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Nights of Ice: True Stories of Disaster and Survival on Alaska's High Seas by [Spike Walker]

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Nights of Ice: True Stories of Disaster and Survival on Alaska's High Seas Kindle Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 70 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Stories of disaster and survival in commercial fishing boats working the Alaskan coast make up this sequel to Walker's Working on the Edge (LJ 6/15/91). These eight stories of fishermen whose trips went sour are harrowing, but the book's overall effect is numbing rather than exciting. Although no one would deny the suffering and loss experienced by the survivors, their stories are pretty much alike. Walker does not have a particularly deft style, nor, in this volume, does he provide any great insight into conditions in the king-crab trade. Only libraries that purchased the earlier book and are particularly interested in the subject should take the trouble to acquire this.?Edwin B. Burgess, U.S. Army Combined Arms Research Lib., Fort Leavenworth, Kan.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Kirkus Reviews

The Bering Sea in January can be a mean place, as Walker (Working on the Edge, 1991) relates in this spine-tingling (if redundant) collection--particularly when the winds clip by at 100 mph, the waves crest at 60 feet, the water temperature is 38 degrees, it's nightime, and your boat is sinking. Walker has no time for foreshadowing here, no time to develop mood or characters. These are grab-you-by-the-throat, rip-snorting tales of disaster on furious high seas and of the outrageous efforts made by both rescuers and those in the drink to beat the odds for survival in the Bering's icy waters. There is not much variation in these eight tales: In hellacious weather, a fishing vessel founders. Sometimes it runs aground or overturns with the accumulated weight of ice, or it just springs a leak. Then it all comes down to hypothermia and how fast it steals your life. The rescues are thus all just in the nick of time, and Walker plays them for all they're worth. But the lack of variety here, combined with Walker's tendency to overdeploy stock sentences--``His terror became resolve,'' and ``He thought of his lovely young wife,'' and ``This is the end!''--robs the stories of their specific identities. What saves the best ones is Walker's fastening on a particular element: the godawful storms, known as williwaws, that boom out of the coastal mountains, their impossible winds freighted with ice and snow (vigorously described in the chapter ``Chopper Rescue: Men in Peril''); or the cheekiness of Tim White (in the chapter titled ``The Face of an Angel''), who stayed warm by working hard at being a badass. It is said that America's most dangerous profession is commercial fishing on Alaska's high seas. Even a quick dip into this collection will convince you of that. -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B0072383KW
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ St. Martin's Press; 1st edition (February 15, 1999)
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ February 15, 1999
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 265 KB
  • Text-to-Speech ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Screen Reader ‏ : ‎ Supported
  • Enhanced typesetting ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • X-Ray ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Word Wise ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 226 pages
  • Lending ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.6 out of 5 stars 70 ratings

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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5
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Norman
4.0 out of 5 stars Good
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4.0 out of 5 stars Short and sharp stories
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