Rowing To Alaska And Other True Stories | Granta

  • Published: 07/07/2005
  • ISBN: 9781862077874
  • 130x20mm
  • 226 pages

Rowing To Alaska And Other True Stories

Wayne McLennan

Wayne McLennan tells the story of his utterly extraordinary life through a series of adventures after he leaves his home town in Australia, desperate to avoid following his father and grandfather into the mines. Travelling from the Australian outback to London and Spain, McLennan has skippered a fishing boat off the coast of Nicaragua, become a professional boxer, mined for gold in Costa Rica and made a gruelling six-month journey – by rowing boat – along the 1000 miles of coast from Seattle to Alaska. He tells the stories of the compelling characters he encounters along the way: men who refuse to give in to the conformity and comforts of modern life, choosing instead lonely and often dangerous occupations. A wonderfully vivid, ‘Hemingway-esque’ memoir by a talented and honest writer.

These wild, adventurous, personal, often edgy stories are the fruit of half a lifetime. McLennan describes how he found his way from Australia to Alaska (yes, he really does row there), while revealing himself to be a writer of rare force and scope

Anthony Sattin, Sunday Times

A fascinating book ... McLennan gets caught up in Basque separatist riots in Pamplona; becomes a deck-hand on a fishing boat in Alaska; trades gold illegally in Costa Rica, twice; becomes the master of a lobster vessel off the Mosquito Coast ... [He] excels in describing the quiet moments of traveling ... and his good nature informs the character of his writing, which is balanced and considered throughout

Literary Review

Like all chancers he tells a mean tale ... his is bolshie bar-room prose, but each episode is constructed with the care and style of a short story, lingering in the mind long after you've closed the book

Daily Mail

The Author

Wayne McLennan was born in New South Wales, Australia, in 1954. He is the author of Rowing to Alaska and Tent Boxing: An Australian Journey.

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Wayne McLennan on

Essays & Memoir | Granta 83

Rowing to Alaska

Wayne McLennan

‘I can't remember whose idea it was, whose heart first beat faster, who made the other excited, but at some point Doug and I decided to row a boat to Alaska.’