THE MAGGIE MURPHY by John Joseph Ryan


Email this review


An account of commercial fishing (predominantly salmon) in Alaskan waters is itemized by one of the two partners of the small, decrepit, ""boatmobile"" Maggie Murphy, from the time they resourcefully (if not illegally) put her together in Tacoma, to their sailing her through the inside passage to Ketchikan. Meeting rebuke and scorn, they nevertheless achieved their aim -- of paying back all their debts (for gas, food and power rig fishing equipment), and having a summer of migrant fishing in North Pacific waters. In spite of their ignorance, they made their way to Wrangell, Sitka, Port Alexander, to Bear Harbor and other ports, where sometimes the ""fiss are in"" and sometimes they aren't. With an overdose of weather and storms, and a burning ambition to prove themselves ""tough"", they flirted with watery graves, met archpoachers, a tax collector, a hermit whose island was given over to foxes, old times who had ""missed the boat"", and learned the customs of the fishing fleets they met en route. It's quite a yarn -- not only about Alaska but also about two minors whose innocence was probably their salvation. Very active.

Publisher: Norton