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Don't Give Up the Ship: Finding My…

Don't Give Up the Ship: Finding My Father While Lost at Sea

by Neil Steinberg

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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 034543675X, Hardcover)

For as long as he could remember, Neil Steinberg had heard his father Bob talk obsessively about his season at sea in the mid-1950s as radio operator aboard the Empire State, the gleaming training ship of the New York State Maritime College. The rocky crossing from New York harbor to Bermuda, and then on to Spain, Greece, and France; the run-ins with drunken shipmates; the shock of death at sea–Neil knew it all by heart. Now, forty-five years later, Bob and Neil, father and son, are set to embark on that same voyage together aboard the Empire State II.

And Neil is scared as hell. Scared of shipwreck, disaster at sea, terror, humiliation, and his father. But scared, above all, of the prospect of a month at sea with a man he has never understood.

In Don’t Give Up the Ship, Neil Steinberg has written a courageous, gripping, and honest memoir of an unforgettable voyage–and an unbelievably fraught relationship. This is not a hugs-and-high-fives tale scripted by Hollywood. In fact, these two men have never spent three days together without an explosion. But underneath the bitterness and disappointment, there has always been something deeper, a bond neither could ever talk about or name. To Neil, facing down the demons of middle age, this trip is his best chance, maybe his only chance, to find the father he never knew and be the son he was never able to be.

A dual memoir about their lives together and apart, Don’t Give Up the Ship helps Neil to finally understand what his dad went through nearly half a century ago as a handsome nineteen year old kid living in the Bronx of the 1940s, in flight from his own oppressive father, in search of adventure, determined to see the world, fall in love, and make something of himself.

Steinberg is too truthful a writer for the easy epiphany or the pat reconciliation. But at the end, after the landing in Naples and the quick overland trip through Italy, father and son do arrive at an understanding that changes both their lives. Don’t Give Up the Ship is not only a ripping good story of men and the sea, it is also a brave, frank, and unflinchingly real exploration of the nature of family love and the possibility of adventure.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:04:21 -0400)

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