Beneath the Surface by John Hargrove, Howard Chua-Eoan


Beneath the Surface by John Hargrove, Howard Chua-Eoan

Over the course of two decades, John Hargrove worked with 20 different whales on two continents and at two of SeaWorld's U.S. facilities. For Hargrove, becoming an orca trainer fulfilled a childhood dream. However, as his experience with the whales deepened, Hargrove came to doubt that their needs could ever be met in captivity. When two fellow trainers were killed by orcas in marine parks, Hargrove decided that SeaWorld's wildly popular programs were both detrimental to the whales and ultimately unsafe for trainers. After leaving SeaWorld, Hargrove became one of the stars of the controversial documentary Blackfish. The outcry over the treatment of SeaWorld's orca has now expanded beyond the outlines sketched by the award-winning documentary, with Hargrove contributing his expertise to an advocacy movement that is convincing both federal and state governments to act. In Beneath the Surface, Hargrove paints a compelling portrait of these highly intelligent and social creatures, including his favourite whales Takara and her mother Kasatka, two of the most dominant cross in SeaWorId. And he includes vibrant descriptions of the lives of orcas in the wild, contrasting their freedom in the ocean with their lives in SeaWorId.


You might have watched the documentary Blackfish. This is more powerful....

...[Blackfish's] claims but also testifies to the thrill of standing athwart four tons of muscle rushing through the water at 30 miles an hour. And, equally, the nearly mystical experience of bonding with an intelligence eerily similar to our own, yet ultimately unfathomable-and uncontrollable. Smithsonian Magazine As Hargrove's love for and knowledge of [orcas] increased, he gradually concluded that the work he was part of at SeaWorld was harming them... Hargrove covers both the joy of his own experiences with orcas as well as the case for why such interactions in captivity should end. Scientific American How would you cope if you felt that your life work contributed to a cause in which you no longerbelieved?...Blends natural history and corporate indictment into an emotional story about a man changing sides in the argument over human domination of the animal world. Booklist It is with this same unique amalgam of dread and wonderment that Hargrove characterizes both his longtime, high-ranking professional relationship with orca whales and his astonishment at how broken the performance animal arena has become--particularly at SeaWorld A shocking, aggressively written marine park expose. Kirkus Reviews

's largest marine predator and one of the most intelligent and social mammals on the planet in concrete tanks. Naomi A. Rose, Ph.D., Animal Welfare Institute This deeply personal look at the lives of whales in captivity will open your eyes and tug your heart. John Hargrove's work as a senior trainer at SeaWorld made him understand how we need to rethink our relationships with the animal world. Walter Isaacson, author of Steve Jobs and Einstein: His Life and Universe In Beneath the Surface,

[Hargrove has] delved deeper into the ethical issues surrounding orca captivity, convincingly making the case that these intelligent, sentient animals can only be free in the wild. Nature World News

About the Author

JOHN HARGROVE has 14 years' experience as a killer whale trainer. His experience spans both SeaWorld of California and SeaWorld of Texas where he was promoted to the highest ranking Senior Trainer. John also has an international reputation, having been a Supervisor with MarineLand in the south of France. He resigned his position with SeaWorld in August 2012 and currently resides in New York City. HOWARD CHUA-EOAN was News Director of TIME magazine from 2000 to 2013; he is now a Deputy Managing Editor at Bloomberg Businessweek.

More books by this author

Other Formats

Book Info


272 pages


John Hargrove, Howard Chua-Eoan
More books by John Hargrove, Howard Chua-Eoan


Publication date

21st April 2016



I love Lovereading4kids because I get an opportunity to put my opinion forward and to try new books

Elosie Clarkson – age 11

A great way to introduce kids to great books, authors & genres. Parents can find age-appropriate books to share with their children.

Judi Davies – Aberdare Girls Sch

I love Lovereading because I often never know what to read and this helps you find a good book. I have recommended this to many people.

Shannon-Louise Masters – age 15

I love lovereading4kids because I’ve read amazing books I would never have picked up, and its opened doors to new genre’s I now love.

Harriet Cunningham

I have told all my friends, family & teachers to see for themselves just how great the site is. Without fail, they are hugely impressed.

Alexander Boxall – age 11

I love finding new books to read. My mummy and me look at the new ones coming out. I have written reviews of some of them!

Jessica Cobbin – age 7

It is THE website to use for narrowing down your search for any book. Definitely knocks the socks off any other book review website.

Nickey and Tomasz Hawryszczuk

It has introduced my children to books we hadn’t come across before. Real children’s reviews gives a great insight into what others think to

Lorraine Woods

Lovereading 4 schools