Essentially Entertaining

Book Review

Essentially Entertaining

The Diver’s Tale, by Nick Lyon

0519 review divers tale

Appeared in DIVER May 2019

Apparently this book first appeared a few years ago, but somehow failed to get onto DIVER’s radar.

I’d be quite prepared to accept that we should get some new radar, except that I have a feeling that this had more to do with inadequate promotion, given that it was self-published.

And who knows, perhaps because author Nick Lyon was associated with the British Sub-Aqua Club and wrote for the club’s magazine, it wasn’t sent to DIVER for review first time round!

Anyway, now the book is in the hands of Dived Up, which has a good publishing track record, and what matters is that it deserves

a proper push, because it offers an insightful view of British scuba-diving.

More importantly, it’s that rare thing in diving – a very funny book.

I’d go so far as to say it’s the most amusing book about the sub-aqua scene I’ve read since the heyday of Andy Blackford, and I know that because I kept laughing out loud as I turned the pages.

That’s not something I can often say about books I’m sent for review.

The Diver’s Tale traces Lyon’s long leisure-diving career in Britain (and Malta, but he’s from Cornwall and essentially a coldwater diver). I don’t know if all the experiences described are exactly as they happened, but they certainly have the ring of truth.

And before you get the impression that The Diver’s Tale is just a succession of gags, this book also has, like all the best comic works, a more serious side. I’ll let you find out about that when, as I’m sure you will, you get to read it.

The title, with its echoes of Chaucer, reflects the energy and occasional vulgarity of the narrative, which will keep you turning the pages hungrily. I wanted to pick out a paragraph just to give you a flavour, though with gems on every page I was spoilt for choice.

How’s this: “My encounters with large sharks have been no more intimidating than meeting your elderly neighbours during a walk in the park. However, I have a jagged scar on my hand courtesy of a modestly sized tope which I accidentally sat on during a dive near Dartmouth. Still, at least I have a genuine shark bite scar and that’s something all real divers would give their right arm for.”

If you haven’t already, treat yourself.

Dived Up
ISBN: 9781909455245
Softback, 168pp, 16x23cm, £12.99

Review by Steve Weinman


Get a weekly roundup of all Divernet news and articles 🤿

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

Related Divernet Posts

Diver Magazine Relaunch

Diver magazine needs YOU!

Are you still lamenting the demise of Diver magazine? Well now you can help resurrect an icon as we seek to bring back the magazine

Blue ring reef

When is a blue hole not a blue hole?

A dive professional who claims to have discovered what the Malaysian tourism ministry recently launched as an attraction called “Blue Ring Hole” says that it

two divers on boat

Net result for Ghost Diving USA

The removal by six scuba divers of ghost-nets from the wreck of USS Moody has marked the return of the international Ghost Diving volunteer force

Follow Divernet on Social Media