Narrow Dog to Indian River: How a Man, a Woman, a Dog & Their Narrowboat Conquered the Atlantic Intracoastal

by Terry Darlington | Travel |
ISBN: 0385342098 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingGoryDetailswing of Nashua, New Hampshire USA on 1/13/2018
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1 journaler for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wingGoryDetailswing from Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Saturday, January 13, 2018
I got this ex-library softcover from Better World Books for another release copy.

I've enjoyed reading about narrowboat travels in Europe, but it's not a common mode of travel in the US since the demise of the canal system. Even River-Horse, a wonderful account of travel-by-boat across America, didn't limit itself to one specific boat.

I see that "Narrow Dog" has been compared to Three Men in a Boat; the comparison's apt. This was a delight! I found myself laughing out loud, chuckling and nodding, wincing in sympathy and laughing some more...

The whole premise is rather far-fetched: the 70-year-old couple, having had quite a time in Europe on their narrow boat, decide to take it down the eastern coast of the US, despite the fact that it's meant to be used only in narrow, shallow, CALM canals, and the route they're planning will take them across a number of very wide rivers and a few even wider bodies of water. The wake from a passing boat could knock them over, the canal boat isn't meant to steer well in high winds and waves, and in general it sounds like a plan for disaster...

So what happens? Before they can even start, Terry (aka "Tits Magee" when he's feeling full of himself) gets a hernia AND heart complications, leading to weeks and weeks of hospitals and fretting. And yet, somehow, as he's writing it all down, it's pretty darned funny - in part because we can tell he didn't die {wry grin}. But why they didn't pack in the boat-trip and just go home is beyond me. Still, I'm glad they persisted, because I really loved this book!

The problem is that I want to keep quoting things. To convey his chatty narrative style, the spousal banter, the trials of coping with their dog Jim, a pedigree whippet with ideas of his own and a murderous attitude about cats and most other dogs (not to mention armadillos) - well, I'd have to cite the whole book.

I loved his mild surprise at some of the stranger aspects of US culture - and his reactions to the wildly different reactions of the Americans to his cute boat and "why is he so thin?" dog. His misadventures with the local insect life amused me - I grew up in the south, and would have listened when the locals warned me about redbugs, aka chiggers.

While I enjoyed all the quipping and snarking and pop-culture riffs, I also appreciated the author's occasional lapse into lyricism - notable when he's describing Jim the dog standing in the sunlight or flying at top speed across a beach. For all the headaches that dog gives, his owners seem very fond of him...

There's some history here and there, and quite a bit about navigation in the coastal waterway - including some white-knuckle sequences in which our heroes are glued to their GPS screen to find their way, as they can't see land in any direction and just hope that nothing causes their boat to sink. Oh, and wildlife - lots of fun with wildlife, from the biting insects to Jim chasing the armadillos to the boat being chased by alligators (!), to some lovely passages about curious dolphins and lazy pelicans.

I enjoyed the book so much that I'm now looking for their other books. Really good read!

Journal Entry 2 by wingGoryDetailswing at Shady Glen restaurant in Manchester, Connecticut USA on Thursday, March 01, 2018

Released 3 yrs ago (3/1/2018 UTC) at Shady Glen restaurant in Manchester, Connecticut USA


I plan to leave this book in or near the Shady Glen restaurant this afternoon, while stopping by for one of their classic cheeseburgers. Hope the finder enjoys it!

[See other recent releases in CT here.]

*** Released for the 2018 Oh the Places We Can Go release challenge. ***

*** Released for the 2018 Four Elements Release Challenge. ***

*** Released for the 2018 Asian Zodiac Year of the Dog release challenge. ***

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