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Time and Tide: A Walk Through Nantucket

(Crown Journeys Series)

3.51  ·  Rating details ·  168 ratings  ·  38 reviews
Frank Conroy first visited Nantucket with a gang of college friends in 1955. They came on a whim, and for Conroy it was the beginning of a lifelong love affair with this "small, relaxed oasis in the ocean." This book, part travel diary, part memoir, is a hauntingly evocative and personal journey through Nantucket: its sweeping dunes, rugged moors, remote beaches, secret fi ...more
Hardcover, 144 pages
Published April 6th 2004 by Crown (first published January 8th 2004)
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Average rating 3.51  · 
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 ·  168 ratings  ·  38 reviews


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Lee Klein
Jun 14, 2007 rated it really liked it
I loved the old guy -- and read this in the summer after his death. When I finished I said aloud "damn that was a good book". He includes the exclamation "Veblen!" toward the end, which is really weird since I have a story where the narrator exclaims "Thorstein!" -- Both Frank and I apparently were/are into Thorstein Veblen. No wonder I liked him. Also, though, yo, this book is slight and thoroughly enjoyable for a memoir about a preppie island, since it's about how this preppie island changed o ...more
Rosemary
Jul 06, 2014 rated it it was ok
It's not a special book, in my opinion, but I enjoyed reading about Conroy's love for Nantucket.
Gail Pool
Jul 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
"Nantucket is drenched with memories of the whaling days and the nineteenth century,” writes Frank Conroy in Time & Tide, an entry in the Crown Journeys series which takes readers on brief “walks” through various places. Having lived in Nantucket either as a year-rounder or summer resident since the '50s, Conroy knows the island well and proves an engaging guide to its geography, culture and evolution from the 19th century to the 21st.

As a whaling town, Nantucket was wealthy in the old days: “th
...more
Vel Veeter
May 19, 2020 rated it liked it
A small book written by the essayist and novelist Frank Conroy. I am not from New England and didn’t grow up in any kind of public intellectual sense, so Frank Conroy does not have any kind of reputation or presence in my life other than being referenced in David Foster Wallace’s “A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again” as having written a commissioned essay for a cruise line, which makes DFW feel some kind of way. This book has a similar vibe, but is still quite good because it ends actuall ...more
Josh
Nov 18, 2017 rated it liked it
This was a delightful read, and there were a few sections I loved. But my faith in the book was shaken early on. In the first chapter, Conroy writes:

"The sandy beach just north of Siasconset (or 'Sconset, as it is called by islanders) is the easternmost edge of the United States. The familiar Mercator Projection to be seen in every schoolroom makes it look like Maine sticks out farther, but that is no more than an effect of flattening three dimensions into two. On a globe, Nantucket beats Maine
...more
Stephen
I visited Nantucket in 1978 on a biking trip with some fraternity brothers, that I have lost contact with. That's 40 years. ago. This memoir reminds me of spending summers as a kid on the Delaware beaches between Rehobeth and Bethany Beach at a place called Indian River Inlet. It is still there. We, my siblings, Tim , my older brother, and Gretchen, my younger sister and associated family, returned in 2017 to scatter my mother's ashes.
It is not the same.
It can't be.
Nothing remains the same.
N
...more
Kate
Jul 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Interesting glimpses of life and changes on Nantucket. Brought back good memories my visits there.
Barbie Brennan
Jul 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A lovely valentine to the island of Nantucket
Alan
Aug 18, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Rarely have I given a book only one star--honestly, I would give it less, if that were possible.

Conroy has not written a book about Nantucket; he has written a book about himself and his oversize sense of his importance to a Nantucket that only he and a few cronies can understand and treat well--"The shops stayed open late [for Christmas Stroll], welcoming people inside for punch, canapes, and cookies, or shots and beers on the sly for special friends. (I found myself with a distinct buzz on be
...more
Amy Beth
May 24, 2012 rated it liked it
I would probably give this book a 3.5 stars if I could. I did enjoy reading it a lot but I guess I was looking for more information about the island of Nantucket. It was a short book and I wish it had been longer. Since I'm going there in a few weeks for the first time, this book actually made me sad that I never got to experience the Nantucket of 40 years ago ...the time when Conroy was a young adult. I thoroughly enjoyed reading his story, which he wrote in an interesting way. Things have chan ...more
Gail
Apr 13, 2013 rated it it was ok
I guess I'd give it 2 and 1/2 stars. This would be considered a "slight" book--I think it was less than 150 pages--and I should have read it in no time at all, yet it took me at least 2 months to read! I guess I just didn't find it very engrossing, though it was fairly interesting. I'd find myself reading a little before going to bed, then putting it down and not picking it up again for days or even weeks. I liked reading about the history of Nantucket, though it made me sad to realize that, bec ...more
Todd Stockslager
Jun 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: travel-geography
Quite coincidentally, the second consecutive book I've read by an author with the last name of Conroy, the first the overstuffed The Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy. This is one of a series of slim books on the micro-geography of famous places:

Hallowed Ground: A Walk at Gettysburg (Crown Journeys)
Washington Schlepped Here: Walking in the Nation's Capital (Crown Journeys)

that I've read and reviewed that are not exhaustive or encyclopedic, but instead personal and intimate.

