A Private Voyage
By Jonathan Raban
Vintage Books USA, Paperback, 9780375725937, 304pp.
Publication Date: February 4, 2003
List Price: $15.00*
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Whether he's chatting with bored tax exiles on the Isle of Man, wrestling down a mainsail during a titanic gale, or crashing a Scottish house party where the kilted guests turn out to be Americans, Raban is alert to the slightest nuance of meaning. One can read Coasting for his precise naturalistic descriptions or his mordant comments on the new England, where the principal industry seems to be the marketing of Englishness. But one always reads it with pleasure.
His books include 'Soft City' (1973), 'Arabia Through the Looking Glass' (1979), 'Old Glory' (1981, Heinemann Award, RSL Thomas Cook Award), 'Foreign Land' (1985), 'Coasting' (1986), 'For Love and Money' (1987), and 'Hunting Mister Heartbreak' (1990, Thomas Cook Award).
He has sailed alone round Britain and has spent much time afloat on the coastal seas of Europe. He is now living in Seattle, where he sails a Swedish ketch on the rim of the North Pacific.
“A lively, intensely personal recounting of a voyage into a gifted writer's country and self.” —The New York Times Book Review
“Coasting is a glorious book, written with energy, wit and a melancholy lyricism . . . There's something wonderful on every page of this book.” —The Seattle Times Post-Intelligencer
“Marvelously written and superbly constructed. . . . The sort of book you put among those favorite books you keep on your desk or table . . . the sort you wish you had written yourself.” — Beryl Bainbridge, The Spectator
“Raban is . . . one of our most gifted observers.” —Newsday