Het is geen wonder dat Devlin Stead op Newfoundland opgroeit als een eenzaam, in zichzelf gekeerd kind Als hij vijf is gaat zijn vader mee met een expeditie naar Groenland en komt nooit meer terug Zijn moeder sterft onder geheimzinnige omstandigheden.Later ontdekt Devlin dat dr Frederick Cook, die indertijd met dezelfde expeditie naar Groenland reisde, zijn echte vaderHet is geen wonder dat Devlin Stead op Newfoundland opgroeit als een eenzaam, in zichzelf gekeerd kind Als hij vijf is gaat zijn vader mee met een expeditie naar Groenland en komt nooit meer terug Zijn moeder sterft onder geheimzinnige omstandigheden.Later ontdekt Devlin dat dr Frederick Cook, die indertijd met dezelfde expeditie naar Groenland reisde, zijn echte vader is Devlin vertrekt naar het explosief groeiende New York om Cook te ontmoeten Deze nodigt Devlin uit om hem te helpen bij zijn poging om zijn rivaal Robert Peary te verslaan in the greatest prize of all , de race naar de Noordpool Op die tocht krijgt Devlin beetje bij beetje de antwoorden op de vragen die zijn leven hebben beheerst.
De zeevaarder uit New York Het is geen wonder dat Devlin Stead op Newfoundland opgroeit als een eenzaam in zichzelf gekeerd kind Als hij vijf is gaat zijn vader mee met een expeditie naar Groenland en komt nooit meer terug Zij
This book has forced me to return to my pledge temporarily abandoned, to my own disservice that if a book doesn t engage me in the first 50 pages, I would set it aside I gave it my all for 79 pages six complete chapters Back to the library with this one While the jacket blurb sounded fascinating, Johnston didn t come close to convincing me that this was late 19th century Newfoundland and turn of the century New York The story telling was dry as bone dust the characters were weak and uninterestin [...]
Historical fiction about a young man, Devlin Stead, overcoming an ignominious start in life, being viewed as odd, but eventually leaving behind his difficult childhood to join polar expeditions I had read about the controversy of Frederick Cook having claimed to be the first to reach the North Pole, later discredited, and of his rivalry with Robert Peary I thought this book might provide some clarity as to what had really happened however, it did not In the author s notes at the end, it states W [...]
This book had great bits, and it definitely had its flaws I chose it to provide background to my trip to Canada, and Johnston is one of Canada s best writers In the book, Devlin Stead is Luke Skywalker, his mother Amelia Stead is Princess Padme, and real life hoaxer Dr Frederick Cook appears as Darth Vader Devlin finds his real father halfway through the book and somehow remains oblivious to his dark side until the last five chapters.I had two major problems with the book Devlin is one of the mo [...]
My favourite Johnston book will probably always be Balti s Mansion It has an emotional urgency that Navigator lacks For me, the fatal flaw of Navigator was the narration that endlessly cycled and recycled the same thoughts and questions It deadened the action, and without it, a nimble book would probably emerge, fifty or a hundred pages fewer A stronger editorial hand might have focused the plot towards drama rather than the melodrama that emerged But the narration also did a lot of telling in [...]
I found this book a bit of a slog There s really only one character in the entire book, Devlin s aunt, that I like, and she is gone after the first quarter of the novel Devlin himself has nothing to recommend him He s a totally boring character and he s the narrator, for heaven sakes The other main characters are interesting but I didn t find any of them appealing Likewise, the narration really had nothing to recommend it It just seemed to drag The other books I ve read by Johnston I much prefer [...]
This piece of historical fiction took me on a wild ride Devlin Stead grows up in St John s Newfoundland, his father, by appearances a neglectful adventurer and his mother a benign but jilted housewife His life takes a turn when after the mysterious deaths of both parents, while living in the care of his aunt and uncle, he learns the first of several secrets about his real origins These revelations lead him to New York and ultimately to the ends of the earth A fantastic story which takes us to tu [...]
