A 70-year-old seafarer is called out of retirement to captain the world's largest tugboat in the world. Throw in a Chinese crew that's responsible for dragging a giant dry dock along the coast of south America and there's plenty of conflict....
|Title||:||The Commodore: A Novel of the Sea|
|Number of Pages||:||406 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
The Commodore: A Novel of the Sea Reviews
When I was growing up in New York City my parent's first apartment overlooked the East River and I used to perch on the window sill with my binoculars trained on the river traffic. I was always particularly happy when I spotted tugboats, which I thought very cute. There is nothing cute about the tugboat in this thrilling sea saga: the Isabel Kwel is massive, powerful--and rumor has it that she's a killer. The Commodore is packed with excitement and dozens of highly memorable characters. It also delighted me with musings on growing old, bridging cultures, life after death, relationships with family members and spouses, and the love that can form between a man and his ship, and a captain and his crew.The book opens as retired tugboat commander Martinus Harinxma, Dutch WW2 naval hero and 30 year fleet veteran, and his beloved wife, brace for a new invasion: hoards of family are about to descend on their retirement villa for a long Christmas visit. In the midst of the Christmas eve chaos, Harinxma gets an unexpected phone call from his old boss urging him back into service for just one more big job.The commodore is wise, even canny, both ashore and afloat and knowing his old boss he smells a rat, but when he takes the super-tug out for a harbor spin the Commodore is hooked, ready to sign up for a job towing a 40 thousand ton floating dry dock across the Atlantic. The Isabel Kwel's motley Dutch crew all have some blot on their records and most of the remaining crew are Taiwanese from two separate (and feuding) villages. Dislike, distrust and incomprehension lie as thick as fog.Ashore, Harinxma has to deal with an unscrupulous and wily Dutch executive and a Taiwanese gang leader/entrepreneur; afloat, Harinxma's problems include a first mate who comes aboard with crates of Holland gin, a Taiwanese captain who is paralyzed by his insecurities, an old village wise woman/chef and dozens more lively characters, all drawn with great good humor. His cabin comes complete with a pet canary left in Harinxma's cabin by the tug's former captain 'Spooks' Haversma and an actual tame rat who arrives in a gift fruit basket.Is the tugboat haunted? Will the Isabel Kwel's flaw take her crew to the bottom of the sea? Will West meet East? And what will happen when the Commodore runs out of blood pressure meds? This is a spoiler free review so I'm not saying a single word more except that this is one fantastic book.And don't miss the super-exciting tugboat videos on Eric_W's terrific reviewContent rating PG 13 for some possible paranormal happenings, drinking (we're talking sailors here!), and racial slurs. Oh, and a derelict yacht with some very strange murals in the stateroom....
I cannot believe I never read this before. I loved Captain Jan A Story of Ocean Tugboats when I read it years ago along with several other nautical books by Jan de Hartog. I am so glad I was reminded of that terrific book and I've ordered a whole bunch of additional de Hartog works.I need to state at the outset that if you don't like nautical books, or books about ships, leave now and go about your depressing little lives. There is something about the grandeur of the sea and man's attempts to overcome storms in his puny little ways, that always makes for a great story, be it fiction or non-fiction. And when the book is about an ocean-going salvage tug, watch out.This book grabbed me and would not let go. Maxinius Harinxma, (also the star of The Captain) retired salvage tug captain is asked to come out of retirement for one last job as the consulting captain of a brand new slavage tug, the Isabel Kwel. There's just one problem, it's gone through several captains and no one wants to say why. Harinxma seeks out the first master who told him of the ship's very peculiar desire to roll like a barrel under certain circumstances to the point where everyone was sure it would capsize. Still, after a trial run and witnessing how the latest captain used the bow thruster to contain the roll, Harinxma decides to take the job.Of course, nothing is that simple, and soon he is caught in a web of intrigue surrounding the sale of the ship and it's secret tow. Anything more would be a spoiler. If you like the sea, grab a copy.Also highly recommended: The Grey Seas Under The Perilous Rescue Mission of a N.A. Salvage TugPictures of a salvage tug much like the Isabel Kwel: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kz_49O...Spectacular video of one of the new salvage tugs being put through its paces.: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1yCCPi...And the Abeille Flandre and Abeille Bourbon, the most powerful new salvage tugs in Europe in a storm. What I wouldn't give to have been on the bridge: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-5CYo8... Very cool. Of course I would have puked my guts out.
This is a sequel to The Captain, de Hartog's seminal war-at-sea story. I loved this book. Harinxma, the main character, is an old man now, hired to assume duties as an overseer on a deep ocean tug built in Europe and recently purchased by a Chinese firm. Manned entirely by a non-English speaking Chinese crew led by a matriarchal old woman who comes on as ship's cook, the tug, and its tow -- a dry dock holding a derelict luxury yacht destined for the scrap yard -- soon become battleground of cultures and the subject of mystery and conspiracy. Is somebody deliberately trying to sink this thing with Harinxma on it? An informative and fun read. I laughed out loud in spots. Highly recommended.
A 70 year old retired Commodore, a killer ship, a conspiracy, and a Chinese crew. Lots of sea action and adventure. A great read. Love the writing. This was a book from a reading challenge this year, but was not the first book I've read by Jan de Hartog - I read The Peaceable Kingdom a long time ago and loved it. This book was only available in hardback - no kindle or paperback available and my library didn't have a copy.
A great book for those of us that enjoy sea stories. The fact that the hero was my age 70 and how he handled the stresses of sailing a ocean going tug with a fatal design flaw while pulling enormous loads with a ship maned by Chinese sailors.
I'm second generation Dutch and my father's name was also Jan (although he changed to John) and I have long been a fan of deHartog. (See my review of The Captain.)He also wrote The Distant Shore from which an excellent movie ("The Key" 1958 with Sophia Loren and William Holden) was made.
This is my first Hartog book; I loved it. His narrative style is readable and enjoyable. I am looking forward to reading more of this author!