Clark's Reviews > Two Years Before the Mast: A Personal Narrative of Life at Sea

Two Years Before the Mast by Richard Henry Dana Jr.
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M 50x66
's review
May 23, 2009

really liked it
Read in April, 2009

This one was a slow starter, but I have to say that I was pretty blown away by how much I was digging it at the end. It's just a straight up nonfiction account of a young sailor's trip to California in the early 1800s. The depth of the feelings that this book plumbs are phenomenal. You get a sense for how important the camaraderie between shipmates becomes on a long voyage and the bittersweet realization at the end of the book that these characters would never work together again or see one another all together once more. Dana returned home and the group disbanded despite the arduous journey they had taken together. Something about that really hit me.

Great book. Also a fascinating look at life in California just prior to the gold rush.

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