All Fishermen Are Liars: True Tales from the Dry Dock Bar

Overview

Just before Christmas, Linda meets up with her best friend and fellow fisherman Alden Leeman for lunch and a drink at the Dry Dock, a well-worn watering hole in Portland, Maine. Alden, the captain of Linda's first fishing expedition, has seen his share of mishaps and adventures at sea. When Linda shares memories of navigating her ship through one of the craziest storms she's ever seen, Alden quickly follows up with his own tales. Then other fishermen, who are sitting on the periphery attentively listening, decide...

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Overview

Just before Christmas, Linda meets up with her best friend and fellow fisherman Alden Leeman for lunch and a drink at the Dry Dock, a well-worn watering hole in Portland, Maine. Alden, the captain of Linda's first fishing expedition, has seen his share of mishaps and adventures at sea. When Linda shares memories of navigating her ship through one of the craziest storms she's ever seen, Alden quickly follows up with his own tales. Then other fishermen, who are sitting on the periphery attentively listening, decide to weigh in with yarns of their own.

All Fishermen Are Liars brims with true stories of the most eccentric crew member, the funniest episode, the biggest fish, and the wildest night at sea. Denizens of the Dry Dock drift in and out as the bar begins to swell with rounds of drinks and tales that increase in drama. Here are some of the greatest fishing stories ever—all relayed by Linda Greenlaw in her inimitable style.

All Fishermen Are Liars will give readers what they have come to love and expect from Linda Greenlaw—luminous descriptions and edge-of-the-seat thrills. It's the perfect book for anyone who loves fishing and the sea.

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Editorial Reviews

New York Times Book Review
Greenlaw is a terrific spinner of sea stories.
Miami Herald
All fishermen may be liars, but few of them can spin a tale the way Greenlaw does.
OregonLive.com
Boisterous nostalgia and Atlantic Ocean enlightenment . . . Greenlaw . . . makes an honorary crew member out of anyone who cracks open her book.
Bookreporter.com
. . . Greenlaw's love for fishing and the sea invigorates her prose. Her beautifully compelling description of life at sea is . . . irresistible . . .
Seattle Times
Greenlaw is a rare and welcome voice in the maritime world.
Rocky Mountain News
. . . Greenlaw's self-effacing honesty, if you can believe a fisherman, is endearing, amusing, excruciating and awe-inspiring.
Publishers Weekly
The genesis of this lively collection of "absolutely true sea stories" is Greenlaw's (Lobster Chronicles) remembrance of an afternoon and evening spent with her crusty old friend Alden in a bar in Portland, Maine, trading tales about fishing and adventures at sea. Greenlaw, who makes her living as a commercial fisher, includes among the stories an account of how she nearly lost a boatload of 500 lobster traps the day she ignored the weatherman's storm warnings; the saga of being adrift at sea on a disabled fishing boat with a captain who was too cheap to pay for a tow; and a yarn about her chance meeting with a legendary dope-smuggling captain on the lam in the Caribbean. She also tells other people's stories, such as one about a fisherman who was forced to abandon his ship and managed to survive a night in the water during a hurricane. Alden chimes in with memories of the worst storm of his 40 years of commercial fishing. Two barflies join them. One tells of the young captain of a sightseeing vessel who almost lost the boat and 150 passengers during a storm, and the other contributes a whopper about landing a 200-pound tuna using rock-and-roll music as the lure. The stories are separated by short anecdotes about fishermen; Greenlaw calls these "bar snacks." At the end of the night, a woman of dubious character known as "the Madam" joins the group and declares, "All fishermen are liars." Greenlaw leaves it up to the reader to decide how much is truth and how much is exaggeration. Either way, the stories are all very entertaining. Agent, Stuart Krichevsky. (July) Forecast: Greenlaw has experienced great success with her two previous books, The Hungry Ocean and Lobster Chronicles, and this title should garner similar attention. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
This series of stories grows out of an afternoon, stretching into an evening, that Greenlaw spent with her longtime friend Alden Leeman at the Dry Dock, a heavily frequented drinking spot for fisher folk in Portland, ME. Leeman was the captain of the author's first fishing trip. From Greenlaw's recollections about steering a ship through a hellacious storm, Leeman counters with one of his own stories. Throughout the day they are joined by other fishers who add their own yarns and tales of prowess. Greenlaw's reading is perfect for these salty tales; her voice rings with the authenticity she brings as the first female swordship captain and peer of the guys at the Dry Dock. While All Fishermen Are Liars is not as riveting as her previous books (The Hungry Ocean and The Lobster Chronicles), Greenlaw's fans will still enjoy a few tall tales among friends. Recommended for public libraries.-Gloria Maxwell, Penn Valley Community Coll., Kansas City, MO Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
One of their own takes us along for an enjoyable evening saloon-side in the company of small-scale commercial fishermen and their tales, tall and true. After two memoirs of her life at sea (The Lobster Chronicles, 2002, etc.), the author writes, "I am sick to death of Linda Greenlaw," so these stories take her out of herself and into the words of other fishermen from her base in Portland, Maine. Greenlaw goes to the bar to encourage an older friend of hers to retire, but as one fisherman after another enters the establishment, the evening gravitates toward sea stories. "Fishermen lie to protect their livelihood and pride, but also purely in the interests of entertainment," the author notes, yet none of these remembrances of bad days at sea feel overwrought. The bread-and-butter stories chronicle hellacious weather, falls into the water that lead to sojourns on abandoned islands, clandestine runs with marijuana rather than swordfish in the hold, bad catches, and bad crews. Winds are so strong they bend glass, presentiments save some lives and destroy others, tantalizing paychecks make fools of veterans. All fishermen may be liars, but these stories are spun out with such ease that you'd need tweezers to lift out the malarkey embedded in otherwise true material. And they're spun at full, leisurely length, which gives the proceedings their proper tone of foreboding. Greenlaw draws an impressive picture of the independent fisherman's world, with all its hard choices: for instance, do you cut loose a piece of equipment that is compromising a boat's safety, even though its cost equals the potential salary of the entire crew? In the end, it's easy to see that fishing is not simply what thesepeople do, but what they are. A crackling collection of fishing yarns. Agent: Stuart Krichevsky
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781401300708
  • Publisher: Hyperion
  • Publication date: 7/7/2004
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 0.69 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 5.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Linda  Greenlaw

