Thursday, October 22, 2015

Captains Courageous (1897)

Captains Courageous (1897) by Rudyard Kipling is a tale of a spoiled youth who falls into the sea. He is saved by a fishing boat, not merely in body, but in soul. The Yankee worth ethic turns his life around, making a far better man out of himself than his parents ever could. By the end of the tale, he's a changed boy.

Good luck getting to the end.

Half the tale seems to be written in a thick northeastern dialect, with a few other dialects thrown in, creating such a thick slog of dialog that this somewhat dull story drags to a near complete stop, not on its own lackluster merits, but solely by wearing the reader down.

I began this book six or seven years ago, read fifty pages, then put it down. It was only through my well trained literate obstinance that I picked up the book and made it to the end.

I suppose that if you like sailing ships, fishing, and after-school specials, where the story has a moral like a jib hitting you in the head, you'd find this an interesting and engaging story. Otherwise, this is a tale to skip (unless your a Kipling completist, in which case you already know what you're in for).