BAHAMAS BLUE

Cocaine executives drag a newly drug-free diver back into their murky business—then force him to raise a freighter that sank off the Bahamas with a large and valuable load of abusable substances. The hero's adventures began in Poyer's Hatteras Blue (1989). The modest hopes of hereditary Outer Banksmen Tiller Galloway and Shad Aydlett for a legitimate fishing and diving business to see them into their old age have been both incinerated and drowned. Sadistic, homosexual, cocaine-crazed Troy Christian, whose request for ex-con, ex-coker Galloway's assistance in a bit of bad business Galloway rudely refused, has ordered the sinking of Tiller and Shad's lovely Chris-Craft and the burning of their little store. The hugely overmortgaged sailors have no choice but to accept Mr. Christian's offer of well-recompensed but thoroughly illegal employment. The task at hand is the raising of the coastal freighter Guapi in order to salvage its load of cocaine. Their base of operations is the Ceteris Paribus, a huge yacht belonging to Christian's overlord, a Se§or Nu§ez. It's a bad job. Christian won't allow the divers the time or equipment they need to float the ship safely, so they are forced to jury-rig the operation, working for hours at dangerous depths and risking the bends with every dive. Among the many complications are a damsel in great and mortifying distress, mysterious rashes, a Maoist guerrilla connection, menacing islanders, and a suspicious absence of marine life anywhere near the Guapi. And the water tastes funny. Rather rough stuff and nobody's particularly likable, but the technical problems are intriguing and the climate pleasant.

Pub Date: July 19, 1991

ISBN: 0-312-04858-0

Page Count: 256

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 1991

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An enjoyable, cozy novel that touches on tough topics.

THE AUTHENTICITY PROJECT

A group of strangers who live near each other in London become fast friends after writing their deepest secrets in a shared notebook.

Julian Jessop, a septuagenarian artist, is bone-crushingly lonely when he starts “The Authenticity Project”—as he titles a slim green notebook—and begins its first handwritten entry questioning how well people know each other in his tiny corner of London. After 15 years on his own mourning the loss of his beloved wife, he begins the project with the aim that whoever finds the little volume when he leaves it in a cafe will share their true self with their own entry and then pass the volume on to a stranger. The second person to share their inner selves in the notebook’s pages is Monica, 37, owner of a failing cafe and a former corporate lawyer who desperately wants to have a baby. From there the story unfolds, as the volume travels to Thailand and back to London, seemingly destined to fall only into the hands of people—an alcoholic drug addict, an Australian tourist, a social media influencer/new mother, etc.—who already live clustered together geographically. This is a glossy tale where difficulties and addictions appear and are overcome, where lies are told and then forgiven, where love is sought and found, and where truths, once spoken, can set you free. Secondary characters, including an interracial gay couple, appear with their own nuanced parts in the story. The message is strong, urging readers to get off their smartphones and social media and live in the real, authentic world—no chain stores or brands allowed here—making friends and forming a real-life community and support network. And is that really a bad thing?

An enjoyable, cozy novel that touches on tough topics.

Pub Date: Feb. 4, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-7861-8

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Pamela Dorman/Viking

Review Posted Online: Oct. 27, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2019

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A strict report, worthy of sympathy.

THE CATCHER IN THE RYE

A violent surfacing of adolescence (which has little in common with Tarkington's earlier, broadly comic, Seventeen) has a compulsive impact.

"Nobody big except me" is the dream world of Holden Caulfield and his first person story is down to the basic, drab English of the pre-collegiate. For Holden is now being bounced from fancy prep, and, after a vicious evening with hall- and roommates, heads for New York to try to keep his latest failure from his parents. He tries to have a wild evening (all he does is pay the check), is terrorized by the hotel elevator man and his on-call whore, has a date with a girl he likes—and hates, sees his 10 year old sister, Phoebe. He also visits a sympathetic English teacher after trying on a drunken session, and when he keeps his date with Phoebe, who turns up with her suitcase to join him on his flight, he heads home to a hospital siege. This is tender and true, and impossible, in its picture of the old hells of young boys, the lonesomeness and tentative attempts to be mature and secure, the awful block between youth and being grown-up, the fright and sickness that humans and their behavior cause the challenging, the dramatization of the big bang. It is a sorry little worm's view of the off-beat of adult pressure, of contemporary strictures and conformity, of sentiment….

A strict report, worthy of sympathy.

Pub Date: June 15, 1951

ISBN: 0316769177

Page Count: -

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Nov. 2, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1951

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