Tuesday, October 2, 2007

"Dark Noon" by Tom Clavin

First of all, I just want to say that this isn't a book review. It's more like a "book comment."

About a month ago, I was sitting on my favorite bench overlooking my surf break and I struck up a conversation with another surfer. We began talking about surf books (I had just finished "In Search of Captain Zero") and he said, "You should check out this book "Dark Noon" by Tom Clavin. It's not about surfing, it's about a fishing boat that capsized, but it's a sweet read."

So on the way home I stopped at the local (not Barnes and Noble or Borders...) bookstore and picked up the book. As you know, I've been getting a lot of my books from the library recently but for whatever reason, I shelled it out for this one. While I was in between library books, I began reading "Dark Noon." (And again, if you haven't been to your local library recently, go check it out. With the "interloan library system" chances are whatever you want, book, DVD or CD can be had through your library. I'm still not sure why I've purchased anything in the last 5 years...)

Now, the book is about a fishing boat that sunk off of Long Island in 1951. The first third of the book is basically an introduction to each passenger. I mean, the author literally describes what almost every passenger was doing that morning up until the time they boarded the "Fisherman's Express" to head out to Montauk.

While I was reading this portion of the book, I was pretty bored. I thought it was dry and repetitive. That said, after finishing the book, I recognize why Clavin did it that way. Because when the boat finally goes down, you feel like you "know" all of the people on it and it made the book very sad.

The final 2/3 of the book really flies by. The way the author reconstructed the day and got inside of the characters heads was amazing and I was angry every time I had to put the book down to attend to something. If the phone rang this weekend while I was reading the book, I didn't pick up.

In short, if you're looking for a book to read I would pick this one up. Just know the beginning is a little slow but get through it and it's all worth it. I'd especially read this book if you are interested in fishing, the sea, or live near a fishing village or the sea.

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