Sea Runners

Doig, Ivan. The Sea Runners: a Novel. Orlando: Harcourt, Inc., 1982.

Reason read: Doig was born in June – read in his honor.

Four men escape their Russian-controlled work camp in a stolen canoe: Braaf, Karlsson, Melander, and Wennburg. Courageous, when you consider they started in New Archangel (Sitka), Alaska in the mid-1800s. Herculean, when you add how while paddling their way to Astoria, Oregon they faced rough ocean swells, unrelenting weather, unfamiliar coastal environments, insufficient maps for navigation, hostile Tlingit Indians, starvation, sheer exhaustion from relentless physical toil, and an instinctual deep distrust of one another. They were not friends before they made their escape. Imagine putting your trust in a man who gets seasick often and has a deep fear of the ocean. Even though Sea Runners is fictional, it is based on a very similar true story of a daring escape. Doig learned of Karl Gronland, Andreas Lyndfast, Karl Wasterholm, and a fourth man who was killed by Indians during the journey. From these actual men sprung the stunning adventure of Braaf, Karlsson, Melander, and Wennburg. You could say the sea was a fifth character as Doig’s words makes the ocean come alive with emotion.

As an aside, Doig favors words like slim and slender.

Quotes to quote: none. I would have mentioned a few here, but no part of the publication could be reproduced in any form without the permission of the publisher. I wasn’t going to take the time for a blog no one cares about but me.

Author fact: Doig also wrote Bucking the Sun which is also on my Challenge list.

Book trivia: Sea Runners is fictional but based on true events.

Nancy said: Pearl only said that while other books about the Inside Passage talk about going up Alaska’s coast, Sea Runners goes down.

BookLust Twist: from Book Lust To Go in the chapter called “Inside the Inside Passage” (p 105).