“Many of the tourists are planning to go ‘whale watching.’ They talk of whales as adorable pets, how they flop and dive and make real snoring noise… There is a big difference between living in a society that hunts whales and living in one that views them.” (Cod, Mark Kurlansky)

As with Salt, Mark Kurlansky proves his ability to make an interesting story out of something seemingly unimportant. Reading Mark Kurlansky is like reading a history, an economic treatise, an adventure novel, a book of myths, and a reporter’s documentary all at once, and all focused entirely around one object. The writing is solid, the facts untiringly interesting, and the stories compelling: I believe Mark Kurlansky is one of the few authors I trust entirely with any subject matter. No matter what he writes, I will read it.

I particularly love how Mark Kurlansky doesn’t write from a tourist’s perspective. He does not coddle his material, but treats it with the stout respect of a fisherman. Although his writing doesn’t invoke for me the passion that Moby-Dick did, I still feel like he’s coming from a similar perspective. If whales could still be hunted – Mark Kurlansky would be there.

Beverage: The unerringly good, stable, writing deserves an equally un-finicky tea. I would go with a good daily-green tea, or whichever tea in your collection always turns out perfectly.


2 thoughts on “Cod

  1. If you like Kurlansky, you would enjoy Brilliant by Jane Brox. Utterly fascinating story of the history of artificial light, beautifully written.

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