SEAGULLS IN MY SOUP: Further Adventures of a Wayward Sailor by Tristan Jones

SEAGULLS IN MY SOUP: Further Adventures of a Wayward Sailor

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

Companion volume to Jones's Saga of a Wayward Sailor (1979) and not a continuation of this season's To Venture Further (p. 1062). Saga was a song of love for women of the sea, while this self-styled work of ""fictionalized fact""--written in 1979 and displaying the author at his verbal richest--is a paean to the misfits who found refuge in Jones's company. We meet Jones in a downpour, aboard his ketch Cresswell, with his 170-pound British mate, Cecilia (""Sissie"") St. John--the Bishop of Southchester's sister--and his three-legged, one-eyed dog, Nelson. When St. John falls into the noisome harbor while helping a catamaran tie up, Jones turns ""to see poor Sissie's yellow oilskin jacket just below the oily, slimy surface, rising to float, flailing, in the muck-bestrewn, turd-flotilla'd, dog-corpse-littered waters of Ibiza Harbor."" And so it goes, with Jones and St. John under dirty weather of gold-lined clouds. Their first big adventure is being hired to deliver a fancy yacht from Algiers to Marseilles. Once aboard, Jones finds that the owner is apparently an anti-Algerian terrorist and that his steel-hulled yacht must sail without papers, in the dead of night. They leave in a hail of bullets, chased by an Algerian gunboat. Eventually, Jones locks the owner below deck and gets away in a launch while the gunboat captures the terrorist. Enter St. John's loud-chortling brother, Bishop Willie, and millionaire ""art collector"" Elmyr Dore-Boutin, who shows Jones his huge cache of original Picassos, Dalis, Dufys and Renoirs--though at book's end Jones visits Dore-Boutin in his tastefully appointed Ibizan jail cell and drinks his champagne: Dore-Boutin is actually the world's greatest forger. Good dialogue and great Jonesian prose, so dense you can walk on it and watch your tracks fill up with sea water.

Pub Date: Dec. 6th, 1991
Page count: 312pp
Publisher: Sheridan House