Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The Hungry Ocean

A Swordboat Captain’s Journey
by Linda Greenlaw

Linda Greenlaw did not always love the ocean, but she discovered it at age twelve and has been going back since. But she’s not going to sea for idle pleasure; at the beginning of her autobiography she is about to sail forth on for another sword-fishing trip captaining the Hannah Boden with a crew of five men. Swordboat fishing is not easy, and the captain is in charge—from making sure everything runs smoothly, to catching enough fish to make a profit, to dealing with five bored, tired, and homesick crewmembers. Ms. Greenlaw gives a full account of a swordfishing trip from start to finish, interspersed with “mug ups,” memories and musings from previous voyages.

The Hungry Ocean gave an interesting glimpse into an unusual lifestyle and the author did a good job of chronicling the every-day lives of fishermen, but that was part of the problem; there was no climax to the story. It seemed as if something would almost happen, but then didn’t. Their catch of fish was neither remarkably high nor low; the crew, while surly on occasion, didn’t do anything drastic, and there were no unusual dangers.
I plugged through this book until the end was because a friend had really enjoyed it, I wanted to give the author a chance to get her “writing legs,” and to finish four books for the Seafaring Challenge. Otherwise I would have probably given up after only a couple chapters.

The fourth
—and lastbook I read and reviewed for the Seafaring Challenge hosted by I Heart Paperbacks—I made it to the rank of Admiral! Read other books reviewed for the challenge at the Seafaring Tales Blog.

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