In praise of Dangerous Work

November 30, 2012

From the New York Times Book Review:

A riddle: What does Captain Ahab have in common with Sherlock Holmes?

Answer: Both characters were created by writers who sailed on whaling vessels, who knew firsthand the heft of a harpoon, the bite of raging gales and the blisters raised by oars.

. . .

A second riddle: What does Dangerous Work have in common with Moby-Dick?

A few of a hundred possible answers: Both books disguise great depth beneath the cloak of an adventure story. Both offer accounts of what was once a major industry, comparable in relative terms to today’s oil industry. Both should be read from cover to cover, shared with friends and revisited in front of a warm fire. And both, for different reasons, are books to treasure, the kind that kindle and rekindle a love of words and a feeling of irredeemable debt to the men behind them.

Read more from Bill Streever’s review here.

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