The Sea Runners E–pub New
Pened and one of the men who stepped first out *of the silence There are examples on almost every page It s worthwhile reading the novel with care rather than *the silence There are examples on almost every page It s worthwhile reading the novel with care rather than reading Mr Doig also inserts brief bits and bobs of history from time to time Here are a few non spoiler extracts Crone mountains these now Old bleak places gray scarved above the green shore p171Thus the author compares the canoeists and their struggle against the elements at one particular point Perhaps bring to thought that trick done with apple and knife the fruit to be peeled in one stopless cutting down and down the pare of skin coiling from the blade s glide the red white red white spiral stair ever likely to snap away but yet is it for each shaving of coil twirls a bond with all the others the helix holding itself together spin on spin by creational grace p181In a beautiful description of the coming spring too long to uote in full Out of their winter rust ferns unroll green And further on in that passage Geese and ducks and whistling swans write first strokes of their calligraphy of their flight northward p202 There are also magnificent descriptions of birds etc elsewhere in the novel No knowing what s prowling in his head but at least it s not umping out his mouth p212 The author Ivan Doig holds a PhD in history from the University of Washington He has written several novels and is a recipient of the Wallace Stegner Award I decided to read this book based on Marita s review of it She made it seem like an adventure I would enjoy and I did enjoy it Having Said That I said that I add that if you want a review of the story Marita s review is the place to start I shall be giving only a few personal thoughts Four men setting out from an island in the Alaskan Panhandle in winter is obviously an adventure story In this case what kind of adventure is to some degree left to the mind of the reader It is a great credit to the author Ivan Doig that he is able to describe both the menace and the beauty in the setting and the resilience and the weakness in the characters in such a way as to take the reader into different places of the mind at different times The threat is always around the next island but then so is the possibility that nature will bring on something like a religious experience If I had read this story sometime before The only Doig I ve re read Set in a time and place that uite appeal A favorite to recommend Whistling Season has re read Over the years I ve throughly enjoyed Ivan Doig s books set in Montana finding them engrossing and comfortable A departure for me this book exhibits the exceptional versatility of the masterful writer Ivan Doig truly is This story comes alive through fully fleshed out characters human and natural interactions and especially the uncompromising narrative and dialogue composition all pull Loosely based on actual events Ivan Doig s The Sea Runners is an story of culture adventure and survival events Ivan Doig s The Sea Runners is an story of culture adventure and survival Scandinavian men escape their indentured servitude to a Russian trading company in New Archangel what is now Sitka in Southeast Alaska and head off in a stolen Native Alaskan canoe for Astoria OregonDoig s descriptions of the Southeast Alaskan landscape the ocean the rocky beaches and cliff the dense forests and most notably the weather are very evocative His dialogue is similarly intriguing I found myself chuckling at the witty though not unrealistic exchanges between the escapees I also appreciated Doig s descriptions of his characters thoughts He udiciously gives the reader enough to know how a character is feeling and what he is thinking but no And the pace of the book is fantastic I never wanted to put it downOverall I would highly recommend this nove. And exhaustion and to endure their own doubt and distrust Based on an actual incident in 1853 The Sea Runners is a spare and awe inspiring tale of the human uest for freedom. Of the challenge they have taken on and the toll it takes on their physical and mental resources It s also about the natural world that the men
Face Which Kind Of which kind of the part of a fifth main character a very moody one This is the first novel I ve read by this author and I would say he is very descriptive in his writing At times I had the impression he was self consciously soI must admit that towards the end I was willing the guys to make it to Astoria and a novel is a success if it gets the reader to identify that strongly with its characters A slow burner but in the end a four star rating for me This was an incredible story It was based on a true incident reported in a Letter to the Editor in an Oregon newspaper in 1853 The occurrence has been turned into a novel The facts are given in the author s Acknowledgements I really liked this book even though survival stories are a bit unusual for me In 1852 four Swedes indentured to the Russian American Company based in New Archangel Russian America Sitka Alaska decide to escape New Archangel and the brutal treatment they receive at the hands of their overseers Melander their leader bitterly terms all the Scandinavians and Finns working there as the Russians hornless oxen During a six month period the Swedes steal a native Tlingit Russians call the tribe Kolosh canoe and anything else necessary for their trip to their final destination Astoria Oregon Territory Astoria Kolosh canoe and anything else necessary for their trip to their final destination Astoria Oregon Territory Astoria near the mouth of the Columbia River They finally leave at dusk by subterfuge on Russian Christmas night1853 figuring the Russians will be too busy celebrating to notice They make their way down the Pacific coast The novel is nonstop excitement and twists and turns Russians and Kolosh chase them for awhile until the Russians give up then the men face hostile Indians storms rocks and having to hunt and fish while trying to avoid unfriendly tribes Some of the men have never paddled before After the maps they have stolen prove inadeuate they uarrel violently They have to travel blind in the midst of severe winter weather and angry seas The writing was very sparse and stark I got a good sense of the travails and interactions of the men and how they faced everything The novel was very evocative of the time and setting As the ourney progressed I kept referring to the map of that coastline area in the book Very highly recommended Fact According to a contemporary letter to the editor in the Oregon Weekly Times during the winter of 1852 53 oystermen at Shoalwater Bay modernly renamed Willapa Bay north of the mouth of the Columbia River came upon three men the perfect pictures of misery and despair who had achieved a canoe voyage down the Northwest coast from indentureship at New Archangel FictionTaking the above as his source Ivan Doig imagines what happens to four Swedish men indentured by the Russians so called seven year men in New Archangel now Sitka on Baranov Island Alaska who escape and head south their ultimate destination being Astoria on the Columbia River Four very different men in a canoe all dependent on one another hundreds of miles of rough coastline and bad weather what can go wrong They have both luck and misfortune in abundanceThe WritingWhat made this a five star read for me is the writing rather than the plot or characters Both plot and characters are fine but it is the writing the descriptions the imagery that swept me away Roughly halfway through the book and the Arvyndase (Silverspeech) journey tragedy strikes and from this point the writingumps up a notch or two and continues improving With the careful use of a single word Mr Doig can evoke marvellous images as he does immediately after that tragedy where they try to unbelieve what had hap. Coast Battling unrelenting high seas and fierce weather from New Archangel Alaska to Astoria Oregon the men struggle to avoid hostile Tlingit Indians to fend off starvation.