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The Highest Tide: A Novel

by

The Highest Tide: A Novel Cover

 

Staff Pick

"Jim Lynch's fictional debut explores what's so remarkable about the squid and its unusual ocean brethren, as well as what it's like growing up by the edge of sea. The Highest Tide has much to recommend it, including the narrator himself....[A] classic, quirky coming-of-age tale with an appealingly honest voice and a mesmerizing exploration of ocean life."
Recommended by Jill Owens, Powells.com

Are you captivated by stories of rare creatures living beneath the surface of the ocean? Do you like the idea of an eccentric teenage narrator handing out startlingly detailed descriptions of these creatures and other aquatic mysteries? Are you a sucker for coming-of-age tales that take place in small coastal towns? Then read this amazing book.
Recommended by David, Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A mesmerizing, allegorical, and beautifully wrought first novel about one boy's wonder with the sea during the summer that will change his life, and the lives around him.

One moonlit night, thirteen-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 by 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 away 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 mesmerizing, beautifully wrought first 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 fifty years.

Review:

"The fertile strangeness of marine tidal life becomes a subtly executed metaphor for the bewilderments of adolescence in this tender and authentic coming-of-age novel, Lynch's first. As a precocious, undersized 13-year-old living on the shore of Puget Sound, in Washington State, Miles O'Malley has developed a consuming passion for the abundant life of the tidal flats. His simple pleasure in observing is tested and complicated over the course of a remarkable summer, when he finds a giant squid, a discovery that brings him the unwelcome attention of scientists, TV reporters and a local cult. Meanwhile, Miles's remote parents are considering a divorce; his best friend, Florence, an elderly retired psychic, is dying of a degenerative disease; his sex-obsessed buddy, Phelps, mocks his science-geek knowledge; and his desperate crush on Angie Stegner, the troubled girl next door, both inspires and humiliates him. Events build toward the date of a record high tide, and Miles slowly sorts out his place in the adult world. While occasionally Lynch packs too much into a small story, this moving, unusual take on the summers of childhood conveys a contagious sense of wonder at the variety and mystery of the natural world. Agent, Kim Witherspoon. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"On land, the rickety plot could have used some shoring up....But when Miles is on the water, Lynch's first novel becomes a stunning light show...in the poetic fireworks Lynch's prose sets off as he describes his clearly beloved Puget Sound. A celebratory song of the sea." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"Lynch offers beautiful descriptions filled with quiet passion....Unfortunately, when it comes to [Miles's] sexual awakening, the novel declines into juvenile mediocrity that contrasts sharply with the remainder of this exquisite tale." Library Journal

Review:

"The Highest Tide is a plunge into sustained and intelligent wonder. Jim Lynch creates a richly tumultuous world on a microcosmic stage. His characters and events are as complex and surprising as the sea that surrounds them. He's got me re-reading Rachel Carson and itching for tide pools of my own." Katherine Dunn, author of Geek Love

Review:

"In The Highest Tide, Jim Lynch has written a masterful first novel, gracefully weaving together the wonders of the sea and the wonders of our humanity. Seeing the world through the eyes of his narrator, Miles O'Malley, is to see the world with a rapturous freshness that is, it seems to me, the essence of a fine book. This is an exciting debut. I can't wait to see what Jim Lynch does next." Robert Olen Butler, Pulitzer Prize?winning author of A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain

Review:

"Jim Lynch has written a breathtakingly beautiful first novel. At its core is a fabulous metaphor, rising from the ocean to wrap around his painful story with all the brilliance and mystery of life. That is a big statement. Lynch can carry its weight and then some." Martha McPhee, author of Gorgeous Lies

Synopsis:

While the sea continues to offer him discoveries from its mysterious depths, such as a giant squid, a teenaged boy struggles to deal with the difficulties that come with the equally mysterious process of growing up.

Synopsis:

A mesmerizing, allegorical, and beautifully wrought first novel about one boys fascination with the sea during the summer that will change his life.

One moonlit night, thirteen-year-old Miles OMalley 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 by 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 away 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 mesmerizing, beautifully wrought first 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 fifty years.

Synopsis:

A mesmerizing, allegorical, and beautifully wrought first novel about one boys fascination with the sea during the summer that will change his life.

