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Moby-duck

The True Story of 28,800 Bath Toys Lost at Sea and of the Beachcombers, Oceanographers, Environmentalists, and Fools, Including the Author, Who Went in Search of Them
Hohn, Donovan (Book - 2011)
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
Moby-duck
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Penguin Putnam

Selected by The New York Times Book Review as a Notable Book of the Year

A revelatory tale of science, adventure, and modern myth.

When the writer Donovan Hohn heard of the mysterious loss of thousands of bath toys at sea, he figured he would interview a few oceanographers, talk to a few beachcombers, and read up on Arctic science and geography. But questions can be like ocean currents: wade in too far, and they carry you away. Hohn's accidental odyssey pulls him into the secretive world of shipping conglomerates, the daring work of Arctic researchers, the lunatic risks of maverick sailors, and the shadowy world of Chinese toy factories.

Moby-Duck is a journey into the heart of the sea and an adventure through science, myth, the global economy, and some of the worst weather imaginable. With each new discovery, Hohn learns of another loose thread, and with each successive chase, he comes closer to understanding where his castaway quarry comes from and where it goes. In the grand tradition of Tony Horwitz and David Quammen, Moby-Duck is a compulsively readable narrative of whimsy and curiosity.


Baker & Taylor
A journalist recounts his investigation into the mysterious loss of thousands of bath toys in the ocean, a whimsical journey that pulled him into the worlds of shipping conglomerates, Arctic researchers, maverick sailors, and Chinese toy-factory workers.

Blackwell Publishing
"By one of our very best contemporary essayists, Moby-Duck is a distressingly wonderful read."---Rivka Galchen, author of Atmospheric Disturbances

When the writer Donovan Hohn heard of the mysterious loss of thousands of bath toys at sea, he figured he would interview a few oceanographers, talk to a few beachcombers, and read up on Arctic science and geography. "But questions can be like ocean currents: wade in too far, and they carry you away." Hohn's accidental odyssey pulls him into the secretive world of shipping conglomerates, the daring work of Arctic researchers, the lunatic risks of maverick sailors, and the shadowy world of Chinese toy factories.

Moby-Duck is a journey into the heart of the sea and an adventure through science, myth, the global economy, and some of the worst weather imaginable. With each new discovery, Hohn learns of another loose thread, and with each successive chase, he comes closer to understanding where his castaway quarry comes from and where it goes. In the grand tradition of Tony Horwitz and David Quammen, Moby-Duck is a compulsively readable narrative of whimsy and curiosity.

Baker
& Taylor

A Whiting Writers Award-winning journalist recounts his investigation at the side of unexpected companions into the mysterious loss of thousands of bath toys in the ocean, a whimsical journey that pulled him into the worlds of shipping conglomerates, Arctic researchers, maverick sailors and Chinese toy-factory workers.

Authors: Hohn, Donovan
Statement of Responsibility: Donovan Hohn
Title: Moby-duck
the true story of 28,800 bath toys lost at sea and of the beachcombers, oceanographers, environmentalists, and fools, including the author, who went in search of them
Publisher: New York : Viking, 2011
Characteristics: 402 p. : ill., map ; 24 cm.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references (p. [381]-384)
Subject Headings: Ocean currents Marine debris Plastic toys Hohn, Donovan Anecdotes
Topical Term: Ocean currents
Marine debris
Plastic toys
LCCN: 2010033608
ISBN: 9780670022199
0670022195
Branch Call Number: 551.462 H
Research Call Number: JFE 12-4433
MARC Display»

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Aug 02, 2013
  • ser_library rated this: 2 stars out of 5.

reads like a blog with a few facts added

Dec 15, 2011
  • zavirani rated this: 1 stars out of 5.

A pretty disappointing book all around. Hohn had the opportunity to tell a great story about the bath toys, comment on the environmental threats facing our oceanic ecosystems, and tell a personal story. Instead he threw together a horribly disjointed rant with a few funny comments here and there.

Half the time he's just describing and telling the reader how he feels. The rest of the time he briefly comments on a certain topic before randomly changing to another (eg. one second he's talking about ocean currents while on a boat in the pacific, the next he's talking about playing with his toddler in NY).

Most of all, there is little commentary about the bath toys themselves. He mentions them in passing, but really doesn't go anywhere with that theme. Great title and byline, but a very disappointing read.

Trackiing 28,800 bath toys that fell off a ship - and a warning of distrastous things to come resulting from the pollution of our oceans.

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