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All Fishermen are Liars: True Tales From the Dry Dock Bar Hardcover – July 7, 2004

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All Fishermen are Liars: True Tales From the Dry Dock Bar + The Hungry Ocean: A Swordboat Captain's Journey + Seaworthy: A Swordboat Captain Returns to the Sea
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Hyperion; First Edition edition (July 7, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401300707
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401300708
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.7 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,499,758 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The genesis of this lively collection of "absolutely true sea stories" is Greenlaw's (Lobster Chronicles) remembrance of an afternoon and evening spent with her crusty old friend Alden in a bar in Portland, Maine, trading tales about fishing and adventures at sea. Greenlaw, who makes her living as a commercial fisher, includes among the stories an account of how she nearly lost a boatload of 500 lobster traps the day she ignored the weatherman's storm warnings; the saga of being adrift at sea on a disabled fishing boat with a captain who was too cheap to pay for a tow; and a yarn about her chance meeting with a legendary dope-smuggling captain on the lam in the Caribbean. She also tells other people's stories, such as one about a fisherman who was forced to abandon his ship and managed to survive a night in the water during a hurricane. Alden chimes in with memories of the worst storm of his 40 years of commercial fishing. Two barflies join them. One tells of the young captain of a sightseeing vessel who almost lost the boat and 150 passengers during a storm, and the other contributes a whopper about landing a 200-pound tuna using rock-and-roll music as the lure. The stories are separated by short anecdotes about fishermen; Greenlaw calls these "bar snacks." At the end of the night, a woman of dubious character known as "the Madam" joins the group and declares, "All fishermen are liars." Greenlaw leaves it up to the reader to decide how much is truth and how much is exaggeration. Either way, the stories are all very entertaining.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Greenlaw's third offering is once again ocean-bound. Although it may not be as gripping as The Hungry Ocean (1999), or depict a lifestyle change like The Lobster Chronicles (2002), it is another entertaining excursion into a world few of us will ever know. It begins with a lunch date with her best friend and mentor, a man Greenlaw hopes to persuade to retire, that evolves into a day-long drinking and storytelling event. There is much variety in the tales told: some are funny, some tragic, and some hair-raising, and the storytellers are also diverse, as others in the bar join in. Interspersed between the tales tall and otherwise are bits of sea lore--labeled as "bar snacks"--that cover such subjects as the essentials of hiring a crew and frequent excuses for not catching any fish. A light and entertaining addition to Greenlaw's list and to salty sea stories in general. Danise Hoover
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

More About the Author

Linda Greenlaw, America's only female swordfish boat captain, was featured in the book and film The Perfect Storm. She has written three New York Times bestselling nonfiction books about life as a commercial fisherman as well as a cookbook and two mysteries.

Customer Reviews

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It has a lot of interest and a very "easy read".
Edward L. Sanford
This collection of "true fishermen's" stories was gathered in one prolonged lunch with her best friend Alden at Portland, Maine's Dry Dock Bar.
It seems like the Author, besides being a crack Captain she also has a writing talent as an author as well !

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By John R. Linnell on July 15, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
We first met Linda Greenlaw when she was introduced to us by Sebatsian Junger in The Perfect Storm. During that epic event she was a longline swordfishing captain on the Hannah Bowden and while the book was not about her, she played a significant role in the story. Later she introduced herself to us in her first book, The Hungry Ocean where she told us of her history and experiences in one of the most dangerous professions a person could chose. In her second book, The Lobster Chronicles, she has "retired" from swordfishing and is living with her parents on The Isle au Haut while she goes about the coastal business of lobstering with her Dad as her sternman and also goes about the business of adjusting her life to that of a successful author and recorder of the life and times of that place off the Maine Coast.
In her third literary effort, Lindaw recounts a very long "lunch" with her best friend, Alden Leeman. However, it is much more than that. Leeman is recovering from heart surgery, Greenlaw is worried about his insistence on continuing to be a commercial fisherman. As she points out, "Fishing is not what Alden does for a living, it is what he is." He is also stubborn, profane, a curmudgeon and a person you can count on when the sea is rough and the wind is coming from a bad quarter.
The "lunch" takes place in a Portland watering hole namewd the Dry Dock. During the course of it, which lasts until closing time, yarns are spun, stories swapped, lies told, memories churned and lessons are taught and sometimes ignored by those hearing them. The purpose of the lunch was to get Alden to slow down or even consider retiring from fishing. The result of it was a chatty and interesting book which those who have liked Greenlaws's writing will appreciate.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Debra Hamel VINE VOICE on March 19, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In her latest book author and fisherman Linda Greenlaw introduces readers to the salty denizens of the Dry Dock Bar in Portland, Maine. Greenlaw's lunch date there with her mentor and friend of 25 years, Alden Leeman, provides the framework for the series of stories she shares with readers--the very stories, or so the author alleges (though the book's title may give one pause)--that she and Alden and hangers on at their table swapped that day at the Dry Dock over a very extended luncheon.