This is one of those books like The Birth House which is written in a familiar style and genre modern literature coming of age I guess but set in a unique, interesting place Frenetic New York at the turn of the twentieth century makes a refreshing and fascinating contrast with the starkness of the Arctic Devlin is lovable and so are most of the other characters The ending is a bit of a shock if you hadn t researched it beforehand but I really liked it My only complaint is that I felt like the en [...]
I m not sure yet how I feel about this book There was something so odd about the characters and the language so stiff and unnatural that it almost seemed like they were joking when they weren t, or as though they were caricatures rather than real people It didn t help that the subject matter of Arctic exploration didn t appeal to me at all, or at least this treatment didn t Yet parts of it were quite enjoyable and even riveting My research a.k.a 3 minutes of Google suggests that the basic facts [...]
The number of reviewers who said this book is very slow makes me sad Sad that there are people unable to sit back and enjoy writing like this, to savor no, savour soaks up the world that Johnston creates But as I continued to flick through the reviews, I found those that got Navigator they re the ones who don t check the number of pages before starting a book More than 300 Maybe another time If this book is slow , it s the kind of slow that describes sinking into a deep, comfortable sofa the ki [...]
I have not been so engrossed in a novel in quite some time I found myself reading it the last few nights when I found myself alert in the middle of the night, between dream states where I wandered paths in faraway lands This book of historical fiction has everything for me the familiar setting Newfoundland , the quality of the writing prizewinning Canadian author , and a depth of connection between characters that reflects the austere self sacrifice that so often characterizes the spirit of nort [...]
Reads too much like a less than believable soap opera though it s slightly better if read as a young boy s fantasy My shitty parents aren t really my parents and my real daddy s an explorer I also dislike how Johnston writes the same way whether he s talking about an excursion in the Arctic or about two people falling in love Still, I ll always link this book to the trip during which I fell in love with New York City.
A treat to re read this book after several years Family secrets, polar exploration, New York at the turn of the last century, exquisite writing Sent me researching the building of the Brooklyn Bridge and Frederick Cook s controversial claim to the North Pole.
Took a while to get going, but after the first 100 pages or so it was difficult to put down Some interesting twists, and makes you want to learn about polar exploration.
Some historical novels want to be histories, and some want to be novels, but the best authors succeed however they cast the foreground and background For instance, in Kevin Baker s Paradise Alley, the fiery riots of 1863 take center stage, ably assisted by a stellar supporting cast of characters.Though no less devoted to the past, Wayne Johnston takes a different approach in The Navigator of New York Here, the Newfoundland author keeps his attention focused on a precocious young man and uses his [...]
I thoroughly enjoyed this book It helped that it was partly set in St John s, Newfoundland, where I was to be going shortly after, setting the tone nicely I like the historical fiction aspect, the rivalry between Dr Cook Lieutenant Peary, with regards to being the first to reach the North Pole, a topic I had read several non fiction books about But mostly I loved the main character, Devlin Stead, his peculiar sad life, the result of the mysteries of his origins, how he seeks out adventure to cha [...]
I always hate to get to the end of a Wayne Johnston book I love his writing so much Something about it kind of relaxes yet enthralls my brain, I don t know I could happily dive into this book and never climb out again.But since diving into books is physically impossible, I ended up doing what I usually do after reading a Wayne Johnston book hugging it and staring off into space, wondering if I ll ever have a reading experience that magical again sigh
Some books boast a great story with just okay writing skills Other books are written with great literary skills but have just an okay storyline This book has both.a mesmerizing story written by an extremely talented story teller Loved this book written by a Canadian with some story connection to Newfoundland Definitely add it to your Want To Read list.
The book was very interesting in that it spoke about a period of history that I did not know much about All the characters were very introverted and therefore had a lot of feelings built up inside that needed to be healed or solved The ending seemed somewhat abrupt and did not being conclusion to me This book would have been better had the protagonist been a bit stronger of an individual.
I found it long I m not that interested in expedition stories.
Very interesting Slow start to the beginning, and the middle, but the end wrapped up nicely Definitely a different book for me I ve had this book for quite a while now and until I started reading it I really had no idea what it was about I can t say I gave any thought to the discovery of the North Pole and the age when it happened, so I have learned a lot Now I can tell you about Robert Peary and Frederick Cook and I have some idea of what it would have been like trying to make a run for the pol [...]
