VOYAGE by Sterling Hayden
Kirkus Star


A Novel Of 1896
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A voluminous, energetic epic approximating the voyage of the States through the year 1896. It's beamed around a Maine shipbuilding tycoon's family and the horrors endured by a crew of shanghaied drunks bound from New York to Frisco. (Read in your own social consciousness.) These derelicts, temporarily removed from demon alcohol, face involuntary rehabilitation at sea on the maiden voyage of the greatest windjammer ever built. The drunks, few of whom are sailors, are beaten senseless and sold to Captain Irons Saul Pendleton of the Neptune's Car. They wake to find themselves chained to a nightmare that includes not just slavery but terrorization by a sadistic killer, First Mate Otto Lassiter, and the canvas-tearing, ice-whistling hell of a 70-day Antarctic storm off Cape Horn. The one time they near land, at Honolulu, they are put under armed guard or in irons to prevent desertion. Sex comes in the subplot about the tycoon's daughter leading a ludicrously high-toned "scientific" cruise to Japan to watch a lunar eclipse. The temperance theme is driven home when the guilt-ridden 59-year-old hero, Simon Basil Harwar, sober eight months, gets fallingoffhischair drunk at the big showdown with his antagonists, Pendleton and the tycoon, and rows off to his death in a self-pitying alcoholic fugue. Film actor Hayden, who broke into print with Wanderer, has written another elemental smash hit.
Pub Date: Dec. 29th, 1976
ISBN: 1574090852
Page count: 692pp
Publisher: Putnam
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1st, 1976