Armadale, Victoria, states: The book appears to be fiction. The opening page states that "The victim was Burford, owner and diver of the Thursday Island pearling-lugger Better
Luck, an underwater adventurer who had walked the sea-floor...". The action seems to occur near the New Guinea shore. There is only one illustration, the frontispiece, and was drawn by Frederick Carter. Although the upper panel of the dustwrapper does contain another small illustration of a diver.
|A DIVER IN CHINA SEAS - stories.
Quartet Books, London, 1980. Hardcover, dustjacket, 214 pp. I have no further information - may be fiction.
Published by Collins, London in 1978 – 279 printed pages
Dimensions L 21.5 cms tall by 14 cms wide
This book is not factual, it is a novel. Details from the DH: “In BLOWDOWN MacHardy turns to the world of North Sea Diving, and the result is again a book remarkable for its depiction of men living under great stress, often showing considerable courage in the face of unexpected and uncontrollable dangers. The principal character in BLOWDOWN , Douglas Holden, is a leading diver for a medium-sized Scottish firm that specializes in deep sea workfor an American oil company, and it is around Holden that not only the main story is woven but the entire world of an oil-rig under way is created. From the first pages of the book, a horrifying account of an accident aboard one of the oil rigs, through to the powerful climax of Holden’s last 600 foot dive, MacHardy’s touch is wonderfully sure. The result is a story as moving and as certain of success as the novel that first made his reputation.”. The book is only divided into three parts (no chapters): Part 1 – On Board the Janwar, Part II – Home Leave and Part III – The Janwar again. [pt]
|CALEB WEST: MASTER DIVER
|COME AWAY, PEARLER
Angus and Roberston, Sydney & London, 1952.
Hardcover, dustjacket, 248 pages.
From the fly:
Here is a novel from the author of that best-seller in another field, Adam in Ochre. Its action and romance find an uusual and exciting setting in the pearling life of tropical Australia in the great days of the nineties. The scene moves from Thursday Island across the Arafura Sea to the .. tide-rips and hurricanes that beset the luggermen of Broome and King Sound. It is the story of Ty Calvert, the young pearl-buyer from Paris who becomes a diver. He contends with the violence of men and of nature, and trespasses not only in the fantastic world beneath the Coral Sea but, in the lives of two beautiful women - Leda Haslingden, daughter of a Brisbane surgeon, and Clover, the half- caste Balinese. Colin Simpson knows the pearling ports at first hand, and vividly portrays their strange and highly-coloured mixture of humanity. Equally real is the life at sea and under the sea, with its perils and fascinations; and the hurricane that overtakes Ty's lugger will blow the reader's breath away. I am sure the book is better written than the fly blurb. [ps],[cd]
The Bodley Head Press, 1954.
Hardcover, dustjacket. *** No idea what this is about - may or may not be fiction.
|IN AUSTRALIA TREASURE IS NOT FOR THE
FINDER Allan Robinson.
Self published, in 1980. ISBN 0-9594957-0-3
Hardcover, oblong format. No dustjacket. Mono drawings, several colour photographs and drawings, newspaper article reprints. 140 pages, two column text.
It's not structly a children's book, but it is a lod of fiction even though that was not the author's intention. In fact I would not recommend any child, nor indeed an adult, to read it. Robinson claimed to have found the Dutch East Indiaman Vergulde Draeck when actually it was first discovered in 1963 by a sixteen-year-old lad, Graeme Henderson, later Director of the Maritime Archaeology Department of the Western Australian Museum. Robinson lay claim to the thousands of dollars worth of coins found on the wreck, resulting in a long and bitter battle with the WA Government though the courts. The discovery also made the author a self-acclaimed mritime historian who claims that the Egyptians were the first to colonise Australia, having rowed across the Indian Ocean in triremes. He was accused of conterfieting coins, and assault, and ended up in prison where he hung himself. The book covers the authors bitter struggles with the government at a time when the Historic Shipwreck Act was being introduced. It really is a sad story all round, but this book is really an absolute load of crap, and will no doubt become a classic just for this reason. [ps]
|LOG OF THE FLYING FISH
Printed by Blackie & Son, London, early 20th century.
