Down To The Sea In Ships
‘Magnificent’ Robert Macfarlane
Winner of the Stanford Dolman Travel Book of the Year
Our lives depend on shipping but it is a world which is largely hidden from us. In every lonely corner of every sea, through every night, every day, and every imaginable weather, tiny crews of seafarers work the giant ships which keep landed life afloat. These ordinary men live extraordinary lives, subject to dangers and difficulties we can only imagine, from hurricanes and pirates to years of confinement in hazardous, if not hellish, environments. Horatio Clare joins two container ships on their epic voyages across the globe and experiences unforgettable journeys. As the ships cross seas of history and incident, seafarers unfold the stories of their lives, and a beautiful and terrifying portrait of the oceans and their human subjects emerges.
‘Tremendous’ The Times
"Wonderful... Clare's account of his journeys with the officers and crews of container ships is gripping and stomach-churning in equal measure" * Daily Telegraph * "[A] beautifully written account of seafaring life" -- Ian Critchley * Sunday Times * "A lyrical, heartfelt but eye-opening chronicle... Both romantic and realistic, written from the heart but crafted with a seafarer's "passionate precision", [Clare's] book will steer you into the new year on a course that may deepen your grasp both of that world, and of ourselves" -- Boyd Tonkin * Independent * "If you can't run away to sea (though I recommend you do), Clare's book is a warm and captivating companion to it" * Guardian * "Stupendous and extraordinarily exciting... What Clare demonstrates, even beyond his undoubted gifts as writer, is his basic humanity. I read his wonderful book with gratitude for his insight - but also with increased admiration for the men to whom we owe almost everything in our comfortable and secure lives" -- Philip Hoare * Times Higher Education * "Rich and dense, full of old sea-dog stories, with barely a word wasted, it's a triumph of quiet artistry" -- Marcus Berkmann * Daily Mail * "This is a warm and lyrical book about a tough trade in tough times" -- Sara Wheeler * Observer * "Wonderful... Clare's writing is fluid, light and eminently readable, but perhaps his greatest asset is his empathy" -- Philip Hoare * Sunday Telegraph * "Clare's powers of plain description are tremendous" -- Libby Purves * The Times * "A fabulous account... There is Conradian insight in Clare's portrayal of the crews to which he is supernumerary, from the captain who hums as he negotiates narrow channels to the first mate constantly crunching carrots" -- Giles Foden * Conde Nast Traveller *
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