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Fifty Places to Dive Before You Die: Diving Experts Share the World's Greatest Destinations Hardcover – October 1, 2008

3.8 out of 5 stars 78 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Chris Santella is a freelance writer and marketing consultant based in Portland, Oregon. A regular contributor to the New York Times and Forbes.com, he has also contributed to the New Yorker, Travel & Leisure, Golf, American Lawyer, and Delta Sky. Santella is the author of four other titles in the “Fifty Places” series, as well as Fifty Favorite Fly-Fishing Tales (all STC). 



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Product Details

  • Series: Fifty Places
  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Stewart, Tabori and Chang; NULL edition (October 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 158479710X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1584797104
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (78 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #47,815 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Beth A. Hutter on January 2, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this for my husband for Christmas. We're avid divers, and I thought it would a book that would inspire us to travel to different places to dive. I found nothing of substance here- not a lot of detail about either the places or pictures that would inspire someone to travel to these places. Save your money...
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Format: Hardcover
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and read it cover to cover within 2 days. It's a fast read. Each dive site gets about a 2 and 1/2 page description (some destinations get slightly more) with a dive expert giving a brief vignette on some of the highlights they have encountered at the site. The sites range from novice-friendly to much more complicated (for example, the first site listed is in Antarctica... not exactly luxury warm weather diving!!), but there is enough here to entertain divers of all levels.

If you are looking for an in depth analysis of a dive site, this probably isnt the right book for you. The descriptions are just too brief to use the book for that purpose. But if you're just looking for ideas... or if you have a particular large sea creature you are dying to sea (i.e. mola molas, humpbacks, various shark species), the book does a good job of pointing out places where you are more-likely to encounter them. It also hits on dive spots where the macro life is the highlight.

In response to one other's reviewers comments about not having a Red Sea or a Cuba destination, that comment is inaccurate. The Red Sea destination mentioned is Sha'ab Rumi, a location off the coast of Sudan. The author recommends a live aboard boat for this trip. For Cuba, the author recommends Jardines de la Reina, though he cautions US citizens who travel there that they do so at their own risk.

All in all, a fun book to read on a chilly winter day with a cup of coffee and a tired dog asleep at your feet (at least that's how I did it!).
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Format: Hardcover
This book consists of 50 "experts" writing 2-3 short pages on their favorite dive spots... there's no single expert or guiding hand in terms of picking the places, it's random. There's one photo per section and they seem to be stock images for the most part, mostly set above the water line... girl lying on beach, girl seen from above snorkelling, whale's tail as it dives etc. Some of the experts really ARE experts, like Stan Waterman, but many others are simply people who own dive shops and... surprise!... recommend their top spot as the place their dive shop services. There are even a few who are clearly simply flogging their dive safari/specialized trips. You're paying an awful lot for a book with no original images which basically consists of advertising.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I always read reviews on Amazon about items I want to buy - I usually actually will not buy anything that has a lot of neg. input on the product - The Title of this book SOLD me. In truth , this is like a very mini size table book or bathroom book that as a diver, would not keep your attention to actually read the whole thing. Save your money and don't buy this one !!!! The pics are not even good in the book.
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Format: Hardcover
I bought this book for inspiration for future dive trips, and as a coffee table book. The second it arrived I experienced buyers remorse. The main issue is the lack of photos. Of the maximum of 1 photo per site (a significant % of sites have NO images at all) you get mostly stock images of sea creatures, and no land photos promoting the location (a huge part of the holiday). The few wreck shots are uninspiring (think Truk Lagoon with a single image of a unidentified ship's telecasts rather than holds full of aircraft, torpedos, bottles or ammunition; or Scapa Flow with not a single image!). What a travesty, for what pretends to be 'the list' of iconic locations. Save your money...wish I had.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I ordered $200 worth of coffee table books from Amazon, and this one was my least favorite. I regret buying this book. I thought that it was going to be a large coffee table book, but ended up being very, very small. Not sure what to do with it. I feel like I wasted $16 or however much money I spent on it. Not happy, thinking about returning it.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Nothign of substance here really. I thought it could make a nice coffee table book but there's almost no pictures and the texts are pretty dry with nothing really to inspire awe or excitement.

The cover I feel is the nicest thing about it.
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By Neil Scott on October 2, 2014
Format: Hardcover
My reviews are uaually written with more eloquence. However this book is so bad, I do not see any reason to be articulate or lengthy. Bottom line, this book sucks! 50 separate people(some novices), writing 50 separate paragraphs about 50 separate locations. Example; the section on Bonaire doesn't really focus on Bonaire, the diving, the reefs, the fish at all. But instead goes into detail (mind you one paragraph) about the authors experience when she surfaced and saw a local in a boat. "Hey. Would you mind moving your boat? I'm trying to dive here....Oh. Sorry. I didn't realize it was your reef."....Thus ends the fine chapter on Bonaire.
This cowboy is all hat, and no cattle. It's a title that sparks interest and that's about it. By the way, the few pics found in this book are also equally as inept.
I have 10 dive books which I regularly share with friends (this one is actually the 11th. But it's so bad, I don't include it as part of my collection). My GF is an avid reader and diver. She also has many dive books. She never complains or writes negative reviews and when she pics up a book, she never puts it down. Well, one day she picked up this book, read one page and yelled out, "This book is terrible!"
Note to whomever reads this: This review has gone into way more detail than any chapter found within this book.
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