As has been said below, Moominpappa at Sea (MAS), along with Moominvalley in November (MIN), represent the height of Jansson's achievements in the Moomin series. They also, of course, conclude it. While all the novels are unique and oddly unsettling, these last two installments are almost existential, poetic, almost saga like. I should explain that I read all of the Moomin books in the 1970s, and have - in my own middle aged crisis perhaps - returned to them. At the age of 14 I felt about MAS and MIN very much what I feel now - only the language of comparison has changed. Now in my late 40s, it is Moominpappa and oddly the fisherman/lighthouse keeper that I identify with most, not so much Moomintroll - and I am filled with new admiration for the mystery of Little My. When I first read this I could not understand why they left their valley, how they knew where the island was, or what had happened to the lighthouse keeper. Now I know. I also know what happened to the Groke, who Jansson, in her deep humility, finally saves, like Prospero saving Caliban. MIN occupies the same temporal frame of this novel, depicting what is going on `back home' - and it is all written in the same minimalist, insightful way. At onelevel the characters are oddly dysfunctional and lost, at another, they are sublimely knit into a world of nature and light. I am relieved to think that much of this magic touched me when I was 14, but how strong it has grown over the years! There is something almost numinous here. I urge you to read these two together, and then to find and enjoy the earlier and more carefree installments, especially Moominsummer Madness, Moominvalley in November and Tales.