Moby-Duck by Donovan Hohn
An Accidental Odyssey

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...it's a baggy and structureless piece of work, and some will find the whimsy wearing.
-Guardian

Synopsis

When Donovan Hohn first heard the remarkable story of how 28,904 bath toys spilled into the Pacific en route to the US from China and have been washing up along beaches throughout the world ever since, he decided to find out more and assumed he would interview a few oceanographers, talk to some 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.' Setting out on a series of journeys to track the renegade rubber ducks, Moby-Duck is an adventure into the heart of the sea through science, myth, the global economy and some of the worst weather imaginable, and the riveting story of an accidental odyssey which pulled Hohn into the secretive world of shipping conglomerates, the daring terrain of Arctic researchers, the lunatic risks of maverick sailors, and the shadowy domain of Chinese toy factories. 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 is heading...). In the grand tradition of Tony Horwitz and David Quammen, Moby-Duck is a compulsively readable narrative of whimsy and curiosity for anyone who is interested in obsession, travel, plastic, and that great American novel, Moby-Dick.
 

About Donovan Hohn

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DONOVAN HOHN is a journalist whose work has appeared in Harper's, The New York Times Magazine, and Outside, as well as being featured in Best American Science Writing and the Best Creative Nonfiction. The recipient of a Whiting Writers Award and a National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellowship, he is currently a senior editor at Harper's magazine. He lives in New York with his wife and children.
 
Published February 1, 2012 by Union. 416 pages
Genres: Nature & Wildlife, Travel, Action & Adventure, Professional & Technical, Science & Math. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Moby-Duck
All: 2 | Positive: 1 | Negative: 1

Guardian

Above average
Reviewed by Sam Leith on Mar 30 2012

...it's a baggy and structureless piece of work, and some will find the whimsy wearing.

Read Full Review of Moby-Duck: An Accidental Odyssey | See more reviews from Guardian

Guardian

Above average
Reviewed by Alexander Larman on Feb 25 2012

Yet there's a warmth here that universalises his quest, as he frets about not seeing his wife and newborn son. If he implicitly compares himself to Ahab, he ends up the cuddliest of martinets.

Read Full Review of Moby-Duck: An Accidental Odyssey | See more reviews from Guardian

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