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Another Great Day at Sea: Life Aboard the USS George H.W. Bush [Kindle Edition]

Geoff Dyer
3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (72 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $24.95
Kindle Price: $10.99
You Save: $13.96 (56%)
Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

From a writer “whose genre-jumping refusal to be pinned down [makes him] an exemplar of our era” (NPR), a new book that confirms his power to astound readers.
As a child Geoff Dyer spent long hours making and blotchily painting model fighter planes. So the adult Dyer jumped at the chance of a residency aboard an aircraft carrier. Another Great Day at Sea chronicles Dyer’s experiences on the USS George H.W. Bush as he navigates the routines and protocols of “carrier-world,” from the elaborate choreography of the flight deck through miles of walkways and hatches to kitchens serving meals for a crew of five thousand to the deafening complexity of catapult and arresting gear. Meeting the Captain, the F-18 pilots and the dentists, experiencing everything from a man-overboard alert to the Steel Beach Party, Dyer guides us through the most AIE (acronym intensive environment) imaginable.
A lanky Englishman (could he really be both the tallest and the oldest person on the ship?) in a deeply American world, with its constant exhortations to improve, to do better, Dyer brilliantly records the daily life on board the ship, revealing it to be a prism for understanding a society where discipline and conformity, dedication and optimism, become forms of self-expression. In the process it becomes clear why Geoff Dyer has been widely praised as one of the most original—and funniest—voices in literature.
Another Great Day at Sea is the definitive work of an author whose books defy definition.

From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Reviews


Publishers Weekly
“An often hilarious and aphoristic, short-chaptered account written by a British essayist who is fascinated by American culture….a highly entertaining read.”

Jason Diamond, Flavorwire
“When Geoff Dyer wants to write about something, he gets totally into it. Be it a Russian film or yoga, Dyer’s unique take on whatever situation he’s focused on always yields a great book. In this latest case, Dyer finds himself on an American supercarrier, and the results are nothing short of superb.”

Huffington Post

“When Dyer delves into a specific topic, he delves deeply, which is why we’re looking forward to his latest exploration: what life aboard an aircraft carrier is like. As always, he laces his observations with comedy and captivating storytelling.”

Billy Collins, author of Aimless Love
“Geoff Dyer has managed to do again what he does best: insert himself into an exotic and demanding environment (sometimes, his own flat, but here, the violent wonders of an aircraft carrier) and file a report that mixes empathetic appreciation with dips into brilliant comic deflation. Welcome aboard the edifying and sometimes hilarious ship Dyer.”

Annie Dillard, author of
Pilgrim at Tinker Creek
“What could be better than weeks far away on the flat seas of the Arabian Gulf with Geoff Dyer? He is, if possible, even more witty and charming than usual. The carrier's hugeness, its crew's tireless cheer and openness, and the enormous mechanical and electrical forces at work everywhere fare wonderfully here with Dyer's unique combination of depth, irreverence and explosive humor.”

John Jeremiah Sullivan, author of Pulphead
“I hope one day to meet the demented genius who decided to put Geoff Dyer aboard an American aircraft carrier. The result sounds in places as if Sterne en route to his sentimental journey had paused for a week's stint on HMS Victory. There's something like New Journalism happening but in the hands of a writer who'll suddenly flash out sentences such as, 'The sea was a prairie of glitter green.' In the end one is forced to call it "a Dyer book," which luckily for him and us is a high compliment.”

Steve Martin
“Dyer stows himself away on an American aircraft carrier, fortunately, with all his hilarious tics in place. A rare kind of non-fiction, with sentences that keep on giving long after your eye has sailed on.”

Brenda Wineapple, author of Ecstatic Nation
Another Great Day at Sea, Geoff Dyer's chronicle of his two weeks in residence aboard the USS George H. W. Bush, is a tale of routine, lyricism and terror, of long hours and hard work, and of camaraderie and conviction, which are a form of faith.  Original, humane, and very funny, Another Great Day is another great book by an incomparable writer.”

David Finkel, author of Thank You for Your Service
Another Great Day at Sea is what we’ve all come to expect from Geoff Dyer—another great book. I loved everything about it. It’s brilliantly observed, beautifully written, incisive, funny, and filled with stirring truths about life and the value of service.”

