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That Salty Air

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Overview

Hugh is a fisherman with a special relationship to the sea; a relationship based on respect and reverence. But when Hugh feels that the sea has betrayed him, his whole existence is thrown out of whack. Hell-bent on settling the score, Hugh takes his revenge to the extreme, jeopardizing not only himself, but his family in the process. Ultimately, That Salty Air is story about change, and learning the price for trifling with the natural progression of things.
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That Salty Air

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Overview

Hugh is a fisherman with a special relationship to the sea; a relationship based on respect and reverence. But when Hugh feels that the sea has betrayed him, his whole existence is thrown out of whack. Hell-bent on settling the score, Hugh takes his revenge to the extreme, jeopardizing not only himself, but his family in the process. Ultimately, That Salty Air is story about change, and learning the price for trifling with the natural progression of things.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Sievert's first graphic novel is a small, understated fable about Hugh, a fisherman who learns that his mother has drowned. Deciding that the sea has become his enemy, he sets out to teach it a lesson. Of course, the sea is more powerful than Hugh imagined, and his journey involves a torrential storm, a whale, a giant squid and a series of emotional revelations. The story's sentimental twists aren't exactly subtle; its dialogue is mostly undiluted melodrama, and its conclusion is a predictable heartstring-tugger. But the metaphors for grief and depression are given life by Sievert's deliberate, accomplished pacing. Almost every page is partly or entirely wordless, and he lets long, elegantly composed sequences of people and animals quietly interacting with their environments, or images of the land and sea and sky, establish the mood and tone of each scene. The book's also full of subtle formalist tricks, like a house window whose frame cuts off the edges of a speech balloon. There's certainly room for growth in Sievert's cartooning-his facility with light and shade, as well as the deliciously blobby lines he uses for sea creatures in the nature scenes, give way to hurried, Craig Thompson-lite caricature when he draws human characters-but he's a talent to watch. (Apr.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
VOYA
AGERANGE: Ages 15 to Adult.

Maryanne and Hugh live in a spare cottage by the sea. To make the money they need to pay their mortgage, Hugh fishes. He loves the sea and that salty air. Two letters arrive one day, one addressed to each of the young couple. Hugh's informs him that his mother has drowned in the sea. Before Maryanne can tell him her letter reveals that she is pregnant, he tears off and rails at the sea. A day or so later, Hugh returns drunk and insists that they move. After Maryanne discloses her news, he goes back out on the sea, but his respect for it is gone. He slaughters sea life wholesale. The spirit of the sea in the form of a giant octopus teaches Hugh that there are consequences to one's actions and that he still has plenty left to live for. Sievert's first graphic novel shows great promise; his cinematic eye is evident in every panel; however, the excellent artwork is hobbled by a story that feels both familiar and contrived. The story verges on the sentimental, and there is little character development. It looks and feels like Norwegian cartoonist Jason without the edginess or the animal heads. Despite comprising the intended market for this title, most young adults will not have much interest unless they are in it for the art. Reviewer: Timothy Capehart
April 2008 (Vol. 31, No. 1)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781603090056
  • Publisher: Top Shelf Productions
  • Publication date: 11/15/2007
  • Pages: 112
  • Product dimensions: 6.50 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.25 (d)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 13, 2009

    That Salty Air

    The novel The Salty Air by Tim Sievert, is about a fisherman that lost his mother to the sea. He is so upset that he takes it out on the ocean by throwing rocks in it and curses it. His depression causes him to neglect his wife and sends him into a drunken craze. He stops fishing and goes into town to drink and grieve. His wife receives a notice saying the payment for their house is overdue and goes fishing to earn the money to pay for the house. The fisherman comes back and panics when he sees his wife in the ocean. He forces her to come back to shore and goes fishing in her place. While he was fishing, an octopus drags him to the bottom of the sea. There, he sees his mother and she says "you are still loved." He then realizes that he has a lot to live for and resurfaces. The octopus takes his arm on the way up. He then makes amends with his wife and they discuss what their daughter's name will be. He is finally happy and it looks like he is going to have a bright future ahead of him.

    The fisherman is the main character in the story. His name his Hugh and he loves his mother very much. When he finds out about her unfortunate demise, he becomes very melancholy and depressed. Hugh is a very passionate and emotional person and takes his anger out on the ocean and his wife. Hugh's wife's name is Maryanne. She is a loyal wife that is willing to go out and fish for her family, despite the danger. She deeply loves Hugh and is devastated when he becomes depressed. She learns that she is pregnant the day Hugh's mother dies, but doesn't get the chance to tell him until the end of the story. She is very family orientated and does whatever it takes to keep her family together.

    The key passage in this book occurs when Hugh is dragged down to the bottom of the ocean by the octopus. There he confronts his mother and she tells him "You are loved. Still."

    I chose that passage because that quote turned Hugh's live around. He was on a steady path to self destruction. His reckless acts were putting both his life and his family's lives in jeopardy. He feels that his whole existence was thrown into question and doesn't know what to do. When he hears his mother say "You are loved. Still." His life turns around positively. He realizes that he has a lot to live for and that he needs to be there for his wife and unborn child.

    This book is based on the concept that "God take God give." Hugh lost his mother and feels great pain and remorse for his loss. He then finds that his wife is pregnant and his is still loved by many. Hugh has a lot to live for. I agree with the point made in this book that there is always a brighter side to life and there is always something to live for. This is a very straight forward, common idea that is as old as mankind.

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