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09.12.2017

Shark Drunk: The Art of Catching a Large Shark from a Tiny Rubber Dinghy in a Big Ocean

A salty story of friendship, adventure, and the explosive life that teems beneath the ocean.

The Lofoten archipelago, just North of the Arctic Circle, is a place of unsurpassed beauty—the skyline spikes with dramatic peaks; the radiant greens and purples of the Northern Lights follow summers where the sun never sets. It’s a place of small villages, where the art of fishing, though evolving, is still practiced in traditional ways.


Beneath the great depths surrounding these islands lurks the infamous Greenland shark. At twenty-four feet in length and weighing more than a ton, it is truly a beast to behold. But the shark is not known just for its size: Its meat contains a toxin that, when consumed, has been known to make people drunk and hallucinatory. 
Shark Drunk is the true story of two friends, the author and the eccentric artist Hugo Aasjord, as they embark on a wild pursuit of the famed creature—all from a tiny rubber boat.

Together they tackle existential questions and encounter the world’s most powerful maelstrom as they attempt to understand the ocean from every possible angle, drawing on poetry, science, history, ecology, mythology, and their own—sometimes intoxicated—observations, meanwhile pursuing the elusive Greenland shark. By turns thrilling, wise, and hilarious, Shark Drunk is a celebration of adventure, marine life, and, above all, friendship.

  • Winner of the Norwegian Brage Prize 2015
  • Winner of the Norwegian Critics’ Prize for Literature 2015
  • Winner of the Norwegian Reine Ord Prize at Lofoten International Literature Festival 2016

 

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“Strøksnes beautifully describes the midnight sun, majestic fjords and moody stretches of sea…[and] brings a little-known world to life…. A homage to the sea and a call to arms to protect the ecosystem that humans treat so abysmally yet rely on so much.” The Economist

“Melville’s Ahab and Hemingway’s Old Man spring to mind. . . . Rich and fascinating. . . . Morten Strøksnes’s clever trick is to remind us for one last time that the catching of the big fish is the least important part of the story.” The Wall Street Journal

“Utterly engrossing… A triumph… A work of meditation and wonder with a horizon as wide and open as the far Nordic coastlines that [Strøksnes] so beautifully evokes.” The Spectator (London)
 
“Strøksnes follows his capacious curiosity…. The end result reads a bit as if Geoff Dyer had written ‘Jaws.’” The New York Times
 
“Its beauty, undemanding science and soothing, musing qualities have made [Shark Drunk] a bestseller in Norway and beyond. In vexed times, gently informative escapism is a winner for publishers and a refuge for readers. Strøksnes nails the appeal.” The Guardian
 
“Strøksnes’s erudition, salty humor, and unfussy prose yield a fresh, engrossing natural history.” Publishers Weekly

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Source   Jonathan Cape 2017

Further reading

Losing Earth

Behave

Fire and Fury