Howard Cunnell, a former professional scuba diving instructor, is the author of The Sea on Fire .He has also edited Jack Kerouac’s On the Road: The Original Scroll.
When they were young men, Kim and his best friend, the charismatic waterman Garland Rain, travelled all year round, working as dive guides. Now Kim is married and a father, but when Garland asks for his help on a three-week trip to the spectacular reefs of the southern Red Sea, it sounds like the perfect job. It’s a chance for Kim to provide for his wife, Araba, and their three daughters, while doing what he loves most.
The two divers soon find out that their dive boat, the Shang-Tu, is owned by Teddy King, a gargantuan and threatening figure who lives a life of drugs and violence. While Garland seeks to contain Teddy’s worst excesses, and tries to ensure that the guests are diving safely, Kim finds himself increasingly drawn to the dark side of the boat’s temptations. As the partying continues, and threatens to consume Kim and overwhelm Garland, one of the other divers is lost at sea in what seems to be an accident.
Brilliantly suspenseful, The Sea on Fire is a story about a man torn between responsibilities to his family and the freedom of the open water.