TRAWLER

Redmond O'Hanlon, Author . Knopf $25 (339p) ISBN 978-1-4000-4275-3

Deviating from his usual excursions into the world's rainforests, O'Hanlon (No Mercy ) finagles his way onto a Scottish deep-sea fishing boat headed into the North Atlantic waters in January, "the very worst time of year," when storm winds are at their most forceful. The captain and crew seem to like O'Hanlon well enough, even if he is a "mad, seasick writer who's no use to anyone," prone to staring off into the distance when he gets distracted by his thoughts, and he conveys a genuine affection for them as he records their stories. Since there's little to do aboard the ship other than help his marine biologist friend catalogue the various fishes they pull up, and no real scenery to describe besides the wind and the rain, O'Hanlon gets into one long conversation after another—or maybe just one long conversation with intermittent interruptions, as a certain degree of sameness creeps in. O'Hanlon and his shipmates are equally excitable, especially under their sleep-deprived conditions, leading to dialogue peppered with exclamation points and fevered theories about near-total homosexuality within the 19th-century British navy and the possibility that women find trawlermen attractive because fish smell like human pheromones. Though the unrelenting, incongruous manic tone may be off-putting to newcomers, fans of O'Hanlon's trouble-filled sagas will feel right at home. Photos, illus. not seen by PW . Agent, Peter Matson of Sterling Lord. (Jan.)

Reviewed on: 11/22/2004
Release date: 01/01/2005
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 352 pages - 978-0-14-027668-8
Paperback - 339 pages - 978-1-4000-7810-3
Ebook - 251 pages - 978-0-307-54825-2
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