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Dash in the Blue Pacific by Cole Alpaugh

Dash in the Blue Pacific

by Cole Alpaugh

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This was a really fun book. Dash is a sad sack whose life keeps getting worse and worse, until he invents (or maybe he's real) a creepy looking sidekick who is a former god, on the island he's stranded after a plane crash. It's a really weird book, but I love the story and the ending. I wish I had saved it for summer. ( )
1 vote annesarah200 | Apr 29, 2015 |
had the worst time trying to become interested. i am going to reread. because it may be me not in the proper mood. ( )
  Ellen_Crawford | Feb 13, 2015 |
On what was supposed to be his honeymoon flight, jilted Dash becomes the sole survivor of a plane crash. It is a nightmarish scene in the water. Disturbing without being overly graphic, I don't imagine I'll soon forget a few of those images. The hand and the dancing girl in the dress. The story enfolds as a religious narrative, although it might be equally sacrilegious. It was a little beyond my pay scale, at least to that point. Faith is explored and sometimes rejected throughout.

The story moves into a sometimes very funny situation in which Dash must produce a white baby to satisfy visiting slave traders, or be thrown into the volcano to appease an angry god. Hints of Joe Versus the Volcano, although the chief is much more complex than Abe Vigoda, and there's no orange soda. Problematic for Dash is he's suffered injuries from the crash, and can't seem to, well, let's say his plumbing is broken.

Dash has two people in his corner. He's befriended by a young island girl who is hoping to be taken away by the slave traders, believing she'll have a better life. And a former god named Willy, who allowed his people on a nearby island to be killed during a storm after he'd become dependent on the alcoholic offerings. I have to say I loved Willy's character. The girl provides hope, while Willy is comedic relief when interacting among the islanders and Dash.

So as to not provide spoilers, I'll just say that when I closed this book I had tears in my eyes. I was somewhat ambivalent about Dash's character, but a few days later had me reopening the (electronic) book and searching out passages. This book is extremely well written, funny, and multi-layered. I could almost taste and smell the scenes. As for Dash, he's a sad hero, for sure. He is likeable the more you know him, mostly because of his affection for and his need to protect the girl.

This book, and in particular it's style of prose, reminds me of Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. It's the layers, I suppose. I expected to sit down with a book version of Dual Survival and ended up with a real heart thumper about human redemption. Dash in the Blue Pacific is a mind bender.

Verdict: 4.5 stars ( )
1 vote David63 | Feb 10, 2015 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Dash, a man betrayed by his fiance, is flying alone in a jet to the honeymoon destination in the Pacific. A tribe on a tiny Pacific island is victimized by white men who steal their 10 year old girls and kill anyone who gets in their way. They come together when Dash, sole survivor of the plane crash in the ocean, floats onto the island severely injured and is saved by the tribe. But what do they save him for. Many hate him because he is white. They fear their gods and the white man. Is this a formula for humor? Not in my book.

Dash is a man who has the self-image of a victim. The tribe has allowed itself to be victimized, because they see no other way out. Except for Tiki, a 10 year old girl, who can hardly wait to get off the island. Tiki was definitely my favorite character - she had some spunk. Dash makes friends with a god who has lost his people and is grieving for them. The god also feels he can do nothing. But one of the most enduring topics in the book is that Dash's penis is as dead as a door nail and many things hinge on this fact.

The book is fairly well written, though in the beginning I was a little confused because of the sudden switch from marauding white men to the crashing jet. Also, getting into Dash's miserable thoughts was a mite dizzying in the middle of a diving jet. All he ever had were miserable and unhappy thoughts. The description of the crashing jet was very well done, I definitely had second thoughts about getting on a jet.

If you like to read about unhappy people who think only about all the unhappy things and awful people in their lives, then this book is for you.

This is my first early review and I am very grateful for the opportunity. Received as an e-book. ( )
  triciareads55 | Jan 25, 2015 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
The story is a clever idea and the writer's language and phrasing are good. But, I found it quite hard to stick to it. The book really seemed to slow down about a 1/5th in and didn't pick up (if you can call it that) until around 4/5th. You could take out a big chunk of the book and not miss anything.
I really didn't like the way the author ended the book. He waited until the last page (I kidd you not) - actually, the last sentence - to deliver the punch line.
I wanted to know what happened at the end - but was left with a vague sentence. I wanted to know what happened AFTER the solders but that was totally missing. ( )
  cloud9music | Jan 13, 2015 |
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Dash does not feel lucky. When his plane crashes in the South Pacific on a honeymoon flight to Sydney, Australia, he is already a broken man, having left his cheating fiance at home in Vermont. Dash is the crash's only survivor, and the natives who find his battered body blame him for poisoning their fish with spilled jet fuel. Once he has sufficiently recovered, they plan to offer him as a human sacrifice to their Volcano God, who they believe downed his plane and cursed them with drought and hardship. While Dash awaits his fate, he abandons all hope of rescue. But his new life has its moments. He meets ten-year-old Tiki, daughter of the chief and an innocent who dreams of being "chosen" by the soldiers who occasionally visit their island. He also conjures up an imaginary friend, Weeleekonawahulahoopa -- Willy, for short. Willy is half-man, half-fish, a sometime god who resigned his lofty status after failing to save his people from drowning. As Dash comes to understand the natives who hold him captive and confront his own unhappy past, he suspects that he might not be so unlucky after all.… (more)

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