Shark Drunk

Shark Drunk

The Art of Catching A Large Shark From A Tiny Rubber Dinghy in A Big Ocean

Book - 2017 | First American edition.
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A salty story of friendship, adventure, and the explosive life that teems beneath the ocean

The Lofoten archipelago, just North of the Arctic Circle, is a place of unsurpassed beauty--the skyline spikes with dramatic peaks; the radiant greens and purples of the Northern Lights follow summers where the sun never sets. It's a place of small villages, where the art of fishing, though evolving, is still practiced in traditional ways.

Beneath the great depths surrounding these islands lurks the infamous Greenland shark. At twenty-four feet in length and weighing more than a ton, it is truly a beast to behold. But the shark is not known just for its size: Its meat contains a toxin that, when consumed, has been known to make people drunk and hallucinatory. Shark Drunk is the true story of two friends, the author and the eccentric artist Hugo Aasjord, as they embark on a wild pursuit of the famed creature--all from a tiny rubber boat.

Together they tackle existential questions and encounter the world's most powerful maelstrom as they attempt to understand the ocean from every possible angle, drawing on poetry, science, history, ecology, mythology, and their own--sometimes intoxicated--observations, meanwhile pursuing the elusive Greenland shark. By turns thrilling, wise, and hilarious, Shark Drunk is a celebration of adventure, marine life, and, above all, friendship.

Winner of the Norwegian Brage Prize 2015
Winner of the Norwegian Critics' Prize for Literature 2015
Winner of the Norwegian Reine Ord Prize at Lofoten International Literature Festival 2016
Publisher: New York, NY : Alfred A. Knopf, 2017.
Edition: First American edition.
ISBN: 9780451493484
Branch Call Number: 338.372730948 Str
Characteristics: 307 pages : map ; 20 cm


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Jan 29, 2019

The basic concept was interesting - to catch a Greenland shark. Big spoiler alert - they never catch one and the end of the book happens when a shark gets off the line. No follow-up, nothing.

I also disliked both people, the writer and the artist. Since they were spectacularly unsuccessful at actually catching a shark, the writer resorted to filling the pages with history lessons about science, fishing and Norway. Now, if you didn't happen to know this stuff already then maybe you'd enjoy the book - maybe, if you knew ahead of time they weren't actually going to catch a shark. I'm not in that camp because I know the vast majority of that filler history, so I ended up learning when another history lesson was commencing and I'd skip ahead to the actual personal story, which was just not that interesting to me because both men are rather morose and somewhat dull people.

Big thumbs down for me.

Sep 13, 2017

Well written and easy to read. Plenty of history and background on this part of Norway so if you like that sort of thing, you'll enjoy this book.

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