Mary's Reviews > Blue Latitudes: Boldly Going Where Captain Cook Has Gone Before

Blue Latitudes by Tony Horwitz
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Oct 02, 2007

it was ok
Recommended for: history and sailing fans
Read in October, 2007

Despite an interesting topic (Captain Cook) and a fascinating setting (the Pacific), I found this book ponderous and lacking momentum. Perhaps it was the organization but once I'd read about Cook's first journey to the South Pacific, I was done with this book (I did finish - you know by now that if I'd quit the rating would be 1 star "it's a book"). It picked up again when the author visited Yorkshire, Cook's childhood home, but then bogged down. The end was awkward, bringing in the author's child who we had not heard about at all previously. Highlights were the call on the King of Tonga, the visit to Niue and the search for the red banana, and the harrowing description of Cook's navigation of the Great Barrier Reef. Even for Todd, a Patrick O'Brian and sailing nut, finishing this book felt like penance rather than reward. And for me, I felt like I was sitting through a neighbor's slides of his last vacation. To be fair, I think this genre of modern travel writing leaves me cold anyway. The places intrigue but the writing does not.
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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by Tao (new) - rated it 3 stars

Tao This author is not very focused. The book can be such a boring read.


John I've only read the first couple of chapters, but have read a lot of "historical footsteps" genre; I think the fault lies in Horwitz' lack of integrating his own experiences with Cook's that's the specific problem here.


Antonia Hall I am on pg. 214 after having this book for about one year. I think the real history is interesting, but presented in kind of a stilted way; then Horwitz jumps to his own adventures which are really not interesting, or maybe they could be if he wrote in a more engaging way. I'm going to keep slogging through, but like Cook, I hope I make it back to land!


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