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To the White Sea by James Dickey

To the White Sea (1993)

by James Dickey

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307451,641 (3.56)13



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The more I think about this book, the more I appreciate it. Ultrasymbolism is the name of the game. So is reverse anthropomorphism and a dash of hyper-atavism.

Blue-beyond-blue, stark red, endless white play leading roles here. So do fisher martens, rabbits and bears. So do blood and shit, stabbing and beating.

The book gets three stars because it just wasn't very enjoyable. It is very ponderable, but gets a little ponderous toward the middle. The point of the book is that the main character lacks humanistic characteristics to identify with, but that lack results in no attachment to the character, which results in lack of motivation to read on. The necessary theme of the novel necessarily creates minimal sympathy.

Not as gripping as 'Deliverance,' but meaningful and worth reading.

It reminded me of Oe's 'Nip the Buds, Shoot the Children,' and not only because of the setting. A dehumanized episode in human history results in humanity-free novels. Or, I should say, points to a different conclusion than most modern humans would in regards to what humanity really is. ( )
  clogbottom | Aug 9, 2008 |
One of the strangest books I've read and very hard to forget.
  jayhiker | Jan 6, 2008 |
The basic story is that of a WWII bomber crewman shot down over Tokyo immediately prior to the great firebomb raids at the end of the war. He is alone in enemy territory. We follow our tail-gunner as he plans to escape Tokyo during the confusion of the upcoming firebomb raid the following night. We watch him as he struggles to stay alive with his only goal to keep moving north. To the ice regions like his home in Alaska, where he feels he will be safe. We are given many glimpses into the thoughts of our crewman as he tries to survive. The ending of the book we have our main charcter sort of at home with his surroundings and he seems to accept his fate at the end. I did find this a bit of a slow read. And therefore rated it 3 instead of 4 stars. ( )
  mramos | Nov 7, 2007 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385313098, Paperback)

Award-winning and best-selling author James Dickey returns with the heart-stopping story of Muldrow, an American tail gunner who parachutes  from his burning airplane into Tokyo in the final months of World War II. Fleeing the chaotic,  ruined city, he instinctively travels north toward a frozen, desolate sanctuary he is certain will assure this survival--and freedom. Making his way through enemy terrain, on the lookout for both danger and  opportunity, Muldrow's journey becomes the flight of a pure predator. Moving through the darkness,  bombarded by haunting visions that consume his  imagination, every step in his violent odyssey brings  him closer to a harrowing climax that is pure  James Dickey.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:02 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Sergeant Muldrow is an American airman who is shot down over Tokyo during World War II. Using skills gained in his youth in his native Alaska, he proceeds to make his escape. A brutal and often poetic tale of survival in the course of which the airman kills a man for his clothes, eats a swan for meat and undergoes torture at the hands of the police. By the author of Deliverance.… (more)

» see all 2 descriptions

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