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Outerbridge Reach Paperback – September 15, 1998


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Mariner Books (September 15, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0395938945
  • ISBN-13: 978-0395938942
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #711,918 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Stone's incisive, haunting story of a copywriter who enters an around-the-world solo boat race, a nine-week PW bestseller in cloth, is a National Book Critics Circle Award nominee.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

In this stern but not unhopeful cautionary tale, Stone ( Dog Soldiers , LJ 12/15/74; Children of Light , LJ 3/1/86) depicts Owen Browne and his circle, the powerful American upper-middle class. By coupling this portrait with innovative treatment of the journey motif, Stone bids fair to capture the public imagination. Browne seemingly embodies privilege and success. Yet, avid for honor and glory, he enters a highly publicized, round-the-world, singlehanded sailboat race. As the loneliness and exertion of his voyage test Browne, so the attention of a shallow filmmaker test Anne, Browne's wife. Both learn truths about themselves and one another which destroy one spouse but which compel the other to further trials of strength and will. Superb foreshadowing and some glorious phrasing make even occasionally puzzling devices (e.g., major decisions are almost always reported rather than depicted) seem acceptable facets of Stone's felicitous style. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 11/15/91.
- Jane S. Bakerman, Indiana State Univ., Terre Haute
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

ROBERT STONE is the author of seven novels: A Hall of Mirrors, Dog Soldiers (winner of the National Book Award), A Flag for Sunrise, Children of Light, Outerbridge Reach, Damascus Gate, and Bay of Souls. His story collection, Bear and His Daughter, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, and his memoir, Prime Green, was published in 2006.

Customer Reviews

It was so bad that once I put it down I couldn't pick it up again.
John W. Ropa
I would recommend this book to anyone interested in rousing fiction that is, as always with Robert Stone, deeply moving and thought provoking.
lykinsmt@miavx1.acs.edu
I've read this novel four or five times and consider it one of the best works of fiction by an American writer.
Robert G. Serafini

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Robert G. Serafini on May 4, 2004
Format: Paperback
I've read this novel four or five times and consider it one of the best works of fiction by an American writer. The prose is simply perfect - not a false note or glob of fat. The characters have positive and negative qualities that make them believably human - but Stone finds a mote of corruption that he spins into consequence. Owen Browne's flaw is a penchant for glib surfaces - he is a PR man - and he is undone by a boat that is PR perfect but deeply flawed; his tragedy unfolds slowly while he is isolated at sea and the ship reveals itself. Strickland is a brilliant documentary filmmaker with an unfailing instinct for "the lie" and insufficient wariness of the perils of his clear-eyed objectivity. The novel confronts American situations - the Vietnam War, American capitalism, American documentary news. And so on - to the chagrin of readers on this board who were unprepared for Stone's realism. If you don't like realism of the Balzac variety, you won't like this book. But I consider it, along with A Flag for Sunrise, to be a masterpiece of the very highest order. And Stone's other books partake of all his virtues as a writer - less impressive only because they lack the felicitous focus of these two books. Stone writes a book every five years, so his oeuvre is modest: you can pile them on your nightstand and work your way through them over a winter. But begin with Outerbridge Reach. It reaches through surfaces to the corruption underlying ideals - personal and national - as surely as A Scarlet Letter and Moby Dick.
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Smoten on June 19, 2003
Format: Paperback
Owen Browne is a decent man. Husband (to the beautiful and complicated Anne), father of one, Annapolis grad, Vietnam veteran. A patriot. A solid, privileged, upper middle class lapsed protestant who writes bland copy to sell mediocre sailboats. A man of rectitutde who believes in the power and beauty of Truth with a capital "T". Good citizen Browne. A square. When the young dilettante owner of Browne's parent company absconds with the corporate treasury, Browne volunteers to take his place in a much-hyped round the world sailboat race. Solo. Documentary filmmaker cum artiste Strickland is hired on to tell the story of the race, Browne to film the ocean shots himself, and immediately sets about trying to artistically undermine Browne and the entire venture. Strickland fancies himself as a sufferer, one whose vision is so clear and accurate, so "truthful", that the world punishes him for destroying illusions. In reality, he's an annoying gnat of a man who will lie, cheat and steal in the name of his "art". Strickland and Anne Brown fall in love and some of Stone's best writing concerns the psychological and philosophical interplay between the two. Meanwhile, out in the middle of the ocean, neither Browne nor his vessel is up to the task. Browne descends into a solipsistic nightmare that ends in a tragedy that changes all involved.
"Outerbridge Reach" is not a classic man vs. the sea tale although there are many vivid action scenes. The plot is so nuanced and the characters, particularly Anne Browne, so finely drawn that the narrative is seamless, real and true. Compelling intellectual fodder wrapped in a good story; an unbeatable combination from a master craftsman.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Philly Kristin on February 16, 1998
Format: Library Binding
This is a very engaging and readable book. One watches the slow unravelling of a very neat, secure, defined and tidy married lifestyle, into doubt, instability and eventual madness. Even though believability becomes a problem at some point, the characters are arresting enough to garner all of the reader's commitment and attention! It reminded me very much of Joyce Carol Oates's American Appetites, with the same disintegration into chaos of a safe, predictable lifestyle.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 29, 1998
Format: Paperback
This novel has a slow start, but Stone manages to pull it all together to deliver a powerful and shocking storyline about identity and truth. Owen Browne lived his entire life for other people, on the surface a happy man with a beautiful wife. He has to take the opportunity that is presented him; to go on living in such a way would yeild a zombie-like existance. Anne is a woman with a touch of class that middle age cannot take away, and a love of drink that ties her to her heritage. Owen breaks apart on his voyage every bit as much as his ship does under his intense self-scrutiny. Anne does some out of character, but perhaps necissary things that cause regret. She learns that she needs to take her own voyage to redefine who she is. This is a true page turner with a great plot line- it makes one look in the mirror upon completion.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 26, 1999
Format: Paperback
How does Stone do it? In this book, he has taken a decent plot about a man attempting to sail around the world and filled it with so much philosophical reflection and relationship analysis that it becomes absolutely unforgettable. Anne is remarkably well-written, with honest human emotions and flaws, and Owen and Strickland both serve as great examples of various extremes of the human character. I particularly loved the aspects of the book dealing with Owen's relationship with his daughter and Anne's relationship with her father. While Outerbridge Reach is undeniably disturbing, it is an incredible tale that deserves to be read over and over.
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