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The Cruise of the Snark Paperback – January 25, 2000


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 340 pages
  • Publisher: Sheridan House (January 25, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0924486465
  • ISBN-13: 978-0924486463
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,131,417 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"One of the most adventurous voyages ever planned." --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Jack London (1876–1916) published an enormous number of stories and novels, including The Call of the Wild, White Fang, and Martin Eden.

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Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 10, 1998
Format: Paperback
The Cruise of the Snark relays the saga of Jack London's construction, and two-year voyage in a 45-foot sailing ketch from San Francisco to Hawaii, the Marquesas, Tahiti, and the head-hunting Solomon islands.
His difficulties in getting the boat built after the 1906 San Fran earthquake are hilarious as he describes the assaults of his contractors and creditors during the construction.
After they finally launch the voyage six months late, they manage to find Hawaii through sheer luck, where Jack and his plucky wife, Charmain, learn to surf (remember this is 1907!), visit the leper colony at Molokai and the "House of the Sun" volcanic crater on Maui.
Then comes the "impossible traverse" to the Marquesas, which they didn't realize couldn't be done until a week after they'd begun. Continuing on to Tahiti and the savage Solomon islands, Jack and his determined "Snarkites" encounter natives, tribal chieftains, missionaries, and overcome their problems with incredible persistence and naivete as only some of the first white people to enter these areas could possess.
Incidentally, the "cook" on this voyage was the famous photographer and world explorer Martin Johnson who was picked to go on his very first adventure by a letter to Jack advertising his thirst for travel. With his wife Osa, he would years later revisit the Solomons for the purpose of photographing cannibalism before embarking on their epic photographic safaris in Africa and Borneo. Jack only mentions Martin in passing during "the Cruise", perhaps sensing some literary and photographic competition that he would encounter later.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Marc Ness on July 16, 2009
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
What a great story.

For those who have worked on or around, or own, boats, you will laugh out loud. Not something usually associated with Jack London, but true.

For those with an ounce of humanity, his writing about the leper colony will both chill and warm your heart.

For those who have ever thought about celestial navigation, more laughing out loud. Ten times better than William F(ing) Buckley's sidebar in Airborne (admittedly a wonderful book, and free of WFB's usual nonsense-on-stilts Latin-cognate pretensions).

Finally, a love story. A man and his boat. A man and his wife. What a boat (in spite of itself), and what a wife.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 1, 1999
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you are travelling to Hawaii or any Polynesian destination, then make this book one of your companions. London makes you feel like you are on the boat with him as he takes you from the docks of San Fransisco, to the Hawaiin Isles, to Tahiti and beyond. With tremendous humility and wit London portrays his journey through the South Seas brilliantly, ultimately concluding that attempting to live out a dream can become a nightmarish reality.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Terry Leoni on June 26, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have sailed a few times in S.F. Bay being from the Bay area and I truely related to this story and since the Snark was being built by Jack London right before the 1906 quake. It amazed me and invariably he got taken advantage of by the various builders which led to some precarious sailing manuevers since they measured wrong on one side. Which Jack London didn't find out until out at sea. I could picture all the island stops and so enjoyed the old photos that were put into the Snark truly an interesting journey. It was interesting to me hearing of the staph infections were attacking the individuals when the crew would cut themselves and then end up with these sores they knew nothing about and how they had to heal themselves with virtually no medicines on board. This book is a captain's log which he wrote in daily. If your a sailor you'll love it or even if you've been exposed as I have you'll enjoy it, especially if you happen to be from the Bay area. I recommend it as an interesting and enjoyable read though at times I did feel he was just writing to keep his checks coming in to pay for his journey.

Sebastopolian Reader
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Format: Audible Audio Edition
I'm consistently amazed by the humor and humility with which Jack London relates this tale. He relates the sometimes unbelievable events of his voyages with such detail charm. This book really captures the fascinating small details of living and adventuring in a very different time - and makes it feel like it wasn't so long ago.
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By Ernest B. Douglas on February 6, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This well-known classic adventure story by the famous Jack London is a showcase for the adventurer side of his personality.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Off beat for Jack London. Starts very tongue-in-cheek and transitions to pure adventure. Worth the read, just a strange feel to it.
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