Julie's Reviews > When Captain Flint Was Still a Good Man

When Captain Flint Was Still a Good Man by Nick Dybek
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May 10, 12

Read from May 07 to 08, 2012

So, I liked it. I guess. The end was definitely better than the beginning: before page 136, I really had to push myself to stay engaged. When Captain Flint Was Still a Good Man is the story of a boy living in a northwestern fishing village, whose father spends most of every year at sea fishing off the coast of Alaska, and whose mother crumbles with each season she spends alone. The book is narrated, essentially, by the boy as a young man, who is still coming to grips with the events of one particularly peculiar, tragic, frightening year. I have never even visited this part of the world, much less lived in it; I don't know anyone who comes from this sort of background; and the bleakness of the setting (and the characters) in general made it hard to connect with the larger story. Still, the pace of the last half of the book was better, and I did (eventually) find myself reaching for this book (rather than the others I have "in progress") time and again, staying up all hours to get to the end. There were moments of grace during the book, and I actually did find myself quoting a line or two in completely unrelated conversations over the last few days. For example, "It's too bad, Richard thinks, that of all the senses, sight is the only one you can just shut off. If only he could blow out his ears now, if only he could spend just a few seconds in silence on the soft grass." A really interesting point -- just not completely central to the plot or story. The best I can say is, I don't regret reading the book.
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