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The Highest Tide [Paperback]

Jim Lynch
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 May 2006
One unforgettable night, thirteen-year-old Miles goes to the flats near his home in search of shellfish, only to discover something startling and remarkable: a giant squid. Instantly, he becomes a local celebrity and is pursued by TV crews urging him to explain the phenomenon. His psychic friend Florence predicts that even more astonishing discoveries are to come, indicators of the highest tide in fifty years. Yet, Miles worries more about matters closer to home: will his passion for his ex-babysitter Angie go unrequited? Will his arguing parents divorce? Is everything, even the bay, shifting from him?

Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC; New edition edition (1 May 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0747587620
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747579380
  • ASIN: 0747579385
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 13.2 x 2.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 462,885 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


‘***** This novel is so very special ... extraordinary’ -- Independent on Sunday

‘Infectious … Even the most hard-hearted readers will finish this book wishing they had their own bay to explore’ -- Matt Thorne, Sunday Telegraph

‘Poetic yet lean, restrained, lucid and radiant ... suffused with a Wordsworthian sense of wonder’ -- The Times

About the Author

Jim Lynch is a journalist for the Oregonian. This is his first book.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
67 of 68 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Even science goes haywire sometimes, Miles" 4 Sep 2005
By A Customer
Set against the backdrop of Washington's Puget Sound, The Highest Tide is an exquisite coming of age story of that uses the mysteries of the life aquatic as a backdrop. Miles O'Malley is a special thirteen year old who has a talent for identifying all sorts of strange sea creatures.
Miles is somewhat of a child protégé, a speed reader from an early age, who loves to quote beloved nature writer Rachel Carson, he seems more obsessed with identifying the creatures of the tidal flats outside his home than mucking around with boys his own age. His encyclopedic knowledge of the ocean enables him to collect specimens that he sells to aquariums and to local restaurants in Olympia.
All that changes the summer before his 14th birthday, when Miles hears a strange sound. He soon finds himself face-to-face with a giant squid; a species that doesn't live anywhere near Puget Sound. Almost overnight, he's discovering other rarely seen sea creatures in the tidal flats. Suddenly, the young boy is thrust into the spotlight, quickly hailed by his community as a local hero, perhaps even a prophet.
Lately however, the winds of change have been bothering Miles. His working class parents have been hinting at divorce, His mother feels as though she's stranded in her tiny stilted house with an un-ambitious baseball fanatic who still barhops with is high school pals.
His elderly neighbor and best friend, the psychically inclined Florence, is in the beginning stages of Alzheimer's, and it's not that he can't imagine losing her, but her growing feebleness fits into the fact that he senses that everything is about to shift beneath him.
Miles notices that the bay itself is seemingly shifting into something else - "a trophy view for people rich enough to build houses on the Sunset Estates.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Great Read 21 Oct 2005
By A Customer
If you're looking for a novel that's easy reading but still highly intelligent, this is for you. With wholly-believable, three-dimensional characters and a story-line that's both touching and funny, you'll also find yourself fascinated by the descriptions of the weird and wonderful sea-life which forms a major part of this book. The beginning is perhaps a little slow, but stick with it. This is a fine novel that's both memorable and unique.
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "The sea is trying to tell us something. . ." 8 July 2006
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a story about a 13yr old boy who has an immense love for marine life. Miles lives near Puget Sound and spends his time searching the shore at low tide for oddities to collect and sell onto aquariums. Whilst out one morning, he makes a remarkable discovery - a giant squid. Upon finding this rare creature - and he claims it was still alive when he first came across it - he instantly becomes a local celebrity. His knowledge of the sea astounds reporters, and it is with the above quote that Miles captures the imagination of his community. As he continues to make discoveries, and his fame grows, Miles beins to fear that the world as he is used to it is changing. This is a beautiful coming of age story which uses the sea as a breath-taking backdrop.