"Great picture of a diver on the front cover.A ripping yarn."
No idea what this is about, nor if it contains any relevance to diving.
|OUT OF THE DEPTHS
A Scuba Mystery.
Published by Dodd, Mead & Co., New York, 1966.
Hardcover, dustjacket, 185 pages.
From the fly: Father Bredder of the Church of the Holy Innocents and his friend Lieutenant Minardi of the Los Angeles Police Department were engaged in the pleasant pastime of fishing from a pier that jutted out into the Pacific. It was Father Bredder who first hooked onto something which felt like a prodigious strike but which turned out to be part and parcel of a scuba diver's gear. A police launch confirmed the ghastly suspicion-deep in the dark waters below them lay the lifeless body of a scuba diver in his full equipment. The Father Bredder stories are notable for the excitement of their plots, their warmth of characterization and the wit and wisdom which grace their pages. All these are present in full measure in the pages of this new novel. [ps]
|REAP THE WILD WIND
This is an original early 1940's printing of the a popular fiction book made into a movie in which John Wayne's character is killed (in the academy award winning movie version), by a giant squid, while hard hat diving on a shipwreck off of key west, Florida.
"Close-hauled adventure in a search for sunken gold."
|THE AMPHORA PIRATESA
Hodder & Stoughton, London, 1971. Harcover, dust jacket, .211pp. First British novel of skulduggery involving underwater archaeologists and amphora pirates-criminal skindivers who plunder ancient wrecks for Greek vases (amphorae).
Hardcover, dustjacket, 211 pages.
From the fly: Leo Martin was bumming around Europe with skin-diving gear and a typewriter when he fell into trouble. He'd written a piece on underwater treasures which had attracted the attention of quite a few people. Among them was a group of amphora piratescriminal skin-divers who plunder ancient wrecks for the Greek vases (amphorae) which can be sold for enormous amounts to innocent tourists. The head of this outlaw band of cut-throats is Mike Konakai, a huge Hawaiian. Martin was dragooned into joining themone look at big Mike was enough. Martin realized that his associates were under the watchful eye of Captain Colonna, the deceptively soft-spoken officer in charge of protecting ltaly's sunken heritage from vandalism-by shooting to kill with a deck gun if necessary. Konakal finally lets Martin take a legitimate skin-diving job with an underwater archaeologist, Dr. Menderes, who has been searching for a treasure galley that went down a thousand years B.C. One of the charms of this job is the archaeologist's daughter, very knowledgeable about sea treasures-and other less intellectual pursuits. Unlike the amphora pirates, Menderes has a licence to salvage the wreck. So there should be no problems, except for the continuing suspicions of Captain Colonna, the determination of Konakai to hijack the treasure if and when it is ever found-and someone . . . someone Leo can't identify, who keeps murdering people connected with the project. The Amphora Pirates is full of action, suspense and adventure and has the added charm of professional know-how about underwater exploration. [ps]
|THE LOG FROM THE SEA OF CORTEZ
'The narrative portion of the book Sea of Cortez with a profile about Ed Ricketts'.
First published in Great Britain in 1958 by William Heinemann Ltd, London. Copyright indication give the impression tht it was previously published in 1941 and 1951, no doubt in the USA.
Hardcover, dust jacket, 282 pages.
Havn't read it - no idea what its all about, but if its Steinbeck, its got to be good. If you have read it, perhaps you would like top contact me with a synopsis.
Shawn H. from the USA has kindly responded - much appreciate that:
This book is about a trip that Steinbeck made with Ed Ricketts to collect specimens from the tidal zones in the Sea of Cortez. Ed Ricketts, a long time friend of Steinbeck's, was a marine biologist and ran a lab in Monterey, California. The book is as much about people, relationships, and philosophy as it is about collecting specimens. Steinbeck modeled his character "Doc" in Cannery Row after Ed Ricketts. As you could expect, because it is Steinbeck, it is good, however, it much more intropective of people relationships than having interesting stories about diving. [sh]
|THE STORM KNIGHT
Frederick E Smith
Severn House, London. 1983
Hardcover, dust jacket.
