The North Water

by Ian McGuire | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 125011814X Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingperryfranwing of Elk Grove, California USA on 8/30/2018
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2 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wingperryfranwing from Elk Grove, California USA on Thursday, August 30, 2018
The North Water
by Ian McGuire

Behold the man: stinking, drunk, and brutal. Henry Drax is a harpooner on the Volunteer, a Yorkshire whaler bound for the rich hunting waters of the arctic circle. Also aboard for the first time is Patrick Sumner, an ex-army surgeon with a shattered reputation, no money, and no better option than to sail as the ship's medic on this violent, filthy, and ill-fated voyage.

In India, during the Siege of Delhi, Sumner thought he had experienced the depths to which man can stoop. He had hoped to find temporary respite on the Volunteer, but rest proves impossible with Drax on board. The discovery of something evil in the hold rouses Sumner to action. And as the confrontation between the two men plays out amid the freezing darkness of an arctic winter, the fateful question arises: who will survive until spring?

With savage, unstoppable momentum and the blackest wit, Ian McGuire's The North Water weaves a superlative story of humanity under the most extreme conditions.

Journal Entry 2 by wingperryfranwing at Elk Grove, California USA on Tuesday, September 04, 2018
This novel really packs a punch! It was like reading Moby Dick on some kind of energy drink. It tells the story of a doomed whaling voyage on the ship Volunteer to the North Water of Greenland in 1859. One of the main characters in the novel, Henry Drax, is probably the most vile and despicable person ever to grace literature. He is a murderer and pedophile who only lives to satisfy his cravings. Also along for the voyage is Patrick Sumner, an ex-army surgeon who served in India during the Delhi siege and ends up with a tarnished reputation. His only option, he thinks, is to take refuge as the ship's surgeon on its ill-fated voyage. While on the surface the voyage is in search of whale and its uses, in reality, the ship is doomed to failure based on the owner's knowledge of the waning whaling industry.

McGuire paints a vivid and bleak picture aboard the Volunteer. And prior to the voyage, the area of London in which some of the whalers that board the Volunteer lurk before shipping out is shown as an area ripe with evil, sordidness, and murder. The true purpose of the voyage is kept secret from most of the crew but most fall victim to its outcome. The novel portrays all the vileness of the voyage including descriptions of sodomy, murder, bodily functions, and the slaughter of both seals and whales.

Most everything in the novel pulls the reader into the world of 19th century whaling. The setting, the characters and dialogue, along with the plot and its twists really draw you into this one. But this is much more than a mere action sea adventure. I would highly recommend this one but be prepared for a shocking story.

Journal Entry 3 by wingperryfranwing at Wishlist Tag Game , A Bookcrossing member -- Controlled Releases on Tuesday, September 04, 2018

Released 1 yr ago (9/4/2018 UTC) at Wishlist Tag Game , A Bookcrossing member -- Controlled Releases


Sending to GoryDetails as a wishlist tag it forward. Enjoy!

Journal Entry 4 by wingGoryDetailswing at Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Wednesday, September 12, 2018
Thanks so much for the wishlist book! Sounds like the kind of creepy, claustrophobic story I enjoy...

Later: Definitely violent and claustrophobic - though a smaller percentage of the story took place stranded in the ice than I'd expected. The author conveys the grit and stink and vileness of his characters far too well! I felt for poor Sumner, but his own demons gave him almost as much trouble as the utterly heinous Drax.

I admit I was a bit disappointed at the reason behind the main plot; sure, it was logical under the circumstances, but I wanted something more... I dunno, emotional? Still, it's an evocative story, even if it puts the reader in places and situations that are profoundly uncomfortable!

Journal Entry 5 by wingGoryDetailswing at Little Free Library, City Hall in Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Thursday, November 15, 2018

Released 11 mos ago (11/16/2018 UTC) at Little Free Library, City Hall in Nashua, New Hampshire USA


I left the book in the Little Free Library on this chilly day, with a snowstorm due this evening. Hope the finder enjoys the book!

[See other recent releases in NH here.]

*** Released for the 2018 Keep Them Moving release challenge. ***

*** Released for the 2018 The The release challenge. ***

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