A love letter to the North Sea, Tom Blass's captivating memoir of his travels around the sea's shores stretches from the fishermen trawling its depths to the international battles waged on its surface, and gives an incredible history that stretches from an ancient past to the uncertain future.
Saturnine and quick-tempered, the formidable North Sea is often overlooked - even by those living within a stone's throw of its steel-grey waters. But as playground, theatre of war and cultural crossing-point, it has shaped the world in myriad ways, forged villains and heroes, and determined the fates of nations.
It's not all grim, though: the seaside holiday was born on North Sea beaches, and artists, poets and writers have been as equally inspired by glinting sun on the wave-tops as they have the drama of a winter storm.
With a wry eye and a warm coat, Tom Blass travels the edges of the North Sea meeting fishermen, artists, bomb disposal experts, burgermeisters - and those who have found themselves flung to the sea's perimeters quite by chance. In doing so he attempts to piece together its manifold histories and to reveal truths, half-truths and fictions otherwise submerged.