Moby-Duck : The True Story of 28,800 Bath Toys Lost at Sea and of the Beachcombers, Oceanographers, Environmentalists, and Fools, Including the Author, Who Went in Search of Them

3.28 (2,366 ratings by Goodreads)
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A revelatory tale of science, adventure, and modern myth. When the writer Donovan Hohn heard of the mysterious loss of thousands of bath toys at sea, he figured he would interview a few oceanographers, talk to a few 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. Hohn\'s accidental odyssey pulls him into the secretive world of shipping conglomerates, the daring work of Arctic researchers, the lunatic risks of maverick sailors, and the shadowy world of Chinese toy factories. Moby-Duck is a journey into the heart of the sea and an adventure through science, myth, the global economy, and some of the worst weather imaginable. 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 goes. In the grand tradition of Tony Horwitz and David Quammen, Moby-Duck is a compulsively readable narrative of whimsy and more

Product details

  • Hardback | 416 pages
  • 163 x 235 x 35mm
  • Viking Books
  • New York, NY, United States
  • English
  • 0670022195
  • 9780670022199
  • 141,521

Review quote

"The book [is] by turns light-hearted and serious but always a pleasure to read ... "Moby-Duck" is highly readable and, importantly, alive with a sense of intellectual curiosity. Indeed, what Melville did for whaling, Hohn has done for plastic bath toys lost at sea." -"The Boston Globe" "Hohn cleverly uses the deceptively whimsical premise of chasing a little plastic duck to provoke a massively complicated and thought-provoking conversation. Who knew spilled bath toys could be so important?" -"Chicago Sun-Times" " ... he writes always entertainingly, often gorgeously." -"Dallas Morning News" "Donovan Hohn ships out with an engaging Moby-Duck ... an exploration in every sense [Moby-Duck] will remind readers of the best of John McPhee and Ian Frazier. And maybe, even, of the weird and wonderful Herman Melville himself." -"The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer" ..". entertaining but also philosophic ... [Donovan Hohn's] quest is puckish, profoshow more

About Donovan Hohn

Donovan Hohn is a journalist whose work has appeared in "Harper's Magazine, The New York Times Magazine" and "Outside." He is currently the features editor at "GQ." "Moby-Duck" was nominated as the runner-up for for the 2011 PEN/ E. O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award. Hohn lives in New York more

Rating details

2,366 ratings
3.28 out of 5 stars
5 13% (307)
4 31% (727)
3 34% (801)
2 16% (384)
1 6% (147)
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