Linda Greenlaw has been a deep-sea fisherman for 18 years, becoming the first and only female swordfish captain in the Grand Banks Fleet. This career earned her a prominent role in Sebastian Junger's runaway bestseller, The Perfect Storm and a protrayal in the subsequent film. She was raised in Maine and graduated from Colby College. Greenlaw now lives on Isle au Haut, Maine, where she captains a lobster boat.

Biography

Growing up on coastal Maine, Linda Greenlaw was entranced by the ocean and everything that swam in it. When other kids got their first 10-speed bicycles, she got her first 10-horsepower outboard. Later, Greenlaw literally sailed her way through college, spending her summers as a cook and deck hand on a swordfishing boat. After graduating from Colby College with a double major in English and government, Greenlaw returned to the sailor's life, becoming a ship captain when she was in her 20s and earning a reputation as "one of the best swordboat captains, period, on the East Coast" (in the words of Perfect Storm author Sebastian Junger).

For over 15 years, this remarkable achievement went generally unremarked-upon. Then came Sebastian Junger's The Perfect Storm, the true story of the fishing boat Andrea Gail, which disappeared in a hurricane at sea in October of 1991. Greenlaw was captain of the Andrea Gail's sister ship, the Hannah Boden, which was also at sea during the fateful storm. Though Greenlaw is only a minor figure in Junger's book, readers were intrigued by the idea of a woman who'd made it to the top in a heavily male-dominated -- and highly dangerous -- profession.

Publishers were intrigued, too, and several of them approached Greenlaw with offers for a book about her experiences. At first she turned them down, saying she could make more money actually fishing for a season than writing about fishing. But at last she decided to give it a try, and her readers are glad she did. Her book The Hungry Ocean is a riveting look at the day-to-day operations of a large commercial fishing boat, complete with storms, sharks and, on one grim occasion, a dead crew member in the fish hold. In the great fisherman tradition, The Hungry Ocean is also a ripping good story, one The New York Times Book Review declared a "triumph."

Greenlaw agreed to write her first book in part because she wanted to lead a settled existence for a while, perhaps get married and start a family. In her second book, The Lobster Chronicles, she describes trading the adventurous life of an offshore swordboat captain for the comparatively quiet business of trapping lobsters in Penobscot Bay. As she reconnects with her roots on the tiny Isle au Haut ("forty-seven full-time residents, half of whom I am related to in one way or another"), she deals with nosy neighbors, a dearth of available men, and recalcitrant crustaceans who refuse to crawl into her traps. She also evokes a life of simplicity and self-sufficiency that her readers might well envy: Her island has no Kmart ("or any other mart"), no Starbucks, no cable TV. "Straightforward storytelling and captivating reading: satisfying as a Maine lobster dinner," wrote Kirkus Reviews.

So far, Greenlaw is shaping up to be as talented a writer as she is a fisherman (she objects strenuously to being called a "fisherwoman"). Possibly the only woman ever to captain a swordfishing boat, she has insisted that being a female captain is an asset: "No self-respecting fisherman wants to be outdone by a woman, even if it kills him." Perhaps her books will inspire other female fishermen to join the fray.

Good To Know

In her years as a swordboat captain, Greenlaw's biggest single swordfish was a 635-pound fish caught in the Carribean, according to a USA Today chat with the author. Her largest total load in one trip was 62,000 pounds.

In a TV interview with Brian Lamb on C-SPAN, Greenlaw said she's "one of the only people probably on the planet who does not own a cell phone. But I have a VHF radio."

In the movie version of The Perfect Storm, Linda Greenlaw was played by Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio.

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    1. Hometown:
      Isle au Haut, Maine
    1. Education:
      B.A., Colby College, 1983

Read an Excerpt

"'Oh big deal. Twelve hours? Try that routine for three days. Your boat is like the Queen Elizabeth compared to what I used to put to sea in. You've been spoiled. Why, I remember a time when...' And in the truest one-upmanship fashion, my friend painted a picture that made my horror story look like a kid's cartoon. I could feel the ladies who were playing bridge stop their game and perch on the edge of their chairs behind me. The Island Boys had spun around on their bar stools and were leaning toward our table. The suit-and-ties ordered more coffee, and the islanders knew there would be later ferries toward home. Everyone loves a sea story. No one tells one quite like Alden."

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 12, 2004

    NOT AS GOOD AS THE FIRST TWO BOOKS

    Just finished reading this book. I rate it a 2 on a scale of 1-10. Linda must have had a contract to get out three books by a certain time period, she should have waited till she had good material. The section about the kids visiting her was terrible and a waste of reading time. Someone needs to work with her on the proof to verify if the material is worth publishing, this wasn't worth the time.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 9, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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