SAGA OF A WAYWARD SAILOR by Tristan Jones

SAGA OF A WAYWARD SAILOR

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Admirers of Tris Jones' Incredible Voyage and Ice! will welcome this concluding volume to his small-boat trilogy while recognizing that it is a collection of bits and scraps that didn't fit into the earlier books. In his first volume Tris sailed from the lowest body of water on the planet, the Dead Sea, to the highest, Lake Titicaca; and in lee! he told about being bound for nearly two years in Arctic ice. The new book picks up following his Arctic expedition and covers his sailing adventures from 1961 through 1968. There is no major exercise in futility here, only a series of minor mishaps, which show his expertise as a survivor and, he says, help him to put ""pain in perspective."" On board again is his Labrador retriever Nelson, who is missing his left eye and right foreleg. Nelson's painless death of old age is one of the story's most moving moments. Tris is sailing in his small rescue craft the Creswell, when he is not otherwise earning cash by delivering boats one way or the other across the Atlantic. Once, the Creswell is nearly broached by floodwaters while 70 miles up river in France. At another French port, a nearby party boat blows up and sends half a dozen bodies sailing over him. And, in one of the more amusing moments, a drunken Dutch night-watchman steals over 200 Edam cheeses and stows them on the Creswell--which sails off with red cheeses stored in every possible space. Give Jones a high wind and he turns Shakespearean: ""Here was death, naked and pure. Then came the shock of bare-fanged pandemonium."" Wayward Sailor is crammed with thumbnail sketches of seafolk, but it is Tris' own crusty, fulminating, irrepressible voice that gives his pages their life.

Pub Date: June 1st, 1979
ISBN: 0924486791
Publisher: Andrews & McMeel