Sam Lipsyte, author of The Fun Parts: Stories
“A great day is any day you get to read Geoff Dyer, and this book is no exception. Witty, empathetic, and insatiably curious, Dyer is the perfect guide to the floating world of an American aircraft carrier. With Another Great Day at Sea he makes a perfect night landing on the ‘postage stamp,' with élan to spare.”

Tom Bissell, author of Magic Hours: Essays on Creators and Creation
“I have read Geoff Dyer on World War I, jazz, photography, the Venice Biennale, and D. H. Lawrence, among many other subjects. It's as though his mind is slave to some unpredictable Internet browser inaccessible to the rest of us. His new book—an inimitably close study of life on an American aircraft carrier—is one of his best, funniest, and most humane yet. Geoff Dyer remains an unconventionally great writer—perhaps the most bafflingly great writer at work in the English language today.”

About the Author

GEOFF DYER is the author of four novels (including Jeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi, a New York Times notable book); a critical study of John Berger; and five highly original nonfiction books including Zona (his most recent), But Beautiful (awarded the Somerset Maugham Prize), and Out of Sheer Rage (an NBCC finalist). His most recent collection of essays, Otherwise Known as the Human Condition, received the National Book Critics Circle Award. He lives in London.

Product Details

  • File Size: 5510 KB
  • Print Length: 217 pages
  • Publisher: Pantheon (May 20, 2014)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #51,304 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rings true May 21, 2014
By Isaac
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
As a sailor currently deployed on the Bush, it's a novel and welcomed experience to get an outsider's view of what our life is like, so after being sent a New Yorker article written by Mr. Dyer that was essentially a summary of the book, I knew that I had to buy the book itself. Although I wasn't here for the deployment he is writing about, I still recognize a few of the names he mentions, and it's great to know that even if he wasn't impressed with the food or accommodations (and let's face it, our food can be pretty bad), we Avengers left an overall good impression on the author.
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63 of 82 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Waste of an evening May 21, 2014
This book is just about as terrible as it gets when it comes to first hand reporting from a war zone/ship at sea. I was deployed on the BUSH and I thought it would be interesting to read a book from an outsiders perspective about something I lived through and about people I know personally, boy was that a mistake. Overall this is a quick read (took me a little over 3 hours one evening) but all I really took away was:

1. Mr. Dyer is high maintenance!!! He was absolutely appalled at the ideal of sleeping in a room with someone else (seriously, you are crammed on a ship with 5,500 people, a two man stateroom is a luxury) let alone going to he head (bathroom) with someone else.
2. Mr. Dyer has no clue about the military (he actually thought the ship had a bar, places to play ping pong or Badminton). While this may seem trivial to me it shows how he really did not prepare at all for this assignment, basically all he cared about was getting a single man stateroom and I guess he would figure out everything else when he landed. If he actually cared to know what he was getting himself into a quick google or youtube search would have answered all his questions.
3. The food is terrible and apparently he complained enough to where he finally got to eat with the Captain and have the CO's chief make him some food.
4. Apparently he was quasi stalking a married enlisted mechanic, he mentions her numerous times in the book, the be honest its a little creepy to read and seems more like page filler (I hope to god she never reads this book)

Overall Mr. Dyer did nothing for this great ship or its crew by writing this book. From an insiders perspective (I actually helped host a few Distinguished Visitors (DV'S) during my tour) Mr.
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20 of 25 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The Life and Times of Geoff Dyer June 10, 2014
This is not really a book about life on the USS George H. W. Bush. It is about Geoff Dyer. In this book, he talks about himself and his life....a lot! If I was to glean anything about naval life on an aircraft carrier, it would not be from this book. Most of the book was spent complaining, about food, about not fitting in. about fighting to have his own private space, about noise, about not really understanding. Yes he said some nice things about a few folks on the ship but that is about it. If you are going to write about life on a ship, shut up about yourself and relate only about the people and the ship. Grade F Geoff, you failed.
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18 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dyspepsia at Sea May 20, 2014
You've probably seen a documentary or two about life aboard an aircraft carrier. Or read articles about how these giant craft function like small cities at sea. This book isn't like those documentaries or articles.

You'll still learn a lot about life aboard a carrier, but Geoff Dyer isn't your average journalist or documentary maker. Although he has some background in reporting, he is better known as a novelist and essayist. And unlike most documentary makers and reporters, (Morgan Spurlock and Michael Moore are exceptions) he doesn't fade into the background. Dyer is front and center, moaning about the food, discreetly admiring the physically fit sailors of both sexes, and letting his mind wander as interviewees earnestly answer his questions.

