Tony Horwitz is the bestselling author of Confederates in the Attic, Baghdad Without a Map, and One for the Road. He is also a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who has worked as a foreign correspondent for The Wall Street Journal and a staff writer for The New Yorker. He lives in Virginia with his wife, Geraldine Brooks, and their son, Nathaniel.
Journalist Horwitz, who is fascinated by James Cook and is convinced the world has underestimated his achievements, follows the explorer's three ventures into what was at that time the vast unknown. Signing on as a crew member for a Cook ship simile cruise, he experiences firsthand the life of an 18th-century sailor and becomes completely captivated with Cook's accomplishments. Subsequently, Horwitz and an Australian friend take more contemporary transportation to visit the captain's English home and the faraway places with strange sounding names that he opened to the world. The author slips easily from explaining history, Cook's personality, and life to describing his own modern-day experiences delving into Cook's past. Some details of late 1700s shipboard discipline, sexual lifestyles, and Cook's death and dismemberment are probably too grisly for most young listeners. Despite a few too many searches for and visits with the odds and ends of people (from bartenders to a king) who claim to have some affiliation with Cook, the book is interesting and educational. Daniel Gerroll is well spoken and does accents and other voices very nicely. For history and travel buffs interested in Australia, the South Pacific, and seafaring; generally recommended for adult and college collections.-Carolyn Alexander, Brigadoon Lib., Corral de Tierra, CA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
"Thoroughly enjoyable. No writer has better captured the heroic enigma that was Captain James Cook than Tony Horwitz in this amiable and enthralling excursion around the Pacific." --Bill Bryson, author of In a Sunburned Country
"Tony Horwitz's Blue Latitudes is one of the best. . . full of humor. . . an elegant running account of Cook's exploits." --The New York Times Book Review (cover review)
"Part history, part travelogue -- and mostly just great fun. . . This is history on a global scale, and Horwitz tells it surpassingly well." --Los Angeles Times
"A tour de force of evocative history, serious scholarship, and compelling writing." --The Washington Post
"Part Cook biography, part travelogue, and very much a stroke of genius." --The Philadelphia Inquirer
"Hilarious, brainy, and balanced. . . .A trip with Horwitz is as good as it gets." --The Charlotte Observer
"Tony Horwitz has done it again. . . Keen insight, open-mindedness and laugh-out-loud humor." --San Francisco Chronicle
"A staggering blend of historical research, character study, sociological analysis, and intriguing tales of travel." --The Boston Globe
"Curiosity, intelligence, compassion and a sense of adventure. . . I love reading Tony Horwitz." --Chicago Tribune
"Horwitz succeeds brilliantly in turning the English from stiff icons to flesh-and-blood human beings. The book's constant humor, honesty and judgment recall his own Confederates in the Attic and Bill Bryson's A Walk in the Woods.. . . This book will keep you enthralled." --The Seattle Time