- Hardcover: 270 pages
- Publisher: W. W. Norton; 1st edition (April 24, 1964)
- Language: English
- ASIN: B0007EP41O
- Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 5.2 x 2.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,646,605 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Mortal Leap Hardcover – April 24, 1964
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Top Customer Reviews
The basic story: The narrator runs away from a strict Mormon household at age 17, during the Great Depression. Soon he is a merchant seaman on the Pacific. Aloof, indifferent, and uncommitted, he has a hard-scrabble existence: the only women in his life are prostitutes; his only "friend" is Victor, an embittered older seaman who betrays the narrator more than once. It seems that Victor is what the narrator is fated to become, 30 or 40 years down the road.
The story advances to World War II. The narrator is now the engineer on a fourth-rate cargo steamer, crewed by criminals, losers, and misfits -- and Victor, who got him the berth. After a series of adventures, the rust-bucket ship, carrying munitions for the war effort, blows up in the Solomon Islands. Our narrator is cast away, and gets caught up in the periphery of the battle of Guadalcanal, raging nearby. He tries to make it to a damaged American destroyer. It sinks as he reaches it. Burned, exhausted, he almost dies in the water ... but awakens to find himself in a US Navy hospital.Read more ›