What’s the deal with the sea? It draws us to it like a giant magnet, swallows us in its vast expanse, and does what it wants with us. It changes us physically and spiritually. And it has done this for centuries. But why?
In Lena Lencek and Gideon Bosker’s new collection Sail Away: Stories of Escaping to Sea, they speak through 21 authors and attempt to answer this essential question of the maritime writer.
The book incorporates pieces from Virginia Woolf to Roald Dahl to David Foster Wallace - selecting from some of the most skilled writers who have tackled the topic. But the collection’s greatest strength is its biggest fault: broadness. Story by story, though, the book is flawless. Entertaining at first and moving toward solemn introspection, this collection is ideal for browsing by the short attention span reader, or for reading aloud. There are two types of stories: the bumbling, landloving passenger aboard his luxury cruise ship, who is unaware of the dangers of the pretty water that surrounds him, and the first-person account of the hardened voyager who battles tooth-and-nail against the all-powerful sea. Each acts as a foil to the other and will leave you laughing and biting your nails all the way back to port.