2182 kHz by David Masiel

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By all accounts, Henry Seine should have packed it in long ago, certainly before he started scanning marine distress channels for fun. But sixteen-hour days spent hauling heavy cargo aboard tugs and icebreakers along the frozen arctic offshore (not to mention smoking copious amounts of Cannabis indica) can warp a man’s sense of reality. Desperate for real human contact, he tunes the sideband radio to 2182 kHz (twenty-one eighty-two kilohertz), the international distress channel, in the vague hope of finding someone he can save.

Soon, though, even the paycheck that fattens his wallet each season isn’t enough to fix his interest. Seine journeys south, but weathers a capsizing that leaves his fellow crewmen dead. Unable to break from his old habits, and haunted by the ghosts of dead shipmates, he flies north for another season. One day, idly monitoring 2182, Seine catches a fading distress call from somewhere out in the circumpolar twilight. A scientist named Louis Moneymaker is trapped alone on an ice floe that threatens to melt beneath his feet. Cobbling together a motley rescue team–the frostbitten Wolf, a six-foot-eight Russian known as Big Man, a tattooed Eskimo nicknamed the Buff, and an intrepid, dark-eyed sailor named Julia–Seine travels farther north than he’s ever gone, determined to save Moneymaker and exorcise his demons in one grand sweep.

2182 kHz combines the white-knuckle adventure of The Perfect Storm with the dark humor and deadpan wit of Chuck Palahniuk to create an absorbing tale of search-and-rescue. David Masiel introduces us to a compelling antihero who is only one step away from either destruction or salvation.

About David Masiel

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David Masiel was born in Oakland, California, and grew up in Richmond, where he used to sit at an old Formica table and listen to his grandfather’s stories of rogues, riverboats, sailors, and the sea. He has worked as a golf instructor, a maintenance man, an English teacher, and an oilfield laborer. For ten years he worked as a merchant seaman on oceangoing tugboats and icebreakers from Seattle to Barter Island, Alaska. During that time he earned an M.A. in creative writing from the University of California at Davis. He now lives in Davis, California, with his wife and their two children.
Published March 12, 2002 by Random House. 304 pages
Genres: Humor & Entertainment, Action & Adventure, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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A salty debut from the frozen North plots the uneven course by which seaman Henry Seine makes his way home from Alaska to the Puget Sound.

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Publishers Weekly

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In first-time novelist Masiel's gripping, darkly humorous arctic adventure story, Henry Seine is a stubborn seaman plagued by bad luck.

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