** One Breath by Adam Skolnick

I found One Breath: Freediving, Death, And The Quest to Shatter Human Limits fascinating, but not because of the quality of the writing (pedestrian journalistic style) or the content (great swatches of athletes’ love lives, as boringly agitated as one can imagine them to be, interlaced with seriously boring detailed recitations of competitions that consist of waiting for someone to come up from the depths) — because of the topic. The mere idea of diving hundreds of meters underwater, risking a blackout, permanent lung damage, and, all to often, death, seems immensely dangerous, insane even, but it’s easy to understand the lure of non-competitive free diving, the pleasure of moving like a fish, without cumbersome scuba tanks. Too bad that competition has to spoil that.

 

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