REVIEW - ALASKA TITAN IN THE CRUISE SHIP THEME PARK

Callahan, Dick, The Alaska Titan in the Cruise Ship Theme Park. Harbor Seal Press. Softbound. 237 pages. $14.00.

The adventures of Finn Wentworth are something like Huckleberry Finn comes to Southeast Alaska and becomes ocean-going. Our boy leaves a loveless home in his teens and quickly washes up on the shore in Alaska. He learns to dive, fishes commercially, works on a tug, and, and learns all about the innards of ferries and cruise ships. He also decides to kayak along the outer coast of Chichagof Island and meets a great old sourdough who saves his life.

Actually, he has met and continues to meet all sorts of old, tough males both in town and on the beaches. Think of these guys as beachmasters; sea lions running their stretch of sand. They know it well, dominate their territory, and keep females suitably impressed. Of course not all fishing boat owners are fine; our hero's first is a certified greedy, cheating, grasping man. Finn has been warned, but he's young, strong, and hungry. Afterwards he meets some of the better types.

To their credit, they know a good young bachelor male when they see one, and teach Finn how to go commercial fishing, dive commercially, work on a tug, and generally make the Pacific his work place. It's clear the author has personally participated in all the activities and most likely has met the real beachmasters as well.

Callahan has a gift for adventure writing. Finn cruises right along, although sometimes close to sinking. The whole book is just plain fun. Dan, the Friggin' Hermit of Chichagof who saves him, is convinced that Doomsday is just around the corner, and not only nurses Finn back to health, but teaches him to knit. Dan could be any number of Alaskan old-timers, united in their contempt for government, convinced of the rightness of their sometimes odd beliefs, and still in love with the country. It is easy to predict our hero will join them some day.

Best of all, Finn is not a person to question his entire life. He takes it as it comes and indulges in no retrospection, that modern horror that has ruined many a good outdoor book. Eager reviewer wants to read more adventures of Finn Wentworth.

A great read; buy several as gifts, but save one for you.

D. L.

 

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