Magnificent. (Robert Macfarlane). Our lives depend on shipping but it is a world which is largely hidden from us. In every lonely corner of every sea, through every night, every day, and every imaginable weather, tiny crews of seafarers work the giant ships which keep landed life afloat. These ordinary men live extraordinary lives, subject to dangers and difficulties we can only imagine, from hurricanes and pirates to years of confinement in hazardous, if not hellish, environments. Horatio Clare joins two container ships on their epic voyages across the globe and experiences unforgettable journeys. As the ships cross seas of history and incident, seafarers unfold the stories of their lives, and a beautiful and terrifying portrait of the oceans and their human subjects emerges. Tremendous. (The Times).
Multinational Maersk accounts for 18% of the world’s container shipping and makes profits in the billions. Horatio Clare volunteered himself as the company’s ‘writer-in-residence’ and accompanied two Maersk cargo ships on their voyages. He paints a picture of a tough world, almost exclusively male and using a bygone English replete with ‘sir’s and ‘ma’am’s and its own specialist jargon. He meets sailors from all over the world, tells stories of arrivals, departures, storms and pirates, the isolation and raw beauty of the oceans, and brilliantly evokes a way of life that is unfamiliar to most people, but essential to all our daily lives.
'Wonderful... Clare's account of his journeys with the officers and crews of container ships is gripping and stomach-churning in equal measure' Daily Telegraph
'[A] beautifully written account of seafaring life' -- Ian Critchley Sunday Times
'A lyrical, heartfelt but eye-opening chronicle... Both romantic and realistic, written from the heart but crafted with a seafarer's passionate precision , [Clare's] book will steer you into the new year on a course that may deepen your grasp both of that world, and of ourselves' -- Boyd Tonkin Independent
'If you can't run away to sea (though I recommend you do), Clare's book is a warm and captivating companion to it' Guardian
'Stupendous and extraordinarily exciting... What Clare demonstrates, even beyond his undoubted gifts as writer, is his basic humanity. I read his wonderful book with gratitude for his insight - but also with increased admiration for the men to whom we owe almost everything in our comfortable and secure lives' -- Philip Hoare Times Higher Education
Publication date: 05/02/2015
Publication date: 02/01/2014
Publisher: Chatto & Windus an imprint of Vintage
|Publication date:||5th February 2015|
|Genres:||The Real World,|
|Categories:||Travel writing, Ships & boats: general interest, Wildlife: birds & birdwatching,|
Horatio Clare has worked on Front Row and Nightwaves, and produced Radio 3's The Verb. Born in 1973, Clare has written for The Spectator, the New Statesman, the Guardian, and the Daily Telegraph.More About Horatio Clare