At first I had some doubts about how this would work out as a book, but I was surprised to find that this anti-journalistic method worked pretty well. Aside from Dyer's over-sharing regarding his digestive issues, I learned a lot about the carrier and its crew. Although Dyer's poor memory, poor note-taking, and indifferent attitude toward details like names and ranks leave you with less detail than you might expect, he still manages to give a pretty full picture of what the crew does, how they interact, and what they think about it all.

Dyer's two weeks aboard the USS George H.W. Bush in the Persian Gulf were courtesy of a Writer-in-Residence program, and goodness knows what they were thinking in assigning a British writer in his fifties with no military experience to an American carrier in a war zone. Brilliant!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding May 26, 2014
By Kenyon
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
It is important to understand that Another Great Day at Sea: Life Aboard the USS George H. W. Bush is not a short version of Norman Polmar’s history of aircraft carriers or a repeat of Tom Wolfe’s “The Truest Sport: Jousting with Sam and Charlie,” both of which Dyer acknowledges in his book, the latter in particular as a source of great professional angst. The book is instead the very personal musings of an Oxford educated Brit by way of a scholarship who sometimes appears overly fond of fine food, accommodations, alcohol, drugs and women, none of which are readily available onboard. He is also a self-professed atheist, a superb writer and someone who believed spending time observing life on an American aircraft carrier was worth his while. As he put it: “Sitting in on a US ship . . . would be like staying in a small town in America (albeit one organized along unusually clear hierarchical lines), surrounded by American voices, American friendliness, American politeness, American Americans. That, I knew, would be a source of pleasure and happiness.” Dyer considers himself a lousy reporter because he can never keep the facts straight, but his descriptions of the various Americans he meets onboard, from the Admiral and Captain on down, work perfectly. His greatest day on board was a steel beach party on the flight deck where a promotion speech brought him to tears, the crew danced together and he heard Cooperhead Road for the first time blasting from speakers over the calm blue sea. He closes the book praying for those who go to sea in ships.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Great Book! This book is fascinating and of interest ...
Another Great Book! This book is fascinating and of interest to anyone who wants to know what life on an aircraft carrier is like. Read more
Published 1 day ago by Manaus
2.0 out of 5 stars Dyer has lost it.
Compared to Dyer's previous books, this is pathetic. "Great Day" is at least half about Dyer himself- his preferences in food and movies, his aging body, his health and diet, even... Read more
Published 2 days ago by Patrican
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent read. Highly recommend.
Published 4 days ago by Paul F. Miskovitz MD
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book
I ordered this book for my husband (a USN veteran) after hearing an interview with the author. My husband enjoyed the book and feels that the author did a thorough job.
Published 4 days ago by Caro
2.0 out of 5 stars The next few chapter are even worse in that he discusses his digestive...
This was a very disappointing read of a book that was written by a self-indulgent would be contemporary writer. The sub title of the book "Life Aboard the USS George H.W. Read more
Published 5 days ago by Timothy E. Hall
1.0 out of 5 stars Read the Rodrick book instead
As one of those aforementioned folks who has had to suffer many important missions of "attending to the whims of important (perhaps self titled? Read more
Published 5 days ago by Lt (JG) Crewson
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, not great
A lot of hype about Dyer's body of work, in the past. Well-written, plenty of stories about different people on the ship. Read more
Published 6 days ago by Dan Seidman
1.0 out of 5 stars If you want to read a book about life aboard the USS George H. W....
This book is scarcely about the brave men and women serving on the USS George H. W. Bush and more about a whinny, self absorbed author. Read more
Published 7 days ago by Wildcatord
1.0 out of 5 stars A travesty
Can one loathe someone just from reading his or her work? Such revulsion for another human based on mental processes and attitudes, as revealed by his or her writing, happened to... Read more
Published 9 days ago by John Joss
3.0 out of 5 stars Go NAVY!
A well written piece of pentagon publicity.
Published 10 days ago by Primo
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More About the Author

Geoff Dyer is the author of four novels and six other nonfiction books, including But Beautiful, which was awarded the Somerset Maugham Prize, and Out of Sheer Rage, which was a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist. The winner of a Lannan Literary Award, the International Centre of Photography's 2006 Infinity Award for writing on photography, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters' E. M. Forster Award, Dyer is a regular contributor to many publications in the US and UK. He lives in London. For more information visit Geoff Dyer's official website:


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