Thursday, June 23, 2011

"Ship Breaker", a book by Paolo Bacigalupi

"Ship Breaker", a novel by Paolo Bacigalupi.

A National Book Award finalist.

Winner of the Michael L. Printz award

There are, currently, in many areas of the world "ship breakers"

their work is gruesome, dirty, extremely dangerous.

Paolo takes the reader on a look into the future of the United States as well as the world's other societies.

Sometime in the future, a time when America is no longer powered by fossil fuels, when travel on water is by large clipper ships, when society is no longer hopeful or helpful, when everyone must watch out for themselves - a dismal, fatalistic time.

Nailer, a teenage boy, abused by his father, works the "light crew" along the Gulf Coast - possibly Florida - doing scavenge work of finding copper wire on the grounded oil tankers on the once pristine beaches. Colonies of crews compete for work and found goods.

One day, Nailer and his friend, Pima, come upon one of those magnificent clipper ships, that has wrecked, in a far off area from their normal haunts - intent on claiming the wreckage for themselves, they come across the only survivor from the ship, a beautiful, wealthy girl who might be able to offer Nailer a better life. Should they save her or salvage the ship?

Thus begins a quest to escape from Nailer's abusive father, and the path of never having enough of anything.

This is a "teen" novel, however, it is one that I would suggest to adults due to the subject. It certainly fits in with everything that one hears about regarding the coming end of fossil fuels and how future generations will find ways to move about. Also, when I was searching for a photo for this posting, I came across the one of the ship, and recalled that we had watched a DVD about this very subject - it was certainly something that I had never thought of, concerning the aftermath of wrecked tankers.

This is the author, Paolo Bacigalupi

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