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Mortal leap Hardcover – January 1, 1964


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 270 pages
  • Publisher: Norton; 1st edition (1964)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0007EP41O
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 5.2 x 2.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,567,101 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Pierce Timberlake on October 2, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Mortal Leap is not exactly a thriller, not exactly a philosophical inquiry, not exactly a character study ... but in some ways all these things. The protagonist tells the story in the first person and appears to be a "reliable narrator", but there is a lot he doesn't know or understand. He's always trying, though. He philosophizes frequently about life, what the universe expects from us, what we owe to our fellow humans. For him, the answer to that last question is -- nothing. We don't owe anyone anything; we live for ourselves. Our narrator is a misfit, not a psychopath or a criminal, but a taciturn, apathetic loner. As you might expect, he will have a character arc.

The basic story: The narrator runs away from a strict Mormon household at age 17, during the Great Depression. Soon he is a merchant seaman on the Pacific. Aloof, indifferent, and uncommitted, he has a hard-scrabble existence: the only women in his life are prostitutes; his only "friend" is Victor, an embittered older seaman who betrays the narrator more than once. It seems that Victor is what the narrator is fated to become, 30 or 40 years down the road.

The story advances to World War II. The narrator is now the engineer on a fourth-rate cargo steamer, crewed by criminals, losers, and misfits -- and Victor, who got him the berth. After a series of adventures, the rust-bucket ship, carrying munitions for the war effort, blows up in the Solomon Islands. Our narrator is cast away, and gets caught up in the periphery of the battle of Guadalcanal, raging nearby. He tries to make it to a damaged American destroyer. It sinks as he reaches it. Burned, exhausted, he almost dies in the water ... but awakens to find himself in a US Navy hospital.
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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Leonard Anderson on July 2, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I research all products I buy and buy what I need So far like Love The Nikon Camera, Incredible price. My dog loves the safety harness and cover an so do I. I.ve been Happy with the Bluray Disks Too. Thank You
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