cover image Sea Story

Sea Story

Sam Llewellyn. St. Martin's Press, $18.95 (396pp) ISBN 978-0-312-01814-6

Llewellyn has written good, workmanlike novels about British sport-sailing (Dead Reckoning) and this is a definite contender for big, commercial success. The novel follows the adventures of a dozen main characters and a score of lesser lights in a Great Circle race running almost eight months via a circuit of Portsmouth-Cape Town-Sydney-Rio-Portsmouth. The competitors battle each other, the weather, often their own shipmates and always the sea. The sailors race for various reasons (the American skipper, Art Schacker, is trying to save his Marblehead fishery; Englishman Ed Cole to save his reputation) and the landlubbers have other motives (lawyer DuCane hopes to get control of a Boston yacht club, Aussie booze tycoon Harry Redd wants glory and fun). Amidst a plethora of motives and maneuvering, Llewellyn provides a brisk around-the-world yarn with lots of nautical details. None of the characters is very deep, but the book sails along at a nice clip until the fairly predictable but satisfying ending. (June)