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Far Tortuga: A Novel Tekijä: Peter…

Far Tortuga: A Novel (vuoden 1988 painos)

Tekijä: Peter Matthiessen (Tekijä)

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
546945,186 (3.99)31
Fantasy. Fiction. Literature. Thriller. HTML:

An adventure story and a deeply considered meditation upon the sea itself.

Teoksen nimi:Far Tortuga: A Novel
Kirjailijat:Peter Matthiessen (Tekijä)
Info:Vintage (1988), Edition: Vintage Books ed, 416 pages
Kokoelmat:Oma kirjasto
Arvio (tähdet):


Far Tortuga (tekijä: Peter Matthiessen)


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Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 9) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
Slow and calm while being poignant and intense. I sat pondering pages that were blank but for a few words or a splash of ink, or a monologue without a specified speaker. "Just enough" in many respects - almost minimalist, but I'm sure I misuse the word. Mainly less to my taste because it was so long and slow, but I loved the style and characterization dearly. ( )
  alex.rothb | May 10, 2023 |
Story of a sea turtle fishing voyage in the Caribbean from the coasts of Nicaragua and Honduras to the Grand Caymans and Tortugas. The crewmen relate memories of past fishing adventures, ships, captains, storms, and catches. They occasionally encounter other ships and crews. The ship’s captain is set on maintaining traditions, though the industry is changing. His obsessions play a critical role in the outcome of the journey.

The structure of this book is pared down to the essentials. It is told in an unusual format – mostly dialogue, almost like a play, with no speaker’s name, no “he said,” and groupings of words with substantial white space in between. A limited amount of scenery is described in prose. The dialogue reflects the dialects of the multiple nationalities of the sailors. It is occasionally difficult to follow and to tell which sailor is speaking. A helpful map, ship’s manifest, and several drawings of the decks are included.

The narrative provides a sense of the sailing life, and how the sailors gossip and recall old sea stories. We only know the characters by what they say and do. The reader is never privy to their thoughts. I am not aware if this book has ever been adapted to a stage play or an operetta, but I think it would work well. This book definitely will not be everyone’s cup of tea. It will appeal to those that enjoy experimental literature and spare, directly told stories.
( )
  Castlelass | Oct 30, 2022 |
Sometimes the reader just doesn't put the effort into it. I recognize it could be a masterpiece, but the conversation format (in which ID of each character was difficult) was a bit too complicated and Joycean, for me. Plot's important, and personally, I'd have benefited from (God forbid!) a study guide. ( )
  Sandydog1 | Feb 21, 2020 |
Read the book and then go back and open it at a random page and you are at once transported into the world of low life caribbean junk sailors at the fag end of the green turtle hunting industry. Locked on a decrepit and bastardised fishing vessel with a crew who speak childishly of the old days and voodoo practises while feeling perfectly at home with casual violence; both spoken and unspoken would not be most peoples idea of a caribbean cruise. The crew of the Lillias Eden litter and spoil all that they see and yet Peter Mathiessen has captured that world with a prose style that combines concrete poetry with inane chatter and pithy descriptions of rugged, dangerous beauty.

The book describes the working voyage of a crew of rough, desperate men chasing the green sea turtles who are fast disappearing from the Caribbean waters. The turtle hunters are a fairly close knit community who are unravelling through the dearth of turtles and the coming of a more modern world in which they are unfit to play a part. They are hampered by having to take on crew members who are foreign to their ways and a captain who is notorious for his mismanagement of his charges. They pass the time by telling stories of the good old days, which were not so good at all and are interwoven with superstition and an increasing unease with one of the new members of the crew who is an “Obeah worker” ( practises folk magic and sorcery). The green turtles prove elusive and a constant stream of ill wind and bad weather and the bad vibrations from the poorly functioning new engines and the petty and not so petty rivalries between crew members make for a book where disaster appears to be on the next stretch of the ocean.

Matthiessen builds the atmosphere in a unique way by spreading his words across the page. Word placement and the spaces around the paragraphs, sentences and phrases give the book a look of modern poetry, but it all works beautifully together to tell an edgy word blown story. Matthiessen uses a localised vernacular of Caribbean speech set out in indented paragraphs which he intersperses with his pithy descriptions of scenery and observations and they combine beautifully to move the story along. The look and feel of the words on the page make this pared down literature reflect the feel of the natural world of the Caribbean seascapes; there is no room for the author to tell us who is speaking and rather like the way Hilary Mantel uses a similar technique in her Tudor Historical novels the reader is soon in tune with what is going on.

Captain Raib says to no one in particular that:

“Blowin my life away, dass what it doin. Dis goddom wind is blowin my life away”

The wind, the bad weather, the bad omens, the modern world encroaching are all destroying these broken men; there are no heroes only more desperation and Matthiessen's sparsely poetic prose captures this brilliantly. This may not be story telling that everyone will enjoy, but it is story telling that has a gritty reality that captures the imagination. My advice is to get hold of a copy of the book, open it at random and see if you can feel the swell and the salt of the open sea in the wind blown prose. You might then think this is a voyage worth taking. I certainly did and so 4.5 stars. ( )
7 ääni baswood | Nov 11, 2015 |
I read this and drowned in it, and the turtles ate me. Brownie licked my blood off his knife as Wodie Greaves introduced me with charming formality to the duppies of his youth. The Jamaicans used my skull for a pissoir; where now my gibes, my gambols, my songs? Every time I went out on a sailboat for twenty years the crazy way Peter Matthiessen inscribed his words directly on my central nervous system bloomed out again like a salt-tang-simplex virus, a Gulf-stream-of-consciousness. And then at the end of twenty years I read it again and drowned and was eaten and licked and introduced and pissed in anew. Incredible book. ( )
8 ääni MeditationesMartini | Oct 30, 2015 |
Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 9) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
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Fantasy. Fiction. Literature. Thriller. HTML:

An adventure story and a deeply considered meditation upon the sea itself.


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