Passage to Juneau: A Sea and Its Meanings
I like the writing. A lot, in fact. The author, Jonathan Raban, is extremely erudite and articulate, and he skillfully intertwines sailing, history, anthropology, art, and nature in a web of words in which the the reader can get lost as in the fogs and mists, eddies and currents of the waters being described.
I also like the author's premise of linking the travelogue of his journey to the exploratory sailings of the eighteenth century Spanish a ...more
Yes, it requires an articulate writer, undeterred by obstacles, one able to smell out good stories, locate interesting persons, make them talk, and then frame it all in scintillating prose. Not a job for everyone, but when done right, the results are delightful. John McPhee was a master of this genre, ...more
The account of his father's death and funeral was deeply moving and authentic, I had just lost my Father and found that the writer was able to voice some of my unfocused feelings for me.One of Jonathan's fines ...more
Another all-time fave, this book is a treasure: a man taking time to listen to himself think, to travel in an elemental way, to commune with nature and history, and taking us along for the ride. Introspective, historically thorough and informative, Passage to Juneau is a journey I take over and over, whenever I need the comfort of a wise friend and a sense of history and discovery to help me enjoy the world again.
The historical, nautical and even naturalist details in this book carry it along. If it were not for Captain George Vancouver, Raban would have no book.
SPOILER ALERT -
One half chapter into the book and I knew that his wife would be leaving him. By the time I got to the end of the book and confirmed my gut, I felt glad for her.
Outside of the insight to the art and cosmology of the Coastal Indian tribes and some details provided of Vancouver's voyage of exploration - the rest of the book is a ...more
The title was misleading as thi ...more
The writing is wonderful. Ho ...more
basically, the book follows raban as he boats from seattle to juneau, roughly following the journey of manic-depressive explorer Vancouver. a lot of the book is about the history and landscapes of the northwest itself and the differing interpretations of nature among indians (who feared it), explorers (who wanted to profit by it), and romantics (who wanted to love it). exchange nature for 'the unknown' and you can get the ...more
One little section that I found the need to re-read this morning:
In the making of waves, first the air 'deforms' the water, which then begins to 'perturb' the flow of air across it; and it is out of this delicate intercourse between the elements that the wave is born. As the ripple turns into a wavelet, its slight convexity gives the wind so ...more
Perhaps its my own scatterbrain characteristics that kept me from putting it down. As I was working on the Inside Passage while r ...more
I even understood some of the sailing jargon which would have bamboozled me before last week. Having also lived in the Pacific NW I could appreciate the setting of the travelogue. He writes with a lovely balance between vivid imagery and gloomy Englishman abroad -my favourite type of traveller.