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The Fever Coast Log (Destinations) Hardcover – February, 1992

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Chaplin, a journalist, and his female companion sailed the coast of Central America, following the route taken by a relative, Frederick Catherwood, an obscure artist who accompanied 19th-century explorer John Lloyd Stephens during his discovery of the Mayan ruins. Like most travel reminiscences, this contains a personal story: Chaplin's search for family roots and his desire to fulfill a sailing dream for his father. Chaplin succeeds in providing a sense of the history, politics, and lifestyles of the countries comprising his journey, including Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama. He peppers his account with anecdotes, literary quotes and passages, and encounters with various characters. Although his narrative is sometimes disjointed, it is for the most part absorbing reading. For travel and sailing collections.
- Elizabeth DeMarco, Onondaga Cty. P.L., Syracuse, N.Y.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews

A personal travelogue of Central America, fuzzily in the manner of Graham Greene. Chaplin--a sometime journalist--and a female companion sail down from Mexico along the coasts of Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua, with brief sojourns in Costa Rica and Panama. There seems to be little reason for the voyage except that no American vessel has ventured into Nicaraguan waters since the Sandinistas took power, and that Chaplin wants to retrace the voyage taken by a dead relative, Frederick Catherwood, who illustrated the Mayan finds of archaeologist John Lloyd Stephens. There are rumors of pirates and worries about troubles with Sandinistas--who, as the tale unfolds, are about to relinquish power to the Chamorro government. No disasters strike, however; the Sandinistas offer red tape, but no real trouble. The ordinary people Chaplin runs into are remarkable for how kind they are, particularly since Chaplin doesn't seem very kind himself, spoiled rich, perhaps, and striking the reader as a lost soul--e.g., in his clever description of himself as a Central American country: ``my seedy yet respectable...British...colonial past; my shadowy, inscrutable, rich, powerful...American...connections. I have crippling problems in dealing with outside authority, and yet I can never seem to get my own act together.'' As a spiritual journey, this is a bogus trip, borrowing from the trappings of earlier narratives but with none of their fire or any real sense of risk. But as description-- of pristine, charming Belize; of a ramshackle Nicaragua brought down by the superpower foreign policies; of the wild beauty of Guatemala and the civilization of Costa Rica--this is often very fine. Chaplin draws on historical sources with insight, and the search for the meaning of his heritage becomes more affecting as we learn about his confused relationship with his wealthy father, for whom the book was in part written. Nonetheless, Chaplin strains for charm but seems barely able to behave himself, simultaneously. A so-so account. -- Copyright ©1991, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Product Details

  • Series: Destinations
  • Hardcover: 229 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (February 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671761234
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671761233
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 6.1 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,058,928 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Scott Stephens on August 21, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Gordon Chaplin does what most people only dream of - sailing into the unknown for the sake of an adventure. Starting out of the FL. keys with his girlfriend and a loose itinerary of tracing a dead relative's footsteps - to re-discover many of the lost Mayan ruins and maybe re-discover himself as well. Along the way the reader is treated to tales of boat life and 3rd world culture, filled with magnificent descriptions of the people and their surroundings, making you feel like your standing next to him at the bar.
If your looking for that one book to end the summer with, this is it - great vacation, beach reading. This book would make for a great Jimmy Buffett song.
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By Meh on May 15, 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Excellent read
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