Log of the S.S. The Mrs. Unguentine
So begins the courtship of a certain Unguentine to the woman we know only as “Mrs. Unguentine,” the chronicler of their sad, fantastical tale. For forty years, they sail the seas together, alone on a giant land-covered barge of their own devisin ...more
Briefly: Just when you might think you’ve had it with PoMo silliness, along comes something that’s anything but. I started this one thinking, Oh no. Proceeded with a sense of dread. Nothing beautiful. Nothing exciting. To eventually arrive at a place of And yet.
What may or may not be pages of the narrator’s log, recounts years (and years, and years) at sea (or not), with her husband (and his memory, and his ghost, and his love, or not) on a barge that is transformed into a burgeoning floating is...more
The view, when I had time, exhilarating and grand. There might even seem, as I would lift a sail and peep through the glass at the garden three stories below, the goat grazing at a pile of brush, ducks waddling from one pond to another, nothing else I could possibly desire.
Log of the S.S. the Mrs. Unguentine is a book of maritime adventures, well, of sorts.
Actually it is an account of the woman’s life and the ...more
It is to Crawford's credit that his linguistic wordplay and astute psychological portrait of his narrator cause even pages upon pages of catalogues of mundane and often petty chores aboard an ever-adrift barge and in-d ...more
Much like Mrs. Caliban, this strange and charming tale served up one of my ideal reading experiences: a completely surreal situation rendered entirely believable through its uniquely nonchalant narrative style. The two eccentric characters in the unusual setting that Crawford has conjured up complete projects of epic proportions conceivable only in the extreme circumstances borne of endless time at sea. It is a work of sublime imagination spelled out in mellifluous prose. My only complaint is di ...more
"We fueled by night in obscure, foetid ports where I strip-teased on the prow, ringed by candles, to mollify thin-lipped customs officials, while Unguentine whispered assignat ...more
This interview ...more
The novel is written in the form of a ship's log, albeit one bereft of dates, times or coordinates. Rather than hard facts, we are presented with the 40-year history of the Unguentine marriage as the couple roams the seven seas aboard a garbage barge. At the start, M ...more
And why wouldn't she? Her only companion is a ...more
For very good reasons, none of that happens, but there exists the lure of the ocean and land, solitude and union, and I am caught in between, enraptured.
Still (slooowly) making my way through The Island of the Day Before by Umberto Eco, and recently read William Hope Hodgson's The Boats of the 'Glen Carrig'. Maybe I just don't enjoy nautical fiction very much, even if it ...more