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Sea of Cortez: A Leisurely Journal of Travel and Research Paperback – July 8, 2009


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Sea of Cortez: A Leisurely Journal of Travel and Research + The Log from the Sea of Cortez (Penguin Classics)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 656 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; 6.8.2009 edition (July 8, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0143117211
  • ISBN-13: 978-0143117216
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.4 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #191,897 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

43 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Patrick M. Burke on January 26, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you intend to read Steinbeck's Sea of Cortez you can do it two ways. You can order this book, Sea of Cortez, and get the full benefit of Steinbeck and Rickett's exploration of the Gulf of California (Sea of Cortez), or you can order the Log, which only contains Steinbeck's observations and color commentary, leaving out Rickett's technical information. If you are a fan of Steinbeck, the log is both entertaining and informative and pure Steinbeck in that he exhibits that meandering curiosity that began here (1941) but was still evident in Travels with Charley twenty years later. To get the full effect of the voyage, however, this is the book you want. This is non-fiction Steinbeck, so don't expect Mice and Men or Grapes of Wrath. Still, I read the whole Sea of Cortez more than two decades ago and had to come back and order both the Log and the entire Sea of Cortez, just to be sure I have it on my shelf again.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 8, 1997
Format: Hardcover
A marvelous insight into John Steinbeck and his mentor/pal, Ed Ricketts ("Doc" of Cannery Row fame.). Their obvious affection and respect for the other threads throughout the text. Contains wonderful lines such as," ...in six weeks in Baja, we collected about 3000 specimens of beer.", and of course there is the Hansen Sea Cow.
Their musings about a world going crazy (Hitler is on the rise in Europe during the time of the voyage) are superb.
The science and biology at the back of the volume is just the icing on a most delectable cake.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By E. T. Buchanan III on January 21, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is a narrative account of a 1930's marine life collecting voyage from Cabo San Lucas north, and includes both John Steinbeck's recollections and the marine biology appendices prepared by Ed Ricketts dscribing the marine life collected and preserved. The book is an excellent introduction to the east coast of the south baja peninsula, and is an helpful preparation for a current day cruise in the same locale. I was fortunate on such a cruise taken in January 2010 to have on board an interpreter who compared current day marine life in a given collecting area with that presented in this book. While some harbors, such as Cabo San Lucas, no longer support the specimens described in the book, many of the collecting sites still have a considerable diversity of marine life...and the bay north of Cabo supported the largest number of whale sightings of our week long trip. Once north of Cabo, population density decreases and the offshore islands - which are largely protected wildlife zones - provide a landscape very similiar to that seen in the 1930s. This book coupled with a cruise of this coast are a marvelous way to get a break from winter cold in the USA.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By MariBean on September 6, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'd read most of his literature but this was my first non-fiction. This is the version Steinbeck originally co-wrote with Ed Ricketts (the basis for the character Doc in the books Cannery Row and Sweet Thursday) about their trip through the Gulf of California in 1940 to collect marine invertebrates. The book is a great little story of an adventure with lots of wisdom tucked into it. In addition to the narrative that makes up the later "Log from the Sea of Cortez" this original work includes more scientific information and pictures of some of the animals they collected (which is great because the first time I read Log from the Sea of Cortez I was on Wikipedia every few minutes checking to see what everything looked like).
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By The Muse's Apprentice on June 21, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
there is more of the real Steinbeck here than in any of his novels. And I agree. And his alter-ego, Ed Ricketts, is featured prominently. I took a Steinbeck course in high school, we traveled to Cannery Row as part of the class. I've cruised extensively in the Sea of Cortez. This is, by far, my favorite Steinbeck.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Lostdog1 on January 2, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book was not for me. I am Steinbeck fan, and I really would consider him one of the best. This is NOT what I'm accustomed too, and unless your a Marine Biologist I would be looking forward to a boring ride. His commentaries are good, but even those seem tedious at times. I still don't quite understand the high ratings everyone else seem to give this book. The last 30 pages were pictures of starfish and their Latin names. What ever turns you on I guess...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jackie De Micheli on December 28, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
this is kind of a travel story, a scientific tale, and a John Steinbeck story all in one. As this book unfolded, we were traveling thru the Sea of Cortez. A lot of the places and descriptions of life are very close to the same as in the book. Steinbeck's monologue is a little out of date, yet interesting to read. All in all a good story, still relevant today
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By JR on November 7, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It's a lot of information to digest. There is a good mixture of John's philosophy on life, actual sea life, and life on a small boat with people that have quite different backgrounds. If you have enough in time in your LIFE to enjoy a classic that drifts in many directions, you can read it slow and reflect on a time gone by. Put yourself on that small ship.
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