Arachne8x's Reviews > Blue Latitudes: Boldly Going Where Captain Cook Has Gone Before

Blue Latitudes by Tony Horwitz
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Feb 07, 10

bookshelves: memoir, non-fiction, biography, pop-history, travelogue
Read in July, 2004

This book gets a five star rating, because I first read it about 6 years ago and I keep recommending it to people and discussing with them the things I learned from it. Any book whose memory gets me to write about it years later has something special.

This is part travelogue, part biography, and part pop history, which is clearly what I like about it. The author tells the story of Captain Cook and his voyages of 'discovery' while also relating what the parts of the world that he touched are like these days, and what they think of the Cap'n. He starts the book with his cruise on a replica of the Endeavor, and so gets a feel for what sailing was like for Cook and his crew.

Anyway, I dug this book, and I still dig it. It discusses a lot of the realities of the life at sea, and the life of the people who ventured into uncharted territory. Where else will you learn things like that Captain Cook had to start lashing his sailors for removing nails from the vessel in order to trade them for sex? I thought it was brilliant.
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