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Baggywrinkles: A Lubber's Guide to Life at Sea Paperback – October 11, 2016
"Neverworld Wake" by Marisha Pessl
Read the absorbing new psychological suspense thriller from acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Marisha Pessl. Learn more
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Baggywrinkles is an anthology, a collection of anecdotes about crewing on a sailing ship. Bellwood begins with the tale of how, in high school, she first went to work on an historical replica ship. Her love and anxiety and excitement come through beautifully, and her illustrations of life at sea are evocative and seductive.
The bits of information she shares in the short pieces build an idea of a life at sea through mosaic. She explains what a baggywrinkle is, for example, and provides a history of nautical tattoos. She introduces basic equipment and terminology, all in a fashion that puts the reader there with a naive-but-in-love ship’s apprentice. One-page bits of trivia punctuate the longer chapters, and well-illustrated knots and bits of equipment serve as story-separating designs.
I appreciated finding out why pirates didn’t really make people walk the plank and what scurvy was and how they found out how to prevent it. It’s educational and hilarious, with a weird appearance by a capybara that actually fits in. There’s also a historical piece about an early visit to Japan, at a time when trade with outsiders was forbidden. (Review originally posted at ComicsWorthReading.com.)