Pacific (2015) by Simon Winchester is Winchester’s latest book about an ocean after Atlantic. Winchester is an excellent non-fiction writer whose best books, like The Surgeon of Crowthorne and Bomb, Book and Compass are really first class. Atlantic wasn’t a bad book itself but felt like a series of essays on a related theme. Pacific is even more disparate.

Pacific covers nuclear testing, surfing, the story of Sony, the rise of China, North Korea, environmental changes and Australian politics. If you want to read a book where Gough Whitlam is connected to surfing in California this is the book for you.

If you enjoy Winchester’s writing this book could well be entertaining. If you haven’t read him but have heard he is a good writer it would be much better to read one of his other books. It’s far from his best but it’s still got some interesting tales about things that have happened on or near the world’s largest ocean.


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