The harrowing story of five men who were sent into a dark, airless, miles-long tunnel, hundreds of feet below the ocean, to do a nearly impossible job—with deadly results
By reading the blurb I had come to the conclusion that the book was going to be about a team of divers and the tragedy that took place while they were in the tunnel causing two of the divers to perish, but this book is about a lot more than just the divers disaster. None the less, this read takes a close look at the unnecessary deaths of blue-collar workers caused by the almighty dollar that large corporations put before the worker who trusts them with their lives. Even though this was a high-risk job, human beings with families who loved them died due to pure incompetence. I think that laws need to be changed so that in obvious cases like this one, where the individuals whose neglectful actions end in someone's death, should do mandated jail time.
The book begins at the source of the original problem; Boston Harbor has raw sewage dumped into it, causing it to be “the dirtiest harbor in America” or as it was called “The Harbor of Shame”. Therefore, came a solution the second largest state of the art sewage plant would be built so the treated remains would go through the 9.8-mile tunnel under the sea floor and be discharged out into Massachusetts Bay. Well, as the book explains in great detail it was not that simple neither was the content of the book. As I explained above, it starts with the contaminated Boston Harbor and with an astounding explanation of every single fact that did not end until the individuals involved in the tragedy moved on with their lives.
This read is packed full of all types of facts and you will learn an abundance of assorted information from diving, how an underwater tunnel is built, all the different tools used in building the tunnel and used underwater, sandhogs, bag lines, breathable O2 mixtures and the consequences if they are not mixed right, the truth is this list could fill multiple pages. The author did a brilliant job of putting together all the facts about every aspect of what happened, but at times I felt bogged down with all the information. Therefore, the prose is not badly written it feels overwritten also containing an overabundance of facts.
Even though I am partial to non-fiction and enjoy learning new things I am torn by this book. It was not bad yet I did feel overwhelmed by it. I learned so much information that I did not know before, but with this book I found myself checking how much was left to read way too many times. This book is for a specific type of reader, one who thrives on this subject.
Neil Swidey is the author of Trapped Under the Sea: One Engineering Marvel, Five Men, and a Disaster Ten Miles Into the Darkness (Crown: February 2014). He is also author of The Assist, a Boston Globe bestseller that was named one of the best books of the year by The Washington Post, and co-author of the New York Times bestselling Last Lion: The Fall and Rise of Ted Kennedy. A staff writer for The Boston Globe Magazine, Swidey has been a finalist for the National Magazine Award and has twice won the Sigma Delta Chi Award from the Society of Professional Journalists. His work has been featured in The Best American Science Writing, The Best American Crime Writing, and The Best American Political Writing. He lives with his family outside Boston.
"I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review."