Trin's Reviews > Shark Drunk: The Art of Catching a Large Shark from a Tiny Rubber Dinghy in a Big Ocean

Shark Drunk by Morten A. Strøksnes
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really liked it
bookshelves: 2010s, adventure, biography, history, nature, science, norwegian-lit

Nature is scary. It is vast and strange and unknowable. In Shark Drunk, Morten Strøksnes explores much of what makes nature so captivating -- and so frightening. His focus is on the sea, from which the culture of his native Norway arose, in which his ancestors made their livings and met their deaths. Strøksnes and his eccentric artist friend Hugo embark on a quest to catch a Greenland shark -- a species I had never heard of, but whose mythical-sounding properties include flesh that renders the human consumer intoxicated. (As Strøksnes himself points out, nature can match any fantasy one might choose to invent.) Their self-described Melvillian hunt is, narratively, more of an excuse to survey related -- sometimes tangentially related -- topics of science, history, and philosophy. Strøksnes evokes the cold, isolated landscape and the swirling, often deadly waves, with a sharp eye and a dry turn of phrase that reminds me of Frans G. Bengtsson's Viking saga The Long Ships mixed with a Werner Herzog film. (Strøksnes quotes Herzog, too: a typical, delightfully dramatic paragraph that begins: "Life in the oceans must be sheer hell. A vast, merciless hell of permanent and immediate danger." That about sums it up!)

Strøksnes' book is definitely more about the journey than the destination, but what a journey it is. This book made me appreciate nature, in all its terror and glory.
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Reading Progress

April 27, 2017 – Started Reading
May 3, 2017 – Shelved
May 3, 2017 – Shelved as: 2010s
May 3, 2017 – Shelved as: adventure
May 3, 2017 – Shelved as: biography
May 3, 2017 – Shelved as: history
May 3, 2017 – Shelved as: nature
May 3, 2017 – Shelved as: science
May 3, 2017 – Shelved as: norwegian-lit
May 3, 2017 – Finished Reading

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