Synopses & Reviews
From a writer “whose genre-jumping refusal to be pinned down [makes him] an exemplar of our era” (NPR), a new book that confirms his power to astound readers.
As a child Geoff Dyer spent long hours making and blotchily painting model fighter planes. So the adult Dyer jumped at the chance of a residency aboard an aircraft carrier. Another Great Day at Sea chronicles Dyer’s experiences on the USS George H.W. Bush as he navigates the routines and protocols of “carrier-world,” from the elaborate choreography of the flight deck through miles of walkways and hatches to kitchens serving meals for a crew of five thousand to the deafening complexity of catapult and arresting gear. Meeting the Captain, the F-18 pilots and the dentists, experiencing everything from a man-overboard alert to the Steel Beach Party, Dyer guides us through the most AIE (acronym intensive environment) imaginable.
A lanky Englishman (could he really be both the tallest and the oldest person on the ship?) in a deeply American world, with its constant exhortations to improve, to do better, Dyer brilliantly records the daily life on board the ship, revealing it to be a prism for understanding a society where discipline and conformity, dedication and optimism, become forms of self-expression. In the process it becomes clear why Geoff Dyer has been widely praised as one of the most original — and funniest — voices in literature.
Another Great Day at Sea is the definitive work of an author whose books defy definition.
“Geoff Dyer has managed to do again what he does best: insert himself into an exotic and demanding environment (sometimes, his own flat, but here, the violent wonders of an aircraft carrier) and file a report that mixes empathetic appreciation with dips into brilliant comic deflation. Welcome aboard the edifying and sometimes hilarious ship Dyer.” Billy Collins, author of Aimless Love
“Another Great Day at Sea is what we’ve all come to expect from Geoff Dyer — another great book. I loved everything about it. It’s brilliantly observed, beautifully written, incisive, funny, and filled with stirring truths about life and the value of service.” David Finkel, author of Thank You for Your Service
From a writer whose books succeed in either subverting or creating genres comes a unique look at an inaccessible world: life on board an American aircraft carrier.
At once deft travelogue, unerring social observation, and honed comedy, this book describes life on a three-dimensional maze of walkways, hatches, and stairs; conversations conducted in a language suffused with acronyms but devoid of grammar; and Geoff Dyer’s own earnest efforts to appreciate the men and women aboard who have chosen a way of life the diametric opposite of the one he has constructed for himself. Underlying Dyer's efforts to overcome the disadvantages of being the oldest, tallest (actually, second tallest), and most self-conscious person on the boat is an intense fascination with the military world — one that has its origins in the long hours he spent as a child building and painting airplane models and mastering the intricate details and features of military aircraft. This fascination allows Dyer to appreciate the rigorous protocols defined by the instruments, equipment that requires a thoroughgoing mastery of detail, and the expectations and outlooks of those who must adhere to a regimen defined by service and self-constraint, and a refusal to embrace uncertainty.
About the Author
GEOFF DYER’s books include But Beautiful (winner of the Somerset Maugham Award); The Missing of the Somme; Out of Sheer Rage; The Ongoing Moment (winner of the ICP Infinity Award for writing on photography); Jeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi; and Zona. His many awards include the E. M. Forster Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Lannan Literary Fellowship, and, most recently, a National Book Critics Circle Award for the essay collection Otherwise Known as the Human Condition. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, and his books have been translated into twenty-four languages. Dyer currently lives in Venice, California.