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In The Company of Dolphins by Irwin Shaw
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In The Company of Dolphins (1964)

by Irwin Shaw

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See my full review on my blog Mystereity Reviews

When I read the description of In The Company Of Dolphins, I thought it was a travel guide. I was completely mistaken, and I was not disappointed. In The Company Of Dolphins is so much more than a travel guide; it is a fascinating look back, not only to the exotic ports of call but also on the life and times of a brilliant author.

The book, originally published in the mid 1960s, is a memoir of author Irwin Shaw's cruise around the Mediterranean on a chartered boat. As a boy growing up in Brooklyn in the early part of the 20th century, he would look out at the boats moored in the harbor and dream of cruising the world. Decades later, his dream came true; he chartered a boat and sailed along the coast of Italy from St. Tropez ("...there is a whiff of Sodom and Gomorrah to it, and a little of a superb detention home for delinquent girls") to Monte Carlo, ("It is all very much like a camp for condemned millionaires") around Italy's boot to Yugoslavia and up to Venice.

Shaw's style of writing is engaging; you almost feel as though you're sitting in a little cafe with him, listening to his stories of sailing around Italy and Yugoslavia. I was taken in from the beginning, and I enjoyed experiencing the beautiful locations not only through his eyes, but also through the romantic rose-colored glasses that comes only by looking back fondly on by-gone times.

A short biography is incuded at the end of the book, and what an interesting life he led. Besides his many successful novels (including the WWII epic The Young Lions,) he was also a WWII veteran, having served in North Africa and Europe, and was a photographer who documented many important moments in the war, beginning with D-Day.

In The Company of Dolphins is a captivating and engrossing memoir, and a perfect read during an afternoon at the pool.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in return for my honest opinion.

( )
  MystereityReviews | Dec 13, 2016 |
I found this pretty dull. One gets to know the author so little that it could have been written by anyone. Friends he meets on his journey are mysteriously referred to as "a writer", two writers", "three other writers" or "a famous actress". He occasionally references his son but never mentions a thing his wife does or says, both who joined him on the trip. Each chapter belongs to a brief port visit and garners usually less than five pages. On top of all that I do not recall a single dolphin, nevermind a company, but there was a brief meeting with a shark fin. ( )
  ElizaJane | Oct 31, 2016 |
A fascinating account of the writer Irwin Shaw and his family's adventures sailing round the Med., visiting places he's always dreamt about visiting.
His descriptions are vivid and mouth wateringly sumptuous, making me want to get on a boat straight away even though I'm not a lover of floating on water.
Very highly recommended.
I was given a digital copy of this book by the publisher Open Road via Netgalley in return for an honest unbiased review. ( )
  Welsh_eileen2 | Sep 27, 2016 |
A fascinating account of the writer Irwin Shaw and his family's adventures sailing round the Med, visiting places he'd always dreamt about visiting.
His descriptions are vivid and mouth wateringly sumptuous, making me want to get on a bots straight away even though I'm not a lover of floating on water!
Very highly recommended.
I was given a digital copy of this book by the publisher Open Road via Netgalley in return for an honest unbiased review. ( )
  Welsh_eileen2 | Sep 1, 2016 |
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