Once again we have a title claiming to be a "Diving Guide" but which contains little or no relevant information.
Kurt Amsler is a man with a very high reputation as an Underwater Photographer and the cover photograph for this book is particularly outstanding. With few exceptions, the plentiful supply of high quality photographs found inside the book are also by this man.
Some time ago, I was invited to visit the Maldives for a UK-based travel operator and immediately ordered a number of books in readiness for that trip. I took delivery of "Maldives Diving Guide" with great excitement - especially when I saw that cover shot. Sadly, I was immediately disappointed by the content and had to look elsewhere for the information I needed.
The contents page reveals an overall introduction followed by 28 specific dive sites taken from those Atoll Reefs closest to Malé - the country's capital. Diving on the northern and southern-most Atolls, however, are not covered at all. That just about sums up the problems with this book - altogether too much information is simply missing.
Surely, any diving guide to the Maldives should contain a little something from every corner of that country and not just concentrate on those sites nearest to the airport. This gives the impression that the book was completed within a period of least-time-possible spent in the country and brings into question the book's credibility as a serious diving "guide."
Certainly, any discerning diver might well drool over the excellent photography - BUT, having whetted that appetite, the book then fails to deliver any of the vital information which is both basic and yet so essential for a visit. In short, there is no information on; travel agencies, airlines, airport tax, tourist boards, hotels, diving facilities, safari boats, available equipment, what to bring, what to wear, electricity, currency, language, time differences, photography, local traders - and if I missed anything, then - yet again!, this book misses everything. In summary, this so-called Diving Guide is nothing more than a collection of pretty pictures of pretty dive sites - and I know this Author can do better.
That coupled with this particular publisher's own peculiar brand of "Italian-English" (often difficult to read) and their penchant for hiding photograph captions in every conceivable place - except, immediately below the photograph itself, leaves me totally bemused.
This book would have scored full marks had it been described as a "Photographic Guide to Underwater Maldives" but it clearly fails any test as a "Diving Guide." Certainly, the photography (for which the book retains a 2 star rating) will give the reader a first class taste to what is found underwater, but any diver contemplating such an expensive trip will then require another book containing the answers to the many questions that arise.