Book Review: Diving Into Darkness

It’s hard to find a book that can hold you captive when the outcome is not just known from the start, but depressing. Diving into Darkness does just this. Through masterful investigative journalism and storytelling, Phillip Finch takes readers on an epic journey through time and into another world; a deadly world of caves, great depths, and complex diving procedures.

If you want a very real feel of the relatively young sport of extreme cave diving and the people who do it, this book is for you. I particularly enjoyed the thorough explanations of diving and it’s effects on the body and even as a certified scuba diver, felt I learned a lot.

Diving into the Deep kept me riveted the whole way through, not because of the outcome, but because of the techniques involved in fighting to survive. One man lives, one man dies, and this books details the struggle for life in gripping detail.

As both a scuba diver and an avid reader it was nice to find something that actually took place in my home country. I think the one thing that could have made the book even better was if the author had given us a stronger sense of South Africa’s diving culture and indeed more of a reason behind Shaw’s attraction to the country. As an expat I know full well how bright, colorful and different South Africa is and I wish I’d seen that reflected more in the book.

Written by Candice Landau
I'm an active Divemaster, a lover of marine life and all efforts related to marine conservation, a newly certified tech diver and a member of various scuba organizations in the Pacific Northwest. I write articles related to diving and spend my non-diving time writing and providing digital marketing services to nonprofits and businesses.