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Spartina Paperback – April 28, 1998
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
When reading literature, it seems to me that whether we like the characters or not is irrelevant. There are plenty of examples in great literature where the characters aren't people we 'like', but there is no argument as to whether or not the books themselves are worth reading. The same is true with 'Spartina.'
Personally, I did 'like' the characters in this book. Casey's writing gives us characters we feel we know by the end of the novel and, much like knowing the flaws of our friends and family members, we know the flaws of these characters and we know the reasons behind the flaws. We understand and we sympathize at the same time we're shaking our heads at their reckless decision-making. I never stopped 'liking' them even though they made their mistakes and I doubt most readers would.
Read this book. Enjoy it for what it is: a great novel with characters beautifully crafted - warts and all - by a wonderful author.
two audiences. First, people who love boats, water, the
shore, and men at work will appreciate the clam's neck view
of one man trying to scratch a living out (literally) from
off the beach. Second, the protaganist weathers a stormy
personal life, as difficult for him as his dangerous
work afloat. The description of trying to survive a
hurricane in a wooden boat built by the protaganist's
own hands is worth the price of admission.
I didn't care for the wrestling match with Elsie in the salt marsh. Far too much detail. In such minutia!?
And those conversations with her! They are boring and hard to make any sense of.
His boisterous buddy Parker uses and controls him quite effectively. So does Joxer(Joxer?, interesting) Goode.
You need to be a seaman to follow a lot of this. Many terms and much of the language is meaningful to sea-going pros, but not us land lubbers. Even with this, I thought the sea stories were good.
Lastly, this is a far cry from The Old Man and The Sea. Not even close. The Old Man was honorable. The Spartina's captain is a dirt bag. The Old Man was good writing. The Spartina is cheap fiction.
This is at best an average read. Is it an ode to the hard-working, hard-luck working-class? Or a mockery of them? Doubt I'll read John Casey again.