VIKAN THE MIGHTY by Jane & Paul Annixter


Email this review


Benjy Tetlow is a sixteen-year-old from New Bedford, Vikan is a sperm whale, and this man-and-beast story reads better than most double-focus entries. To Benjy whaling has dignity and style and some whales have a certain ""cut and jib"" that sets them apart from the rest of the pod. Vikan is the son of a ""Schoolmaster"" who takes over despite a challenge from The Rebel, a bull who unsuccessfully tests the supremacy of both father and son. Steamships with ""factories"" on board are driving traditional vessels out of business (c. W.W. I) and seriously diminishing the whale populations. Both Vikan and Benjy are implicated: Vikan has to seek out more remote regions for his herd and Benjy has to leave a friendly ship and sign on a more impersonal Norwegian vessel. The good wages are no match for his former pride: ""A man could pay pretty high for what he did just for money."" Their paths cross twice and whereas Benjy would shoot to kill (unsuccessfully) the first time, by the second he will admire the whale's perseverance, and refrain. Rugged and deliberative.

Pub Date: April 15th, 1969
Publisher: Holiday House