To the White Sea Hardcover – 14 Oct 1993
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About the Author
James Dickey, acclaimed author of Deliverance and numerous volumes of poetry, died in 1997. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
The prose has a crisp brilliance that is always fresh and never overwritten. The story is alive with the tension of the moment and with recurrent reflections of memory. The whole is so involving that this is one of those rare books that is difficult to put down, and I couldn't, moving from sympathy with the narrator to growing distaste, from hoping that he can evade capture to wishing that he soon meets his end.
There are some buts, though. Some of the turns of the plot are implausible, and the characterisation is a little uneven. There are a few trails laid, leading us to think we will learn more about why the hunted Alaskan hunter has become the man he is; but we don't.
The end, for me, was the disappointing part. I found it mystical, fantastic and pretentious, a bathetic anticlimax. For five captivating hours I couldn't put it down; when I did, I suddenly wondered if the nightmares that could come from being inside the skin of this horrific character would be worth (truly exhilarating) reading.
It is as we follow his adventures while he slowly makes his way north that we begin to learn just how dangerously singleminded he is.
In simple, stark, precise prose Dickey gives us startlingly visual, hair raising scenes and episodes. The confrontation with the blind ageing samurai is depicted with stunning vividness.
Dickey knows how to create suspense and time and time again even though we are growing ever more distrustful of the protagonist's
"humanity" he places him (and us) in nail biting situations.
Of course, in the end, as in all great tragedy, the leading character falls prey to his hubris and hamartia. Ironically, here, it is largely our "hero's" love of animals (not, obviously, of humans!) which does for him.
A truly fine study, then, of a psycopath which is beautifully razor sharp, written in crystal clear prose with not an ounce of posing or posture.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I read this book about a year ago and, well, it just hasn't gone away. As that man Nabokov (well, Humbert Humbert) put it, "You can always count on a murderer for a fancy prose... Read morePublished on 9 Feb. 2009 by Claxtondog
James Dickey's "To the White Sea" is without doubt one of the greatest novels I have ever read. This is the first person narration of Muldrow, originally an Alaskan hunter, now a... Read morePublished on 1 May 2008 by Smithy