Day 855: Submergence

Cover for SubmergenceSubmergence is at once an intellectual novel and a gritty novel. It is about two characters who are submerged in different ways.

James More, an English spy, has been captured by jihadists in Somalia and is being held captive. Danny Flinders is a mathematician studying the patterns and diversity of life in the abyss. She is on a scientific expedition to study volcanic vents at the bottom of the Atlantic off the coast of Greenland.

The two are linked by a romantic encounter at the Atlantic Hotel on the coast of France. During the period of a few days, they fell in love.

In the filth of his captivity, James distracts himself by musing about some of the ideas he’s learned from Danny about the multiplicity of life, about what he knows of Islam, about his ancestor who was once swallowed by a whale, and other thoughts. The text is challenging—full of facts and floating with ideas. Both characters are in danger, but their ideas seem more important than the conditions they find themselves in.

Here was a situation where reading the Kindle version really took me by surprise. I wasn’t paying attention to where I was in the book and suddenly I was at the end.

This novel keeps you at a certain distance from its characters. Still, you want to know what happens and to consider the characters’ ideas.

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6 thoughts on “Day 855: Submergence

  1. Naomi February 24, 2016 / 9:40 pm

    I like the sound of Danny’s expedition. I once wrote a paper about the hydrothermal vents on the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. I’m sure that doesn’t have much to do with whether or not I would like the book, but the rest of it sounds good, too. And, the cover grabbed me – I’ve never seen it before.

      • Naomi February 25, 2016 / 7:24 am

        If only I could remember any of it. 🙂

      • whatmeread February 25, 2016 / 7:24 am

        Ha, ha, well, it seems like they are very interesting places.

  2. Carolyn O February 26, 2016 / 6:17 am

    I love the juxtaposition of the characters and their jobs–this sounds great!

    • whatmeread February 26, 2016 / 7:22 am

      I think it was a long lister for the Man Booker prize.

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