There is much more to this book than I have described. It really is a book to escape into. Reading it, it made me want to go off to the sea and explore the world that he so eloquently describes. In fact, I have looked up the works by Miles's role model, Rachel Carson. This is a very well written book. The passion that Miles has for the sea comes across very well, but there are also times of humour and tension. Miles's feelings towards his ex-babysitter are touching, as is the friendship he shares with Florence, an elderly psychic. His relationship with both his mum and dad are also very well observed.

This is a great read. The perfect summer book.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable read 1 Sep 2006
This is a good book. It's beautifully descriptive with an engaging storyline. I've seen reviews criticising the content in light of world events - but remember this is fiction. This book is a page turner - anyone with an interest in the natural world will share the protagonist's wonder at the things he sees around him, whilst still enjoying an enjoyable yarn. The author conveys thoughts and feelings of a developing young boy faced with the challenges life throws at him.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A really heartwarming, lovable read. 18 Sep 2006
A wonderfully well written book, with extremely personable characters and great warmth, shining out from page one. The author fantastically intertwines a number of contrasting subjects: from the poignant battle with human deterioration, to the mindset of young teenage boys. Both of which are blended well alongside detailed and poetic descriptions of marine life. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and will be passing it along to my nearest and dearest - and would definitely recommend it to you too!
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Moving and totally convincing 8 Mar 2006
I read this on holiday - by a beach - which may partly explain why I enjoyed it so much as the story is inspired by a boy's love of the ocean. It was immediately engrossing - it brings to mind The Catcher in the Rye in the way that the central character is so well-defined. This book has made me want to go and learn about life on the shore and has also made me dig out an old copy of Catcher to re-read. I bet someone makes a film of this book - I only hope they do it justice.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
too early to review only received it today
Published 8 days ago by MRS SHEELAGH WALSH
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautifully crafted tale.
A beautifully crafted tale with some equally memorable characters.A great coming of age tale simply but eloquently told. Some pretty interesting facts about sea-life too.
Published 3 months ago by Bee
5.0 out of 5 stars gentle, whimsical novel
I loved Border Songs, so picked this up and loved it. I grew up by the sea but know so little; this coming of age, subtle, intelligent, moving and gentle novel is now one of my... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Katua
2.0 out of 5 stars Paddling in the dark
Quite why I bought this book remains a mystery. Judging by the sticker on the front, it was the third of a 3 for 2 purchase from Borders, made some time ago. Read more
Published 10 months ago by DennisF
2.0 out of 5 stars Simple,but enjoyable
Not a page turner. Just a pleasant read. To love the main character is to understand his love of the sea and all the marvel it encompasses with it's relevance to our past, future... Read more
Published 10 months ago by
5.0 out of 5 stars The Highest Tide
I owned this book before I got my Kindle and it was one of my first e purchases. A quirky book about a boy, a beach and about growing up. Slow paced but full of wonder.
Published 14 months ago by MRS ANNE LE M PERCHARD
5.0 out of 5 stars Sweetness and light.
The fruitfulness of life and the sea is lyrically intertwined in a book that everyone should read. This had an astounding yet calm and peaceful effect on me when I first read it,... Read more
Published on 16 Sep 2011 by Showmaster
4.0 out of 5 stars ...two pigeon guillemots blundered across the bay like a comedy...
A coming-of-age fable with a strong ecological flavour, this is a good read - informative, passionate and sometimes sad. Read more
Published on 22 Jan 2011 by Eileen Shaw
5.0 out of 5 stars Courtesy of Teens Read Too
Miles says that most people don't believe him when he describes what he sees in the water--they often think he is exaggerating or lying. Read more
Published on 13 Nov 2010 by TeensReadToo
5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful book, PLEASE CHANGE THE AWFUL COVER!!
I read this book when I was lent it by a friend, and it was absolutely wonderful.The most beautiful description of childhood through the eyes of a young boy and an incredibly... Read more
Published on 1 Sep 2010 by Hc Williams
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