Joining Continents

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Chapter 6: The Longest Tubes in Blum earned my simultaneous love and hate. I regularly listen to technology podcasts, and one of my favorites was a description of the joining of a trans-ocean cable. I figured Blum would eventually witness this happening, so I was waiting for when it would come up. When Cooper told Blum on pg 201 that they might have a new cable landing, I was thrilled. For me, the 16 pages between this and when Blum receives the news that there is a landing he can come see were agonizing. While the description of the cable station with Paling was interesting, it was not what intrigued me. What gripped me was visualizing being there, watching the connection between continents be formed. My favorite moment of Blum so far is his description of the diver cutting buoys, watching them fly away, getting "a few cookies and a glass of juice", and returning to shore exhausted. Imagining being there as a single person cuts the ties and buries the physical connection between continents fascinates me. Right after comes my next favorite description from Blum, the men readying the cable for the actual connection to land. The fact that they go at it with hacksaws to uncover the fiber, and then the eight strands of fiber are connected individually blows my mind. All the work, time, and effort put in to mapping the ocean floor, optimizing the route, building the cable, and organizing the project comes down to two guys with hacksaws attacking a cable.
Chapter 6 really embodied perfectly the best and worst thing about Blum, his descriptiveness. Blum has a very serious double-edged sword relationship with descriptions. When it was something I cared less about, like the cable station, each adjective and off-topic note was agonizingly unnecessary. But, when it came to something that really held my interest, Blum's descriptions were perfect. With how Blum describes Carrilho and him gulping down espresso and beer on an open tab, or how the diver came out of the water with his chest heaving and eyes wide, you can actually picture yourself there, watching this amazing moment of the joining of continents.

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For me I do like the descriptions Blum does. He started right off the back in the book in the Prologue and continues on and on. I doubt this book would be anything for me to read if it weren’t for all the descriptions. Blum also tells you what country he travels to, what car he drives and where his next adventure will take him.

I like the descriptions because it keeps my imagination going and I can appreciate where he is travelling more when I picture the surroundings and the people he meets on his way.

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This page contains a single entry by kruge171 published on February 6, 2013 9:10 PM.

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