Conroy describes the small
...more
Toni
Jul 03, 2013 rated it did not like it
Yesterday I would have said that everyone can tell good stories about where they grew up or a place they love, but today I have been proved wrong. Conroy lists many random things--jumping around with no real continuity--but the moment he starts to sneak up on what might be a good story with a little bit of detail, he makes a sharp detour off onto something else quite unrelated. Of course, I can see his point--why break a perfect record?

Not recommended.
Patricia Murphy
May 11, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: travel
I'm very glad I read this book. Though I agree with the reviewer who noted that the book is more about the author than the place, the level of expertise Conroy brings to the area make this an excellent historical travel document. It's also a good example of an established author who doesn't need to consider the reader much and can therefore go into detail where the detail doesn't matter. The section about golfing was anecdotal and dull.
Sarah
Sep 01, 2016 rated it liked it
Honestly, I picked this book because it was small. I had several doctors appoinments on my calendar and this book would fit neatly in my purse. Half memoir, half travelogue, Mr. Conroy writes of his memories of Nantucket since moving there in the 1950's. Lot of change, lots more people, but he still loves his island. It was very short, and a nice book to read. Though in way, it was kind of a yawn.
Ruth
Jan 02, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This author was head of the Iowa Writer's Workshop and lived across the street from one of my piano students. He also had strong ties to Nantucket and this book is about Nantucket. It is not about ancient Nantuckett, but nevertheless interesting - mostly about the late 50's to 2004, the time the author experienced it.
Deb
Jan 16, 2011 rated it really liked it
Love this series of short travel memoirs in general, and Conroy's portrait of Nantucket does not disappoint. Makes me sad to have lived in MA 36 years and never visited the place. But for memories of the way it used to be, and the island-ness of it despite the money that overwhelms it now, I am glad to have read the loving record of one who spent many years there.
John
Aug 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
Listening to Frank Conroy read his work was a delight. The work sparkles with reminiscences that like beautiful leaves pressed between pages of a favorite book fall to your lap as the pages turn. Beautifully written, beautifully read. This is not great fiction, but it is rings true and heart-felt.
Greg Western
I feel like I now have a pretty feel for what Nantucket was like and is like now. I had only spent time there watching Wings, but this was a lot better. Conroy was there before it was cool and shows things he liked about living there. It is combo memoir and travel book, that makes a 30 mile trip across the water seem pretty attractive
Stephen
Jun 08, 2009 rated it liked it
A history of Frank Conroy's love and habitation of Nantucket. It's light reading, but particularly worthwhile if you are vacationing there and want to get a feel for the mixing of the locals, the summer regulars, the newbies, and the ultra-rich.
Colleen
Jun 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015-read
Author Conroy writes in a conversational tone about his time on Nantucket. This is the second book I've read from the Crown Journeys series. They are good, short reads by writers who live in the places written about.
Joe
Feb 26, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: audio-books
Interesting book. I hope to make it to Nantucket some day.
Janet
Feb 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
Enjoyed listening to this book. Ruth read it and liked it, so I listened to it while I worked around the house.

Louise
Apr 19, 2011 rated it really liked it
A pleasant read...respite from hard fiction.
Ris
Jul 10, 2011 rated it liked it
A nice book to read on vacation in Nantucket. A lovely ambience take on the island.
Kathleen Valentine
Aug 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book -- it is mostly a series of anecdotes and essays on Nantucket where Conroy lived for many years. His writing is lyrical and evocative about one of my favorite places on earth.
Jec
Jun 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
an enjoyable little book...who wouldn't want to live there.
Robert B
Aug 28, 2012 rated it liked it
The walk is through the author's memory of the island as much as it is through Nantucket itself. A nice, quick read.
Elizabeth
Dec 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
This was such a good read. It was a great mix of history and personal experience.
Susan
Mar 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: crown-journeys
Not one of my favorites in the Crown Journeys series but a nice memoir of Nantucket (it was better in the Old Days) and a Frank Conroy fan might find it illuminating
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Frank Conroy was an American author, born in New York, New York to an American father and a Danish mother. He published five books, including the highly acclaimed memoir Stop-Time, published in 1967, which ultimately made Conroy a noted figure in the literary world. The book was nominated for the National Book Award.
Conroy graduated from Haverford College, and was director of the influential Iowa
...more

Other books in the series

Crown Journeys Series (1 - 10 of 15 books)
  • Fugitives and Refugees: A Walk in Portland, Oregon
  • Land's End: A Walk in Provincetown
  • After the Dance: A Walk Through Carnival in Jacmel, Haiti
  • City of the Soul: A Walk in Rome
  • Washington Schlepped Here: Walking in the Nation's Capital
  • Hallowed Ground: A Walk at Gettysburg
  • Blues City: A Walk in Oakland
  • Lost in My Own Backyard: A Walk in Yellowstone National Park
  • Never a City So Real: A Walk in Chicago
  • Time's Magpie: A Walk in Prague

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