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Ship Breaker Paperback – October 3, 2011
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Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
At the start of Ship Breaker, Nailer finds an undiscovered oil reservoir in the ship he is exploring -- a lucky strike that would be sufficient to feed him and possibly provide escape from his abusive father. However, when he almost drowns in the oil, and one of his young crew mates finds him, she decides not to rescue him and leaves him to die so she can take advantage of his find. Even though Nailer manages to escape, this incident, set early in the novel, is a perfect introduction to the competing themes of "loyalty in the face of adversity" vs. "everyone for themselves" that run through Ship Breaker. After all, when Nailer finds a gorgeous clipper ship run aground during a hurricane, he faces the same choice: should he rescue the rich "swank" girl trapped inside, or let her die so the ship's salvage can make him wealthy?
YA novels have changed just a tad, haven't they? Yep, although you maybe wouldn't guess so from the paragraphs above, Ship Breaker is actually the first Young Adult novel by Paolo Bacigalupi.Read more ›
What impressed me no end was how well he plunges the reader into a life of extreme poverty. As I was reading about Nailer's life, I thought, we don't need to wait for a dystopian society to see people living like this. It's real, and it's happening now, and I think any middle class teenager could benefit from thinking about how some kids have to grow up. It's shocking, and startling, and the line between the haves and the have nots is bigger than the Grand Canyon. I got all riled up, and it's my hope that other readers do too.
Entertainment value aside, I think the story falters a bit on the emotional side. I felt a connection to Nailer, but it didn't go bone deep. Considering all the terrible stuff that happens to him over the course of this book, I should have been crying for him at some point, and I never did. I'm also curious to see whether teens will embrace Nailer, who is the antithesis of the typical tall, straight-limbed, attractive hero. He's short, scrawny, and horribly scarred. He's not attractive by any conventional standard, so my inner cynic is questioning whether true young adult readers can overcome their natural inclination for superficial beauty.
Ship Breaker is another excellent entry into the ever-growing category of young adult dystopian fiction. If you've enjoyed novels like The Maze Runner by James Dashner, or Inside Out by Maria V. Snyder, then definitely put this one on your list too.
In my estimation, any book that that can grab me and not let go until I finish it falls into that category. Such was the case here. I have a bad habit of getting bored with a bok and not sticking it out to the end, or becoming so distracted by "real life crap" that I can't finish what I started. This was the case with The Terror, and Catch-22, and Lamb, and Crime and Punishment... And a few more. But Ship Breaker hooked me and kept me going.
Very quickly, in a dystopian future where global warming has melted the polar ice caps and turned the gulf coast into a catch-all for huge Category 6 hurricanes, a teenager named Nailer and his crew scavenge old oil tankers and live a pretty miserable life. After a huge storm, Nailer discovers a shipwrecked yacht, with a swanky rich girl inside, and all manner of exciting things begin to happen.
One thing that gave me pause before I began this book was the global warming angle. Regardless of my opinions one way or another on any issue, what I don't want is to begin a novel and get stuck in the middle of a heavy-handed lecture. There was one scene near the middle of the book that began to veer in that direction, but to the author's credit, he didn't linger for long. He got in, made his point, then got on with the story, and for that I was glad, because it's a hell of a good story. Because of this focus on the story and the characters rather than The Message, the underlying cause of the state of the world in this tale has more ressonance. And also, the world PB has created here is so vivid and lush and real, it would do him and this book harm to be too focused on the cause. For that, I applaud him.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Although categorized as YA, I found it adult pleasing as well. The author's imagination, while always focused on the post-apocalyptic world, always has enough imagination to offer... Read morePublished 4 days ago by Socal444
Ship Breaker tells the story of Nailer, a teenage boy in a post-global-warming world who works along the Gulf Coast disassembling oil tankers from the fossil-fuel era. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Joshua David Bellin
First off, a complaint: the publisher has stuffed this ebook with excerpts from other books, apparently to make it appear longer. A full 44% of the book consists of excerpts. Read morePublished 4 months ago by matt haines