I understand that a historical fiction book may alter facts But shouldn t the historical and well known geographic facts be correct A section of the book in Washington D.Cscribes the river that runs between Washington D.C and Arlington Virginia as the Deleware even misspelled It s the Potomac River The Delaware River runs between New Jersey and Pennsylvania Another error was when it referred to the Arlington Cemetery in VA It claims soldiers from the American Revolution were buried there This ca [...]
Huh, kind of a weird book that I am still mulling over Has a lot of Johnston s trademark tragic childhood stuff which may be kind of sentimental but is well done Also has some fairly unconvincing Arctic exploration stuff I am pretty confident that Johnston has not been to the Arctic based on the lack of description The narration is sort of vague and foggy about half way through, I figured the narrator protagonist must be telling the story as an old man and only has some impressions left later so [...]
First book I ve read by this author What a marvellous writer I love hisstyle, and his descriptions, and his choice of subject matter He does anamazing job of weaving historical fact and novelized fiction into a seamlessstory that pulls you effortlessly from page to page.The story is primarily set in Newfoundland and New York at the turn of the20th century and follows the life of Devlin Stead and Frederick Cook who areinvolved with the scientific community and with the discovery of the NorthPole [...]
I enjoyed this book It took quite a while to get going I found myself skipping faster through the book until about page 150 It was a lot of navel gazing,I found how the writer describes how Devlin Stead grows up with his distant uncle and loving aunt The story starts getting interesting when Devlin moves to New York This part of the writing shines It does repeat things but I found that this belonged to the book the old fashioned style of that time Devlin is a pretty passive character but enjoyab [...]
This is not a book I would have picked up on my own had it not been written by my thesis advisor, as the subject matter wasn t necessarily up my alley But he read my science fiction mess, so I certainly felt I owed it to him to read it, and not to my surprise I really enjoyed it I had no question that Wayne knew how to write a good sentence, and indeed line by line the prose here is about as good as it gets The story is interesting too, and while not a fast paced book, you find yourself eager to [...]
I read the book with interest although it has some flaws.The story is about Cook and Peary s rivalry for reaching the North Pole but the writer has put many fiction here as well The main character is Devlin Stead and he is telling his story of revealing family secrets.After many misfortunes and fate twists he discovers that his real father is no one else but Frederick Cook himself He moves in his house and joins his expeditions during which Cook reveals his soul to Devlin.I liked the description [...]
As a child in St Johns , orphan Devlin Stead lives with his taciturn Uncle Edward and his benevolent Aunt Daphne He grows up an outcast and a loner , until one day his uncle hands him an extraordinary letter from the explorer Dr Fred C Cook the first of a series of letters that will change everything he ever thought he knew about himself Devlin sails to New York to become Dr Cook s protege There he falls in love with a young woman with an astonishing connection to his birth mother Eventually he [...]
One thing I quite liked about this was that it s written in an old fashioned style that matches the time period of the story I really did feel as though I was reading a novel from the early 20th Century There are also some great descriptions of the polar explorations, and I liked the Aunt Daphne character a lot.However, I felt that the plot was a bit too convoluted Just when you think Dr Cook can t possibly have any revelations to make, he comes up with some other aspect of the story that he ga [...]
I d really rate this book 3.5 out of 5 its an uneven book, and I felt it could have done with some paring down Like his much better The Colony of Unrequited Dreams , he interweaves real historical people into an imagined narrative in his case the polar explorers Peary and Cook The descriptions of New York in the late 1800s is fascinating, and wonderful Amelia, who is slowly revealed thru the book, and Daphne are great characters someone else mentioned that Devlin, the main protagonist is extraor [...]
It s a race against time have to finish this by Tuesday Only 1 4 of the way through I m reading this book by Newfoundland author Wayne Johnston on recommendation from my mom, who saw him speak at the Fry Frye Frey Frie Frieye I m too lazy to google it literary festival this spring She liked him because he cleverly slammed an overly pretentious comment made by Jane Urquhart whose writing I like, but come on, no excuse for being overly pretentious So far, it s too early to tell whether or not I l [...]