Steve Brand, a young Canadian skin diver on holiday in Norway, forms an underwater partnership that dices with death as he tries to help a lovely young girl and her father.
|THE TEN KINGS OF THE SEA: THE
SALVAGE OF SANTA ISABELLA'S TREASURE
Jacques Mayol, Pierre Mayol, Carla Sherman (Translator)
Aa fictional story that holds appeal for divers and sea lovers. The story is based upon Jacques and Pierre Mayol shared underwater experiences and discoveries. Their interest in the lost continent of Atlantis led them to the Atlantic Ocean, the Bahamas and the mysteries of Bimini and other islands of the Bahamas. Along the way, Jacques discovered a Spanish galleon sunk some 300 years ago. This shipwreck became a primary inspiration for this novel.
Subtitle: A Story of St Francis Xavier.
Published by: Thomas Nelson and Sons, London in 1913.
Hard back with illustrated cover; 245 printed pages. Dimensions: 19.5 cms tall by 13 cms wide
Adventure novel about an expedition from Portugal to the East Indies and Far East. Fictionalized account of the life of St Francis Xavier, co-founder of the Jesuits in the sixteenth century, told as an exciting boys' adventure story. The pearl diving (by breath hold) takes place off Ceylon, known today as Sri Lanka It is written in nineteen chapters with two colour prints, sadly not of divers. The book cover shows a native pearl diver handing a bag of pearl shell over to two members of the crew, the spine has a picture of a galleon sailing away. [pt]
Additional note: There is also - THE PEARL FISHERS by H. De Vere Stacpoole.
Hutchinson & C0., London. No date but circa 1910. Hardcover, 288 pages.
And by way of intererest, Georges Bizet wrote The Pearl Fishers (Die Perlenfischer), a vocal opera score, available as sheet music of course and also in paperback, in German and English, of 202 pages by Kalmus, 1973. [ps-nb]
Cassell, London, 1958.
Hardcover, dustjacket, 318 pages.
A tale of pearling set in north-west Australia.
|THE SPONGE PIRATES AND OTHER
FLORIDA KEY STORIES
Jack Stark. A Hopkins Publication, 1956
Appears ot be softcover, 86 pp., size 6 x 9.5 inches.
From eBay blurb: In 1948, Arthur Mc Kee, Jr., a professional deep sea diver, located the scant remains of a sunken ship off the Florida reefs. In searching through the rubble, among the ancient cannons and ballast, Mc Kee found a number of silver coins each dated 1732. He found the cannons and cannon balls were marked with the Spanish insignia.This rare edition was published in 1956 and probably has less than 500 copies published. This edition has two pages titled "Treasure Diver", and a full page photo of Art Mc Kee [rigged in full hard~hat diving gear and effortlessly clutching a 75lb. bar of silver which he recovered from the wreck of an ancient Spanish Galleon sunk on a reef ‘East of Key Largo'. A book that is possibly based on historial fiction and is adolescent for the most part but illustrates backgroud history and artifacts of the 1733 Fleet wrecks.
"..a legend...a book...and a man that brought treasure to the surface when Mel Fisher was still feeding chickens!".
A very rare book that is seldon offered for the serious collector.
|WAKE OF THE RED WITCH.
1940's printing of the book in which John Wayne's character (in the movie version) is killed while hard hat diving on a shipwreck for gold bars in the south pacific.
Hang on!! Isn't this a similar theme as Reap The Wild Wind ???
|WHERE YOUR TREASURE IS
Being the Personal Narrative of Ross Sidney, Diver.
Harper & Brothers Publishers, New York and London. Printed June 1917.
Hardcover, illustrated and embossed boards in green cloth, gold text; probably no dustjacket but if so, a plain protective wrapper. A single colour painting of a depressed diver and his anxious girlfriend on the opposite page to the title page gives the only indicatioin that this book is about a diver. No other illustrations, 461 pages.
I thought this was a true autobiography when I bought it but it is actually a novel, and although I have not read it, a skim through reveals little underwater adventure. I wish bookseller would be more explicit when detailing books as I may not have purchased it, but it was not expensive. If anyonbe has read it, please let me know your thoughts. [ps]
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