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Moby-Duck: The True Story of 28,800 Bath…
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Moby-Duck: The True Story of 28,800 Bath Toys Lost at Sea and of the… (2011)

by Donovan Hohn

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5692725,100 (3.31)38
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» See also 38 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 27 (next | show all)
I wanted to like this a lot more, but I felt like it wasn't cohesively written enough. I actually only got about 3/4 of the way through, then decided I'd gotten everything out of it that I could. ( )
  Abbey_Harlow | Oct 5, 2017 |
I remember hearing the stories about these ducks potentially washing up along the Maine coast, so when I got the chance to bring this book with me on a Maine vacation, I snatched it up, figuring it would make for good reading on a deck overlooking the water. It was. Hohn's book is an interesting and personal account of the author's quest to understand these ducks (and their floating comrades) but also to grasp the broader issues of transoceanic container shipping, the plague of plastic trash polluting the oceans, &c. Quite a bit of haring off on long tangents (probably could have stood to be a hundred pages or so shorter), but that didn't bother me too much at all in this case. ( )
  JBD1 | Sep 14, 2017 |
Hohn has written a fine book about an important environmental concern and tried to do it in an all-encompassing, funny, and interesting way. He partially succeeds. I love the all-encompassing part as I have been in many of the same parts of the world he travels to and describes. He can be moderately funny sometimes. His big fail is his ability to digress and not pull the topic together in a relevant and meaningful way. It happens consistently throughout the book and makes it a bit less interesting and, frankly, dull. I'm delighted, I guess, that he is a father, but the relevance to the book is minimal, at best, especially for the reader. He needs to keep the family story line out of the book. Had he done this effectively, the book was a five star. ( )
  untraveller | Jun 22, 2017 |
Told with a blend of matter-of-fact evidence, anecdotal niceties, narrative epics, and somewhat self-effacing humor, Donovan draws for us a picture of our polluted world from the greatest garbage patches of the pacific to the smallest sphere of Styrofoam cohabiting with our sandy shores. Hahn's style of story weaving grips the reader without ensnaring them - you feel the need to continue on, but feel perfectly free to put the book down without the fear of forgetting the threads that brought you to where you are. I could have done without all his moaning and whining about leaving his family behind - it did absolutely nothing for the story, but whatever. ( )
  benuathanasia | May 5, 2017 |
To steal a phrase: Where is AWAY? Where do things go when you throw them away? And what if things fall overboard on their way to be sold on market or on their way back to be landfilled or recycled?

This book gives a clear set of data about what has been turned into an urban legend in the retelling. I was very interested in the maps and charts that show exactly how the oceanic currents bring items to an ulimate destination over time.

I really wish that someone with this sort of passion and commitment could win a MacArthur Grant; I can hope, fervently, that the cute title might prompt the young people who will inherit the problem as the years go on to read this book even though it is non-fiction and does not have ANY Sparkly!Vampires in it. ( )
  DeborahJ2016 | Oct 26, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 27 (next | show all)
In a book that works as a lively travelogue as well as a voyage of discovery and a philosophical inquiry of sorts (How did toy animals evolve into children’s playthings? And why are beloved, clichéd toy ducklings yellow when most species are not?) Mr. Hohn begins by taking a series of public ferries from Washington to Alaska, commenting as he goes about the ups and downs of that journey.
added by lorax | editNew York Times, Janet Maslin (Feb 20, 2011)
 

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Epigraph
Facing west from California's shores,

Inquiring, tireless, seeking what is yet unfound,

I, a child, very old, over waves, towards the house of maternity,

the lands of migrations, look afar...

-Walt Whitman
There are more consequences to a shipwreck than the underwriters notice.

-Henry D. Thoreau
Dedication
For Beth, and for my father, and for my sons.
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At the outset, I felt no need to acquaint myself with the six degrees of freedom. (Prologue)
We know where the spill occurred: (Chapter 1)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0670022195, Hardcover)

Selected by The New York Times Book Review as a Notable Book of the Year

A revelatory tale of science, adventure, and modern myth.

When the writer Donovan Hohn heard of the mysterious loss of thousands of bath toys at sea, he figured he would interview a few oceanographers, talk to a few beachcombers, and read up on Arctic science and geography. But questions can be like ocean currents: wade in too far, and they carry you away. Hohn's accidental odyssey pulls him into the secretive world of shipping conglomerates, the daring work of Arctic researchers, the lunatic risks of maverick sailors, and the shadowy world of Chinese toy factories.

Moby-Duck is a journey into the heart of the sea and an adventure through science, myth, the global economy, and some of the worst weather imaginable. With each new discovery, Hohn learns of another loose thread, and with each successive chase, he comes closer to understanding where his castaway quarry comes from and where it goes. In the grand tradition of Tony Horwitz and David Quammen, Moby-Duck is a compulsively readable narrative of whimsy and curiosity.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:32 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

When the author heard of the mysterious loss of thousands of bath toys at sea, he figured he would interview a few oceanographers, talk to a few beachcombers, and read up on Arctic science and geography. But questions can be like ocean currents: wade in too far, and they carry you away. His accidental odyssey pulls him into the secretive world of shipping conglomerates, the daring work of Arctic researchers, the lunatic risks of maverick sailors, and the shadowy world of Chinese toy factories. This work is a journey into the heart of the sea and an adventure through science, myth, the global economy, and some of the worst weather imaginable. With each new discovery, he learns of another loose thread, and with each successive chase, he comes closer to understanding where his castaway quarry comes from and where it goes.… (more)

» see all 5 descriptions

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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