Beneath the Surface

Beneath the Surface

Killer Whales, SeaWorld, and the Truth Beyond Blackfish

Book - 2015
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A first-hand account of the lives of captive killer whales by one of the most experienced orca trainers to emerge from SeaWorld. For over two decades, he worked with 20 different whales on two continents, building intense relationships with them. As his understanding of the whales deepened, Hargrove came to doubt that their needs could ever be met in captivity. And after the deaths of two trainers, he was certain that SeaWorld's wildly popular programs were both detrimental to the whales and increasingly dangerous for trainers. Since leaving SeaWorld, Hargrove starred in the award-winning documentary Blackfish. The enormous success of the film, and the advocacy movement in which Hargrove is involved, has caused an outcry. His book explores the dark corners of orca captivity, giving a heartbreaking account of the psychological and physical damage caused by captivity--and contrasting it with orcas' lives in the wild. His journey is one that humanity has just begun to take--toward the realization that the relationship between the human and animal worlds must be radically rethought.
Publisher: New York, NY :, Palgrave Macmillan,, 2015
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9781137280107
Branch Call Number: 599.53 Hargrove 2015
Characteristics: vii, 264 pages : color illustrations ; 25 cm
Additional Contributors: Chua-Eoan, Howard


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ArapahoeKati Oct 10, 2016

What a read! You won't be able to put this down.

Jul 12, 2016

Great personal story of a SeaWorld whales trainer

Mar 24, 2016

When one visits Sea World, it's spectacular to watch the orca show and see the animals somewhat close up. But always in the back of your mind you realize that it's kind of cruel to keep such a magnificent animal cooped up in what is a tiny pool for them and force them to perform tricks. I wouldn't consider Beneath The Surface to be an unmitigated hit piece on Sea World. The book traces Hargrove's childhood love of the park and animals. He documents his training and the biology of the orca. Later in the book, Hargrove discusses his growing disillusionment with the captivity of the whales and the Sea World corporation. Interesting reading. It will be very interesting to see what Sea World becomes, now that they've done the right thing, ending captive orca breeding and phasing out orca shows.

Mar 08, 2016

I knew a bit about John's story from Blackfish and numerous interviews I had seen on YouTube. I didn't expect the book to have so many aggression incidents discussed -- that surprised me. You can definitely feel the love he has or those whales come through in the book, numerous times very noticeable. It killed him to have to leave them. I think he is such a nice guy, and to have to admit to the wrongness had to have been very hard on him.
I am glad that he, and others that spent time as Sea WOrld employees, along with Dr. Ingrid Visser, are working to get captivity to be a thing of the past.
I highly recommend that anybody with an interest in killer whales -- and especially those that re on the fence about captivity -- to read this book. Captivity had its place, years ago, BEFORE we knew how intelligent and emotional these animals are -- now we know better, and it's time to stop it.

Dec 04, 2015

Oh my gosh ! This is a "can t put the book down" read !!! If you watched "Blackfish" and wanted to know more....more details..more just absolutely fascinating stories of interactions with these amazing living beings....THIS IS THE BOOK TO READ...I finished about 3 AM

Sep 30, 2015

This is a companion book to the documentary Blackfish. Once you read and watch you will never go to Sea World or any other money making exhibition similar. They say its for education but its for money!

ChristyH May 28, 2015

I really enjoyed this book. It was an excellent behind the scenes look at Sea World and how the orcas there are treated. What made the book so interesting was the author's relationship with the whales. He obviously loved and respected them, and had trouble coming to terms with the fact that in order to fight for them he had to leave them.

This Book was Amazing. Me being a friend of John Hargrove, I already knew some of his story, but man, his book really exposes what really goes on in these places. I will continue to support, help, and defend John for as long as I live. John is the greatest person I know (along with Captain Paul Watson) and I feel privileged and honored to be John's friend. Keep doing what you're doing John. Remember, I'll always have your back.

(People to follow on twitter)

(Great Hashtags)

(A few tweets you can post, all are by me)
@johnjhargrove is the leader in the #Blackfish movement.

@johnjhargrove vs @SeaWorld, who is winning?

#Blackfish is more than a documentary, it's a movement!


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Jul 12, 2016

Polonesia thinks this title is suitable for All Ages


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Jul 12, 2016

It's a story of a personal life of one of the SeaWorld killer whales trainer. It describes his career path of working with the whales and his deep love for the animals. It also describes their treatment in the captivity and SeaWorld's commercialism in their treatment. Interesting read that gives information on whales and the stark contrast between them in the wild and in captivity.


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