Sep 2, 2013

The Sea Runners

by Ivan Doig

An adventure story set in a place my heart is tied to: the Pacific Northwest. Set during the 1800's, it tells of a daring escape attempt by four men working in a fish packing house in Alaska, as indentured servants to the Russians. They flee in the dark of night and make their way south to Oregon, paddling a dugout canoe almost the entire way. They have to endure harsh weather, cold seas, hostile native tribes. They have to find food and navigate the rocky shores. Most of all it is a tale of endurance filled with vivid descriptions of the beautiful, wild scenery. Supposedly it's based on a true account. But for some reason I didn't fall in love with this story. The writing style takes some getting used to and I felt like I never really got to know any of the characters as individuals. I feel a bit ashamed to admit that I didn't really love it, as Doig is one my mother's favorite authors (I think I might have even borrowed this book from her). I've discovered that Ivan Doig has written many books about different places in the Pacific Northwest so I'm determined to give a few more a try. Any recommendations?

Rating: 3/5 ........ 288 pages, 1982

more opinions:
The Literary Tally
Andrew's Dedicated Blog


  1. Oh wow, what a crazy story. Do you have any sense of how much of it is true vs made up?

  2. Not really. All I know is that several sources say "based on a true story" and that's it. I haven't dug further to find out.


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