Friday, April 02, 2010

Erskine Childers is much missed... Good reads on boats

It's a little bit gray today and a sorta/kinda holiday here in the USVI and I really should be doing something of some import but what I'd really like to do is kick back and read some fiction of a nautical bent...

The problem is, unless you are into the costume/historical series ilk, there is not a whole lot of fiction available for the present day nautically obsessed. You'd think that someone would do the odd adventure novel or detective series that takes place on or around boats or cruising. Maybe a present day sort of "Adventures in Paradise" or some such?

The few books I do tend to pick up with a sailing sub theme of sorts almost always hit the bulkhead with a resounding WHACK when I come across those author-has-no-clue passages...

 ..."John raised the staysail on the foremast and then steered his sloop through the breech in the reef..."

Yeah, I know I'm picky... but the truth is, it is ALL about suspension of belief and when they throw dumb stuff at you it just up and poofs away!

Fact is, with all the free time most sailors seem to have, you'd think at least a few of them would be working on the odd novel or two instead of yet another cruising guide or how-to-cruise tome. Where are the literary heirs to Erskine Childers and why don't we have a modern day "Riddle of the Sands"?

To me, it's even more surprising as sailing folk are by and large very avid readers. Even the merest hint of a sailboat on a book cover will zip out of the book swap faster than a politician can make a bribe disappear... Which tells me that there is a market just waiting to be tapped!

In the meantime, you might want to take a look at "The Voyage" which while not set in present times, is a pretty awesome novel which did not hit the bulkhead even once or the sometimes silly yet somehow OK guilty pleasure inducing "The Ripple Effect" or the bulkhead banging but still sorta/kinda entertaining "Sea Hunter"...

Now if only Robert Crais would get into sailing... Can you imagine the mayhem if Elvis Cole and Joe Pike went sailing?