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The Western Limit of the World

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The Western Limit of the World Cover

ISBN13: 9781400061624
ISBN10: 1400061628
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

David Masiel’s first novel, 2182 Kilohertz, was one of the most greatly praised books of 2002. A riveting adventure of an unlikely hero’s quest for personal redemption in frigid arctic waters, it earned its author comparisons to such giants of nautical fiction as Melville and Conrad. Now Masiel more than meets the promise of his debut with a harrowing odyssey of love and betrayal on the high seas–and in the shadowy corners of the human heart.

At fifty-nine, Harold Snow has seen his share of death. His baptism of fire came on his twenty-first birthday, on a navy ship in the Coral Sea, when a Japanese kamikaze pilot slammed into the deck. Years later, in the aftermath of a typhoon in the Bay of Bengal, he lay awake on a ship surrounded by thousands of drowned corpses and listened to the sharks feed.

Now, serving as boatswain aboard the Tarshish, a decrepit tanker whose papers are as suspect as its seaworthiness, a weary Snow feels death creeping closer than ever. It’s there in the lethal cargo of volatile chemicals the ship carries in its leaky hold. It stares back from the brutal eyes of the first mate, Bracelin, with whom Snow has embarked on a desperate and highly illegal venture to steal a black-market fortune. It’s in the dangerous welter of emotions he feels for Beth, the beautiful half-English, half-Liberian crewmate lusted after by every other male onboard. It clings to young George Maciel, grandson of Snow’s oldest friend, a seminary dropout whose disastrous arrival earns him a reputation as a Jonah. And it’s there in the memory of Van Sickle, a dead man who haunts Snow with visions of his own dark past.

Snow’s risky plans begin to go awry when the Tarshish is refused entry to the Bay of San Francisco. Forced to return to the open Pacific, Snow and Bracelin embark on a scattershot voyage of shoestring improvisation that will take the disintegrating hulk–sailing under forged papers and a new name–from South America to Africa. Along the way they will encounter hurricanes, crooked customs officials, and tropical ports seething with vice and revolution.

This outer voyage is mirrored by a dark and twisted inner journey that will strip Snow down to his bare essence as a man. And as George and Beth flaunt their involvement, and Bracelin embraces cold-blooded murder, Snow will face a stark choice between life and death, damnation and redemption, at the western limit of the world.

About the Author

David Masiel is the acclaimed author 2182 Kilohertz. He spent his early years in Richmond, California, where he was exposed to sea stories by his grandfather, a master mariner whose career spanned fifty-four years. Masiel received a master’s degree in creative writing from the University of California at Davis. Between 1980 and 1989, he worked offshore in the arctic oilfields, sailing on oceangoing tugboats and icebreakers, mostly in Alaskan waters. He lives in Northern California.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

John, April 28, 2006 (view all comments by John)
A great book, even better that 2182 Khz. Makes you want to go to sea or at least down to the bars where these guys hang out. Melville, London, Genet, Werner, Masiel
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Product Details

ISBN:
9781400061624
Author:
Masiel, David
Publisher:
Random House
Subject:
General
Subject:
Middle aged men
Subject:
Action & Adventure
Subject:
Sea & Ocean
Subject:
Seafaring life
Subject:
Sea stories
Subject:
Sailors
Copyright:
Publication Date:
December 6, 2005
Binding:
Hardcover
Language:
English
Pages:
290
Dimensions:
9.34x6.52x1.05 in. 1.15 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Popular Fiction » Nautical Fiction

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