The stories Greenlaw includes in the book are a mixed bunch--rough seas and unlikely survivals, noisome deck hands and shiv-wielding mates, a refrigerated dead guy. Many of the stories are stirring; the rest are at least good reads. Greenlaw writes nicely, and her characterization of her friend Alden--for whom her affection is palpable--is well done: "I ordered a glass of Chardonnay and waited for Alden to think about what he might like to drink. I knew that he would eventually order a rum and Coke, but he did not know this. He never did."

It is not necessary to know anything whatever about fishing or sailing to enjoy All Fishermen are Liars. Nautical types will surely want to view their world through Greenlaw's lens, but landlubbers like myself will appreciate the author's readable introduction to an unfamiliar world. She and her gang of mendacious fishing buddies make for good company for the book's duration.

Reviewed by Debra Hamel, author of Trying Neaira: The True Story of a Courtesan's Scandalous Life in Ancient Greece
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Tom Bruce on February 23, 2005
Format: Hardcover
At the beginning of this, her third and latest book, author Greenlaw says, "I could only hope that there might be someone who was interested in hearing more from me. I was full of apprehension and fear that...I had caught my last fish the trip before." No need to fear, in fact, if you keep writing like this you will soon be known not as the lady swordfish skipper from "The Perfect Storm," but as the writer of very good and popular seafaring books. Because that's what "All Fishermen Are Liars" is, a book of so-called true tales from the Dry Dock Bar in Portland, Maine, exchanged in one day-long session over scotch, red wine, beer, cigarettes and eventually coffee. Interspersed between the dozen or so fascinating tales of hair-rising and humorous episodes on board various boats, Greenlaw inserts what she calls "Bar Snacks," interesting tidbits regarding the fisherman's life, such as 10 excuses why there's no fish, top 10 fishermen's lies, and how to hire a crew. In addition to herself, there are three other storytellers: Alden, her fishing mentor, and George and Tommy, two guys that probably shouldn't be, but are life-long commercial fishermen. By the end of the evening, they are our friends, too, as Greenlaw paints them for us as the colorful characters they indeed are. Linda also says at one point that she is thinking of writing a seagoing epic fictional tale. Well, get to it. I can't wait to read it. And the offer stands. I don't ask many ladies out for a drink, well that's not exactly true, but I sure would like to tip a few with you.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Tom Knapp VINE VOICE on July 27, 2007
Format: Paperback
After two books of no-nonsense stories about life at sea, first as a swordboat captain and next as a lobsterman, Linda Greenlaw kicks back at a Portland, Maine, watering hole with a few fellow salts to swap yarns. And, while the title clearly states that "all fishermen are liars," these brine-encrusted adventures are all purportedly true -- if perhaps a bit stretched. Bracketing the stories themselves are Linda's efforts to convince a dear friend and mentor to consider full or partial retirement or risk a lonely death at sea. The text is also brimming with Linda's thoughtful musings about life, love and family, much of which she weaves into a series of fisherman's metaphors.

Linda's book is populated, as usual, by an assortment of characters, most of whom would be equally fun to meet over a pint and chowder. Foremost among them are Alden, Linda's flawed but faithful friend, and George and Tommy, two ne'er-do-wells who have been thoroughly shredded by Linda to the extent I'm surprised they consented to join the bar crowd for her book jacket photo, much less be identified by name. But the meat of "Liars" is the collection of sea stories, some harrowing, some funny, some sad, some inspiring. Linda Greenlaw has a gift for bringing her narrative to life.

by Tom Knapp, Rambles.(n e t) editor
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