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The Lobster Chronicles: Life on a Very Small…

The Lobster Chronicles: Life on a Very Small Island (2002)

by Linda Greenlaw

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I loved this memoir that gives us a bit of everything - small town life & politics, personal quandaries, family relationships, and the adventure of the sea. I still don't empathize with the appeal of living like that, though - it really does take a special kind of person, and maybe independent lobstermen should be allowed to pass on the way that the proverbial buggy-whip makers did. ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 6, 2016 |
Subtitle: Life on a Very Small Island ( )
  Elishibai | Feb 21, 2016 |
I took a star only for the slow start. Where it took me two weeks to read the first half of the book, it took me less than two days to read the second half. Linda Greenlaw's life is fascinating, her writing is wonderful and I will be reading another of her books soon. ( )
  KRaySaulis | Aug 13, 2014 |
Don’t ask me why I picked this book off the Half Price Books clearance shelf years ago. I couldn’t tell you. All I can say is that something about the book’s premise — living off the land (or sea, really) on a tiny island in the Northeast — appealed to me.

The Lobster Chronicles didn’t disappoint in that regard. It’s not a long volume, but it manages to touch on all kinds of things: the island and its residents (both summer and year-round), the lobstering industry (from the gear to the politics and beyond), a bit of the island’s history, some of the realities of life on an island reachable only by boat, Greenlaw’s own history (both personal and familial), and even — briefly — the reproductive habits of lobsters. Greenlaw paints her chosen pictures well, drawing the reader into this tiny, isolated, yet beautiful and rich world.

It’s in the execution that I started finding little flaws in The Lobster Chronicles. For starters, I wasn’t quite sure why Greenlaw chose to spend her time on the specific anecdotes she does. Further, though the book covers a broad range of topics, the way in which those topics come together isn’t always clear. I also felt like the way Greenlaw herself came across shifted throughout the book, like her voice didn’t align with the actual thoughts and feelings she records having.

Full review is posted on Erin Reads. ( )
  erelsi183 | Feb 14, 2014 |
This seems less like a book than a magazine article. It’s amusing for sure, but slight. It’s a slice of the life of a lobster fisherman, with lots of technical details, in case you’re thinking of taking it up. The funny bits are descriptions of life in a small island community. ( )
  astrologerjenny | Apr 24, 2013 |
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Hauling lobster traps in the sheltered waters of Maine's Penobscot Bay with her father as sternman is a day in the sun compared with the isolation and dangers offshore. Greenlaw was at sea, a captain in the swordfish fleet, during the ''perfect storm,'' and was among the last people to have radio contact with the doomed Andrea Gail. She wrote an earlier book about the difficult swordfishing life.
But island life has its charms - and its conflicts - and Greenlaw writes as enthusiastically about them as she did about her offshore experiences in the well-received ''The Hungry Ocean.'' The real, and very pleasant, surprise of ''The Lobster Chronicles'' is how well Greenlaw captures the small-town, waterside dramas of the Lighthouse Committee and the Island Lobster Association.
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"The winters drive you crazy, and the fishing's hard and slow,
You're a damned fool if you stay,but there is no better place to go..."
- Gordon Bok,
from his song " the Hills of Isle Au Haut"
This book is dedicated to my mother and friend,
Martha Loise Greenlaw.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0786885912, Paperback)

After 17 years at sea, Linda Greenlaw decided it was time to take a break from being a swordboat captain, the career that would earn her a prominent role in Sebastian Junger's The Perfect Storm and a portrayal in the subsequent film. Greenlaw decided to move back home, to a tiny island seven miles off the Maine coast. There, she would pursue a simpler life as a lobsterman, find a husband, and settle down.

But all doesn't go as planned. The lobsters refuse to crawl out from under their rocks and into the traps she and her father have painstakingly set. Fellow islanders draw her into bizarre intrigues, and the eligible bachelors prove even more elusive than the lobsters. But just when she thinks things can't get worse, something happens that forces her to reevaluate everything she thought she knew about life, luck, and lobsters.

Filled with nautical detail and the dramas of small-town life, The Lobster Chronicles is a celebration of family and community. Greenlaw proves once again that fishermen are the best storytellers around.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:00:04 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

The author details her return to Isle au Haut, a tiny Maine island with a population of seventy year-round residents, many of whom are her relatives, to describe small-town life in a lobster-fishing village.

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