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Passage to Juneau: A Sea and Its Meanings

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 7, 2012

    Fair - more about family relations than on insife passage

    A fair novel - the story wanders from the title objective. England, fanmily issues - limited on info on the inside passage

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 13, 2008

    Raban's regional history better than his personal history.

    Jonathan Raban¿s Passage to Juneau delivers two narratives. The one loyal to the title describes his voyage through the Inside Passage from Seattle to Juneau. Here Raban creates a lyrical parallel with the voyage of Vancouver in the late seventeen hundreds, as well as a wealth of literary references that underscores the author¿s considerable literary background. The second narrative is the unraveling of his personal life that includes the death of his father and the disintegration of his marriage. The former is rich in its treatment of the subject invoking the lore, history and ethnography of the Pacific Northwest. I was born and raised in Juneau, but don¿t worry, I¿m not here to rant, ¿I was born here and I¿ve got a thing or two to tell Mr. Raban.¿ Quite the contrary, I found Passage to Juneau to be a primer of so much that is beautiful and fascinating about this part of the world. I was reminded that I live in a wonderful place and I should pay more attention to it. However, the momentum that he established early in the book fades into the issues of his personal life, and I was left questioning the author¿s focus. At times you suspect that he had some bills to pay and so hopped on his boat for the sole purpose of writing a book about it. And please forgive me for being trite and provincial, but I laughed out loud when I saw that Raban got the name of our local glacier wrong. It¿s the Mendenhall Glacier, named for Thomas Corwin Mendenhall, superintendent of the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey. Raban renders it the Mildenhall Glacier. It¿s about four miles from my house.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 2, 2002

    Raban writing captures the spirit and power of place

    The journey of Raban physically and mentally are transcribe here--intertwined with myth, history and culture. Its reads less like a story or journal...rather it is an experience of place and mind. Places, people and thoughts are palpable with Raban's prose. This book captures the sensuality and raw power of the landscape, people and history of NW coast (esp. SE Alaska) and the effect it has on those who experience it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 12, 2001

    Northwest Culture and History with a Heavy Dose of Introspection

    Raban's Passage to Juneau is an enjoyable, if somewhat muddled read. It begins with his departure from Seattle and quickly steeps itself in a mix of modern-day Inside Passage anecdotes and a historical treatment of George Vancouver's exploration of the region and the Native American culture. A good way to learn about the history, the book evolves (or perhaps devolves) into a summer journal, chronicling Raban's personal life an its effects on his Passage. By the end Raban entirely departs from the historical interludes and the honest treatment of his personal life in the last 20 pages is probably the most engrossing part of the book. In short, his facility with the language is astounding and his storytelling is quite good. Worth the read to learn of NW history and culture.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 26, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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