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Calm at Sunset, Calm at Dawn: A Novel
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Calm at Sunset, Calm at Dawn: A Novel

3.8 of 5 stars 3.80  ·  rating details  ·  87 ratings  ·  8 reviews
Calm at Sunset, Calm at Dawn is a coming-of-age novel of ample beauty, insight, and intensity. Defying the wishes of his family, James Pfeiffer--twenty years old and newly expelled from college--heeds the call of the open waters off the Rhode Island coast. Joining the crew of a broken-down scallop trawler, James seeks to learn the ways of fishermen like his father. Through ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published October 15th 1996 by Picador (first published 1989)
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I first read this book when it was published in 1989, and it has stayed with me since then, requiring me to reread it every few years. There’s nothing overtly remarkable about it – no flashes of insight, no surprising plot twists, no turns of phrase that make me pause in appreciation. And yet, it is a superb novel in its detailed description of the hard, gritty world of deep-sea fishing.

The protagonist, James Pfiefer, is the son of a fisherman who wants a better life for his son; and yet James,
Susan Rupprecht
This book was found by me on a lifeguard chair at Wellfleet beach last summer. It is traveling book in which I read it and then go on a website and add my take on it and then I take it to a new spot and leave it for the next reader. Since I am going to California soon, I figured I would leave it there. It is about the life of a fisherman who goes out on weeklong journeys to Stellwagon Bank to gather scallops and other fish. The life is hard and rough but somehow they do this year round. It remiT ...more
Not my kind of genre. Felt isolated and lonely just to read it.
Gregory Lamb
The first of his books, I was given this one by my sister as a gift and learned that she discovered Paul Watkins while doing some professional reviews. I later wrote Paul on several occasions and learned a bit about the methods he employs while constructing a story and actually writing. He has a fantastic, clean and to the point style and some really pointed dialog.
One of Paul Watkins' earlier books about fishing on trawlers off Newport, RI. James Pfeiffer has been kicked out of college and gets work on a boat dredging scallops. His father and grandfather both fished but don't want him to follow them. Amazing descriptions of life at sea - the hard work, the food, people, the terror, the accidents. Excellent writing.
Not my favorite by him but still held my interest. If you like fishing give it a shot.
Set in Galilee & Newport, RI!!!
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Paul Watkins is an American author who currently lives with his wife and two children in Hightstown, New Jersey. He is a teacher and writer-in-residence at The Peddie School, and formerly taught at Lawrenceville School. He attended the Dragon School, Oxford, Eton and Yale University. He received a B.A. from Yale and was a University Fellow at Syracuse University, New York. His recollections of his ...more
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