 

One moonlit night, thirteen-year-old Miles OMalley 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 by 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 away 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 mesmerizing, beautifully wrought first 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 fifty years.

Jim Lynch has won national journalism awards and published short fiction in literary magazines and spent four years as the Puget Sound reporter for the Oregonian. A Washington state native, Lynch currently writes and sails from his home in Olympia, where he lives with his wife and daughter. The Highest Tide is his first novel.
A YALSA Best Book for Young Adults
A Book Sense Pick
 
A mesmerizing, allegorical, and beautifully wrought first novel about one boys fascination with the sea during the summer that will change his life.

One moonlit night, thirteen-year-old Miles OMalley 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 by 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 away 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 mesmerizing, beautifully wrought first 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 fifty years.

"[A] graceful and inventive first novel . . . [Lynch's] declarative style and vivid imagery allow the science of the ocean to blend easily with its poetry."—The New York Times Book Review
 
"Wryly funny, achingly sad and endearingly hopeful . . . the kind of book you can't put down, and the kind you'll pick up again."—Denver Post
 
"In stunning prose, author Jim Lynch puts a sea life into a kaleidoscope where swirling shapes burst and reconfigure in continuous life-affirming wonder . . . The balance of elegance, groundedness and style is remarkable."—San Francisco Chronicle
 
"Move over, Holden Caulfield; here's Miles . . . An uncommon and uncommonly good coming-of-age novel."—Chicago Tribune
 
"A radiant first novel."—O, The Oprah Magazine
 
"Unforgettable . . . A classic coming-of-age story."—Seattle Times
 
"In The Highest Tide, Jim Lynch has written a masterful first novel, gracefully weaving together the wonders of the sea and the wonders of our humanity. Seeing the world through the eyes of narrator, Miles O'Malley, is to see the world with a rapturous freshness. This is an exciting debut."—Robert Olen Butler, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain
 
"The Highest Tide is a plunge into sustained and intelligent wonder. Jim Lynch creates a richly tumultuous world on a microcosmic stage. His characters and events are as complex and surprising as the sea that surrounds them. He's got me rereading Rachel Carson and itching for tide pools of my own."—Katherine Dunn, author of Geek Love
 
"Jim Lynch has written a breathtakingly beautiful first novel. At its core is a fabulous metaphor, rising from the ocean to wrap around this painful story with all the brilliance and mystery of life. That is a big statement. Lynch can carry its weight and then some."—Martha McPhee, author of Gorgeous Lies
 
"The fertile strangeness of marine tidal life becomes a subtly executed metaphor for the bewilderments of adolescence in this tender and authentic coming-of-age novel, Lynch's first. As a precocious, undersized 13-year-old living on the shore of Puget Sound, in Washington State, Miles O'Malley has developed a consuming passion for the abundant life of the tidal flats. His simple pleasure in observing is tested and complicated over the course of a remarkable summer, when he finds a giant squid, a discovery that brings him the unwelcome attention of scientists, TV reporters and a local cult. Meanwhile, Miles's remote parents are considering a divorce; his best friend, Florence, an elderly retired psychic, is dying of a degenerative disease; his sex-obsessed buddy, Phelps, mocks his science-geek knowledge; and his desperate crush on Angie Stegner, the troubled girl next door, both inspires and humiliates him. Events build toward the date of a record high tide, and Miles slowly sorts out his place in the adult world . . . 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 (starred review)

About the Author

Jim Lynch has won national journalism awards, published short fiction in literary magazines, and spent four years as the Puget Sound reporter for the Oregonian. A Washington state native, Lynch currently writes and sails from his home in Olympia, where he lives with his wife and daughter. The Highest Tide is his first novel.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

kejam, August 13, 2007 (view all comments by kejam)
An interesting read
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(4 of 7 readers found this comment helpful)
crowyhead, August 18, 2006 (view all comments by crowyhead)
Miles O'Malley is thirteen, small for his age, and obsessed with Rachel Carson. He knows more than anyone else about the intricate workings of the small stretch of tidal mud flats along his part of Skookumchuck Bay. His best friends are Phelps, a wannabe bad-boy 13-year-old who blows smoke rings and plays air guitar like it's an artform; Angie, his former babysitter and current crush who's now a screwed-up young woman with a rock band; and Florence, an elderly neighbor and wildly inaccurate psychic. When Miles discovers a giant squid beached on the flats near his home, suddenly everyone is as fascinated by the mud flats as he is, and it precipitates a whirlwind summer that will change everything for Miles.

