Sorry for the delay in this review, but I have been reading it-yes this is sometimes what a reviewing person might do! Anyway this book is a fantastic read, and is not only a must read for cavers, and divers, but a must read and have for climbers, because every page is soaked in sweat, and adventure.
The Darkness Beckons is a huge thick book, it's full of the history of the sport of diving, it's full of wonderful photos, and is a loving testament to the shared brotherhood of the sport throughout the world. It's kind of like climbing was-not that climbing is passé, but it is overhyped at times. Cave diving is a bit like soloing, it's pure and committing, and an individual small journey, an odyssey in a world where everything is now a package holiday!
This great book is too big to take in one sitting, but if you'r like me, you will have many long reads, and then just keep dipping back into many individual journeys down water filled dreams, or nightmarish tunnels. The modern photos of clear water can not convey the grimness of many dark tight little worm holes that have been done, but it's all there, mud and glory, and clear crystal water too. Neither can the images of sublime overburdened divers at great depth on occasion, convey the crazy pressure on mind, and body that these aqua knights boldly venture into.
If you are squeamish you shouldn't read this book, but it seems to be one of the last frontiers of human endeavour, so for me and many of the people I know, it is a must purchase acquisition. When Honould soloed El Cap the other day there was a lot of American Chest beating about it being sports greatest achievement, and I certainly cried bollocks, if you want to know why read this book, there are hundreds of instances of great daring do on the brink of the sports upper curve!
There is a great deal of vicarious pleasure, and misery, and sadness to be had in this book, it's as big as the Bible with better stories, please buy it and enjoy it, the author Mr Farr deserves some recompense for his dedication to the sport, and for his measured, and devoted recordings, and research. Martin Farr has been involved in cave diving since a young man, and shows no danger of giving it up, I for one thank you very much for sharing your wonderful world with me.