Saturday, September 4, 2021

Subterranea: Discovering the Earth's Extraordinary Hidden Depth


Subterranea is a fascinating and seldom-seen look at amazing caves, underwater rivers, lakes, excavations, and other subterranean locations worldwide curated by Chris Fitch. Originally published in 2020, this reformat and re-release from Workman Publishing on their Timber Press imprint is due out 15th Sept 2021. It's 240 pages and will be available in hardcover format. 

This was a much more comprehensive and information dense volume than I was expecting. It *is* a graphically amazing book, full of clear, breathtaking photography of the secret underground places, but more than that, it's also full of ordnance survey maps showing the different cave systems and locations as well as interesting cultural and physical background for each place covered.

Each entry (there are 40) contains location, description, maps, background, and color photos of the sites and the features of each. The descriptions are well written and accessible. The author doesn't shy away from descriptions which include insalubrious details such as some caves' previous use in human sacrifice and other rituals, so it might be distressing to some readers. The photographs are clear and the layout is graphically simple and impactful. The author has included a nice selection of links and resources for further reading.

Five stars. This would be a good selection for library acquisition as well as for readers who enjoy travel writing, natural history and the natural world. 

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

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