I loved this book to pieces! I'd heard great things about it, but I approached it cautiously, as I do for all books labeled "brilliant" and "life-changing." I wouldn't quite call it "life-changing," but I did think it was brilliant. Miles is a wonderful, falliable narrator; if he was just a hint more precocious, he would be unbelievable, and if he was just a hint more average his intelligence and obsessions would seem out of place. Instead he just feels like a very intelligent kid who is nonetheless a thirteen-year-old boy.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(5 of 10 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 2 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9781582346052
Subtitle:
A Novel
Author:
Lynch, Jim
Publisher:
Bloomsbury USA
Subject:
General
Subject:
Marine animals
Subject:
Teenage boys
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
FIC043000
Subject:
Bildungsromans
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Number:
1st
Edition Description:
Hardcover
Publication Date:
September 1, 2005
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
272
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.50 in

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Coming of Age

The Highest Tide: A Novel Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$9.95 In Stock
Product details 272 pages Bloomsbury Publishing PLC - English 9781582346052 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

"Jim Lynch's fictional debut explores what's so remarkable about the squid and its unusual ocean brethren, as well as what it's like growing up by the edge of sea. The Highest Tide has much to recommend it, including the narrator himself....[A] classic, quirky coming-of-age tale with an appealingly honest voice and a mesmerizing exploration of ocean life."

"Staff Pick" by ,

Are you captivated by stories of rare creatures living beneath the surface of the ocean? Do you like the idea of an eccentric teenage narrator handing out startlingly detailed descriptions of these creatures and other aquatic mysteries? Are you a sucker for coming-of-age tales that take place in small coastal towns? Then read this amazing book.

"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "The fertile strangeness of marine tidal life becomes a subtly executed metaphor for the bewilderments of adolescence in this tender and authentic coming-of-age novel, Lynch's first. As a precocious, undersized 13-year-old living on the shore of Puget Sound, in Washington State, Miles O'Malley has developed a consuming passion for the abundant life of the tidal flats. His simple pleasure in observing is tested and complicated over the course of a remarkable summer, when he finds a giant squid, a discovery that brings him the unwelcome attention of scientists, TV reporters and a local cult. Meanwhile, Miles's remote parents are considering a divorce; his best friend, Florence, an elderly retired psychic, is dying of a degenerative disease; his sex-obsessed buddy, Phelps, mocks his science-geek knowledge; and his desperate crush on Angie Stegner, the troubled girl next door, both inspires and humiliates him. Events build toward the date of a record high tide, and Miles slowly sorts out his place in the adult world. While occasionally Lynch packs too much into a small story, this moving, unusual take on the summers of childhood conveys a contagious sense of wonder at the variety and mystery of the natural world. Agent, Kim Witherspoon. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "On land, the rickety plot could have used some shoring up....But when Miles is on the water, Lynch's first novel becomes a stunning light show...in the poetic fireworks Lynch's prose sets off as he describes his clearly beloved Puget Sound. A celebratory song of the sea."
"Review" by , "Lynch offers beautiful descriptions filled with quiet passion....Unfortunately, when it comes to [Miles's] sexual awakening, the novel declines into juvenile mediocrity that contrasts sharply with the remainder of this exquisite tale."
"Review" by , "The Highest Tide is a plunge into sustained and intelligent wonder. Jim Lynch creates a richly tumultuous world on a microcosmic stage. His characters and events are as complex and surprising as the sea that surrounds them. He's got me re-reading Rachel Carson and itching for tide pools of my own." Katherine Dunn, author of Geek Love
"Review" by , "In The Highest Tide, Jim Lynch has written a masterful first novel, gracefully weaving together the wonders of the sea and the wonders of our humanity. Seeing the world through the eyes of his narrator, Miles O'Malley, is to see the world with a rapturous freshness that is, it seems to me, the essence of a fine book. This is an exciting debut. I can't wait to see what Jim Lynch does next." Robert Olen Butler, Pulitzer Prize?winning author of A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain
"Review" by , "Jim Lynch has written a breathtakingly beautiful first novel. At its core is a fabulous metaphor, rising from the ocean to wrap around his painful story with all the brilliance and mystery of life. That is a big statement. Lynch can carry its weight and then some." Martha McPhee, author of Gorgeous Lies
"Synopsis" by , While the sea continues to offer him discoveries from its mysterious depths, such as a giant squid, a teenaged boy struggles to deal with the difficulties that come with the equally mysterious process of growing up.
"Synopsis" by ,
A mesmerizing, allegorical, and beautifully wrought first novel about one boys fascination with the sea during the summer that will change his life.

