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Far Tortuga: A Novel Paperback – January 12, 1988
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Top Customer Reviews
"Far Tortuga" is unquestionably one of the greatest novels of the twentieth century. History will bear out this assertion. In "Far Tortuga" we are presented with reality painted in dreamlike intensity. All of the the minor aches, pains and idiosyncracies of day to day life are there, yet they are drawn against a backdrop of unforgiving, almost monumental, natural power.
In the final analysis, though the details are subject to change, is this not the world that each of us faces on a day to day basis?
In his stark and almost poetry-like portrayal of life aboard a small turtle vessel, Matthiessen is able to address everything that is meaningful in all of our lives. There is jealousy, there is random hatred, there is competition for its own sake, there is hunger and there is solitude. There is anger, there is pride, there is shame and there is repentance. What doesn't Matthiessen touch upon in this great novel? There is sorrow, there is fear, there is unreasoning hatred and greed. There are moments of selflessness, there are moments of joy, there are moments of doubt and there are moments of ambition.
It is a rare novel that is able to pack the sum of human experience into one tale. Matthiessen does it in "Far Tortuga."
The novel has not recieved the glory it deserves, yet. One day it will.
One day it will be known for the work of genius that it is.
And what a tale. Though what exactly is so gripping about it is hard to say. The turtle-hunting voyage of the "Lillias Eden" seems ill-fated from the start: the turtles have already been over-hunted into scarcity and it's mighty late in the season to cast off. But that doesn't stop the ragged, largely reprobate crew of from embarking--for most, it's the best chance they have in a working-class third world life of dwindling returns.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Pretty hard to follow. Lot of words having to do with sailing I didn't know the meaning of. Not much of a story. A lot like a conversation with a bunch of guys around a fire. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Sterling Law
I absolutely love this story; read it many years ago and look forward to reading it again. But beware - the title makes it sound like two novels are included here, both "Far... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Renee Gee
If you’re familiar with Peter Matthiessen’s work, Far Tortuga may seem an odd choice for my list of books I’d want with me on a desert island. Read morePublished 2 months ago by UpstateASB
Magnificently written book! I have an old copy of the novel and it is a treasure. I got the kindle version to take with me on a trip and while something is lost in not being able... Read morePublished 2 months ago by simplicity
One of the most original and beautiful novels of the 20th century; it will endure as long as our civilization.Published 5 months ago by Alan MIller
It's a little like reading Shakespeare. It is brilliantly written in the vernacular of the people. You also can't be thin skinned about ethnicity as there are definite prejudices. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Robert C. Mascall