The Highest Tide

  • by Jim Lynch
  • Narrated by Fisher Stevens
  • 7 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

A spellbinding first novel about a young boy's fascination with the wonders of the seashore during a summer that will change his life. One moonlit night, 13-year-old Miles O'Malley slips out of his house, packs up his kayak, and goes exploring on the flats of Puget Sound. But what begins as an ordinary hunt for starfish, snails, and clams is soon transformed by an astonishing sight: a beached giant squid. As the first person to ever see a giant squid alive, the speed-reading, Rachel Carson-obsessed insomniac instantly becomes a local curiosity. When he later finds a rare deepwater fish in the tidal waters near his home, and saves a dog from drowning, he is hailed as a prophet. The media hovers and everyone wants to hear what Miles has to say.
But Miles is really just a teenager on the verge of growing up, infatuated with the girl next door, worried that his bickering parents will divorce, and fearful that everything, even the bay he loves, is shifting from him. While the sea continues to offer up discoveries from its mysterious depths, Miles struggles to deal with the difficulties that attend the equally mysterious process of growing up. In this unforgettable, beguiling novel, we witness the dramatic sea change for both Miles and the coastline that he adores over the course of a summer, one that will culminate with the highest tide in 50 years.


What the Critics Say

2005 Audie Award Nominee, Literary Fiction
"Tender and authentic....This moving, unusual take on the summers of childhood conveys a contagious sense of wonder at the variety and mystery of the natural world." (Publishers Weekly)
"Readers, particularly those who enjoy discovering new voices in fiction, will appreciate Lynch's assertive, microscopically observant writing and respond to the precocious hero, a boy so attuned to the land that his coming-of-age exerts a tidal pull on the very molecules of his environment." (Booklist)
"A stunning light show....A celebratory song of the seas." (Kirkus Reviews)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

13 going on 30

Coming-of-age books can be great and moving reads. This book was loaded with emotion, and chock full of beautiful descriptions of life on the ocean (or bay, as it were) by one who obviously loves it and is well versed in the subject.

There is plenty of what I'd expect a young teen to be thinking of and doing in this novel. But, about one-third the way into the book, I started to doubt a 13 year old could ever know as much as Miles O'Malley did. The story started to flatten for me as more and more very detailed facts about marine life, elegant quotes from Rachel Carson's writings, and very adult emotions came tumbling out of Miles. As Miles drones on about clams and the reproductive habits of obscure squid, I found my attention drifting more than once.
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- J. Huebert "I have been a voracious reader since I was a child."

Middle School point of view

Fisher Stevens has a great voice for narration, and has done nice characterizations in his career. Unfortunately, the protagonist and his friends in this book are 13 years old. Rachel Carson's view of life on earth was fresh with dire predictions. But the counterpoint of this protagonist, his foul-mouthed and misguided friends, adults who are all "users" for their own self-interest, makes this a tiresome book. I have listened to 6 of the 7 hours, and can't wait for it to be over. Perhaps this review would be more favorable if i waited until the end, but I am so annoyed, I needed to vent by frustrations now.
I applaud Fisher Stevens, and urge people NOT to listen to this.
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- G. Singer "717161676"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-12-2005
  • Publisher: Macmillan Audio