March 16, 2012

It's Been Awhile - New Book Review!!

It has been so long since my last post that I literally had to look at previous posts to get the format right.
So without further ado...

Corwin Ericson
Maritime/Island Fiction
To Buy Amazon - Barnes & Noble

For some reason, I have an absolute inexplicable attraction to books about the sea. Let me explain why this just may be the strangest thing about me. 

I live in Colorado. My family moved here when I was very young, and I cannot remember anything in my life before this place. I've been to the ocean twice (maybe three times, I can't really remember), and every time I went, I didn't enjoy it much. I hate seafood and sushi and the smell of fish. Yet, I am always intrigued by a story pertaining to a sea faring adventure - a voyage. It is this draw that made me pick up Swell.

The book was interesting. It wasn't the best story - in fact, parts of it were quite strange. The story revolves around one man, Orange Whippey, who lives on an island off the east coast called Bismuth. Basically the guy is a bum. He has no real job or real friends, everyone on the island is familiar because they've all known each other forever. He gets caught in a strange series of events involving a package/drug deal (sea gum is the drug...some kind of mouth numbing chew). Anyway, it's basically one unlikely thing after the next tangled in a web of almost over-defined characters, or at least overly-quirky.

Despite the large whale on the awesome cover of this novel, there is really only one whale in the story, and it is in the last fifth of the book. What it boils down to, is the perspective of two neighboring cultures (not Bismuths, but these other two people, and I still don't really know why they were on the island...) and their treatment of whales. The arguments are overly dialogued and stretch for pages at a time, but were the most interesting part for me. I'm an anthropology-loving kind of person, so even fictional peoples are interesting to me. One of the cultures breeds and herds whales in relative captivity, killing them for supply/food selectively through their breeding process. The other hunts whales in the wild, killing the strongest, oldest males - yet both cultures hold the whale in high revere. There is a lot of information packed into the character arguments, which can make it a little 'boring' to read, for want of a better word.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book - mostly because it fulfilled my maritime fascination, and I would recommend it to someone who enjoys similar themes. At times the writing did seem unskilled, but overall, and for a first novel, it really wasn't bad. I'd originally checked it out from the library, but I bought it on Amazon halfway through reading. I plan on expanding my maritime literature collection, and I consider this a good start :-)

Until Next Time....
Happy Reading Everyone...

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