One moonlit night, thirteen-year-old Miles OMalley 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 by 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 away 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 mesmerizing, beautifully wrought first 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 fifty years.

"Synopsis" by ,

A mesmerizing, allegorical, and beautifully wrought first novel about one boys fascination with the sea during the summer that will change his life.

 

One moonlit night, thirteen-year-old Miles OMalley 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 by 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 away 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 mesmerizing, beautifully wrought first 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 fifty years.

Jim Lynch has won national journalism awards and published short fiction in literary magazines and spent four years as the Puget Sound reporter for the Oregonian. A Washington state native, Lynch currently writes and sails from his home in Olympia, where he lives with his wife and daughter. The Highest Tide is his first novel.
A YALSA Best Book for Young Adults
A Book Sense Pick
 
A mesmerizing, allegorical, and beautifully wrought first novel about one boys fascination with the sea during the summer that will change his life.

One moonlit night, thirteen-year-old Miles OMalley 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 by 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 away 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 mesmerizing, beautifully wrought first 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 fifty years.

"[A] graceful and inventive first novel . . . [Lynch's] declarative style and vivid imagery allow the science of the ocean to blend easily with its poetry."—The New York Times Book Review
 
"Wryly funny, achingly sad and endearingly hopeful . . . the kind of book you can't put down, and the kind you'll pick up again."—Denver Post
 
"In stunning prose, author Jim Lynch puts a sea life into a kaleidoscope where swirling shapes burst and reconfigure in continuous life-affirming wonder . . . The balance of elegance, groundedness and style is remarkable."—San Francisco Chronicle
 
"Move over, Holden Caulfield; here's Miles . . . An uncommon and uncommonly good coming-of-age novel."—Chicago Tribune
 
"A radiant first novel."—O, The Oprah Magazine
 
"Unforgettable . . . A classic coming-of-age story."—Seattle Times
 
"In The Highest Tide, Jim Lynch has written a masterful first novel, gracefully weaving together the wonders of the sea and the wonders of our humanity. Seeing the world through the eyes of narrator, Miles O'Malley, is to see the world with a rapturous freshness. This is an exciting debut."—Robert Olen Butler, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain
 
"The Highest Tide is a plunge into sustained and intelligent wonder. Jim Lynch creates a richly tumultuous world on a microcosmic stage. His characters and events are as complex and surprising as the sea that surrounds them. He's got me rereading Rachel Carson and itching for tide pools of my own."—Katherine Dunn, author of Geek Love
 
"Jim Lynch has written a breathtakingly beautiful first novel. At its core is a fabulous metaphor, rising from the ocean to wrap around this painful story with all the brilliance and mystery of life. That is a big statement. Lynch can carry its weight and then some."—Martha McPhee, author of Gorgeous Lies
 
"The fertile strangeness of marine tidal life becomes a subtly executed metaphor for the bewilderments of adolescence in this tender and authentic coming-of-age novel, Lynch's first. As a precocious, undersized 13-year-old living on the shore of Puget Sound, in Washington State, Miles O'Malley has developed a consuming passion for the abundant life of the tidal flats. His simple pleasure in observing is tested and complicated over the course of a remarkable summer, when he finds a giant squid, a discovery that brings him the unwelcome attention of scientists, TV reporters and a local cult. Meanwhile, Miles's remote parents are considering a divorce; his best friend, Florence, an elderly retired psychic, is dying of a degenerative disease; his sex-obsessed buddy, Phelps, mocks his science-geek knowledge; and his desperate crush on Angie Stegner, the troubled girl next door, both inspires and humiliates him. Events build toward the date of a record high tide, and Miles slowly sorts out his place in the adult world . . . 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 (starred review)

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