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.
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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 HooverCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved