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This book listens well if yo know something about the rigging of a sailing ship. If you are new to this world you will probably get lost in the incredible detail and and miss the truly hard, yet amazing, life of a sailor.
16 of 16 people found this review helpful
Being a native Californian, I've read several histories of the area and many of them cite passages from Richard Henry Dana's "Two Years Before the Mast". I hesitated to buy the audiobook since I found the English rather archaic, the original book having been published in 1840. But I took the plunge and was pleasantly surprised.
Dana's later, distinguished career as a maritime lawyer came through in his scholarly prose and I came to enjoy his writing style. Why did the Harvard educated son of a prominent Boston family ship out as a common sailor? His book answers this question and hints of his later advocacy for the oppressed and as a foremost abolitionist.
Dana's "Before the Mast" is a vivid account of life aboard a merchant ship from a deckhand's perspective. His descriptions of sail and rigging handling get a bit technical but he does it so well that even I, a landlubber, generally understood the varied and often dangerous tasks of a seaman. And I could see Mexican California as Dana described it.
The narrator, Jim Killavey, did a superb job of conveying Dana's brilliant grasp of events and sensitivity to the human condition. This book is truly a classic.
29 of 30 people found this review helpful
I read the printed book some years ago and loved it. However I could not get past the first 15 minutes due to the expressionless deadpan voice of the reader. Lets hope a better version can be found in the future.
0 of 1 people found this review helpful