THE HIGH VOYAGE by Olga Litowinsky


Email this review


The fourth and final transatlantic crossing, commanded by an old and ailing Christopher Columbus--or ""The Admiral,"" as he is known to the crew and to his thirteen-year-old son Fernando who sets down this garbled history. The two-and-a-half year round trip from Spain to Panama (by way of Martinique and other Caribbean ports) is plagued by storms at sea, a diminishing food supply, disease on board ship, justifiably hostile Indians on shore, and mutiny after the two remaining ships (out of an original four) become so worm-eaten that the crew is marooned on Jamaica for over a year. Unfortunately, ""the high voyage"" is rough going for readers too who must plow through Fernando's stolid, long-winded account. Characterization is practically nil and while Fernando's cavalier attitude toward the kidnap and killing of Indians may be justified as true to the times, it is nonetheless offputting. Granted Litowinsky has done her homework--right down to the kind of commode Columbus sat on--this historic reconstruction remains as lifeless as a diorama.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1977
Publisher: Viking