Book Review: The Darkness Beckons (reissued for 2017)

ON 3 JULY 2017 outdoor adventure books publisher Vertebrate Publishing released a revised edition of 'The Darkness Beckons: The history and development of world cave diving' by renowned caver and cave diver Martyn Farr. Limitless Pursuits gives its thoughts on the book which has become known as the definitive book on cave diving.


The author in Avalon Hall, Spittal Springs, New Zealand, in 2013.

FIRST RELEASED in 1980, the beautifully illustrated book charts the evolution of underwater exploration. Fully updated for 2017 to reflect the latest developments, the revised edition features an all-new foreword by renowned cave diver and explorer Bill Stone, together with over 250 digitally remastered photographs and more than 100 hand-drawn diagrams.


The book is available to buy from the Vertebrate Publishing website (www.v-publishing.co.uk). There will be 500 limited-edition hardback copies, which will be signed by Farr and sold on a first-come-first-served basis for £40. A general release paperback edition priced £25 will also be available from July 2017.


Our Review: The Darkness Beckons (2017 reissue)

Martyn Farr is known for his record-breaking cave dives and his unrivalled exploration of previously undiscovered underground passages.


As well as running a cave diving training facility in South Wales, Farr is a regular contributor to diving magazines around the world and has also acted as support diver in some of the world’s most notable cave diving penetrations.


He is the author of many books on the subject and Limitless Pursuits recently had the chance to review his The Darkness Beckons, which is regarded as the definitive book on the history of UK cave diving and offers an insight into the sport around the world.


The Darkness Beckons

Cavers stand in awe to view some of the formations discovered in Echo Valley Palace Cave in New Zealand.

Farr’s passion for photography under water means the pictures used throughout the book are some of the best taken in the world. While the information provided through his writing will enthral any enthusiast the hundreds of pictures offer constant reflection on what he is writing about. Some will inspire through the audacity of the photographers who took images of such beauty in depths of water that will be reached by so few and others depict scenes in the sport from years gone by.


In summary there’s no doubt the Darkness Beckons is the bible when it comes to the history of cave diving. The relentless work of Farr to move the sport forward and share the beauty he has found under water make the book a must have for any diver out there and may even allure new enthusiasts to the fast-growing sport.



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