A Hole at the Bottom of the Sea

The Race to Kill the BP Oil Gusher

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About The Book

The struggle to kill the BP Macondo gusher in the Gulf of Mexico is the Apollo 13 of our time. This is the story of the nightmare well and of the men who conquered it in dangerous waters. It is a technological thriller for the ages.

It was a technological crisis in an alien realm: a blown-out oil well in mile-deep water in the Gulf of Mexico. For the engineers who had to kill the well, this was like Apollo 13, a crisis of untold danger and an unprecedented challenge. A suspense story, a mystery, a human tragedy: Achenbach has written a cautionary tale that doubles as a technological thriller.

About The Author
Photo credit: Julia Ewan

Joel Achenbach is a reporter for The Washington Post, and the author of six previous books, including The Grand Idea, Captured by Aliens and Why Things Are. He started the Washington Post's first blog, Achenblog, and has worked on the newspaper's national Style magazine and Outlook staffs. He regularly contributes science articles to National Geographic. A native of Gainesville, Florida and a 1982 graduate of Princeton University, he lives in Washington, D.C. with his wife and three children.

Product Details
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (April 2012)
  • Length: 304 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781451625370

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Raves and Reviews

“Achenbach lives up to his promises to make the disaster ‘into a tale that everyone can comprehend,’ with fluid, often Spartan prose and a candid tone. . . ."

--Los Angeles Times

“A gripping, insightful, sobering and at times heroic tale of the struggle to find a solution to a technological problem whose precise source is still a mystery.”
--The Globe and Mail (Canada)

“Briskly informative and even-handed. . . . A Hole at the Bottom of the Sea will not make anyone feel better about the BP spill. But with economic and political pressure on to resume deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, it’s a book anyone who lives along its shores needs to read.”
--St. Petersburg Times

“Briskly informative and even-handed. . . . A Hole at the Bottom of the Sea will not make anyone feel better about the BP spill. But with economic and political pressure on to resume deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, it’s a book anyone who lives along its shores needs to read.”
--St. Petersburg Times

“Briskly informative and even-handed. . . . A Hole at the Bottom of the Sea will not make anyone feel better about the BP spill. But with economic and political pressure on to resume deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, it’s a book anyone who lives along its shores needs to read.”
--St. Petersburg Times

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