To the White Sea

( 5 )

Overview

Award-winning and best-selling author James Dickey returns with the heart-stopping story of Muldrow, an American tail gunner who parachutes  from his burning airplane into Tokyo in the final months of World War II. Fleeing the chaotic,  ruined city, he instinctively travels north toward a frozen, desolate sanctuary he is certain will assure this survival--and freedom. Making his way through enemy terrain, on the lookout for both danger and  opportunity, Muldrow's journey becomes the ...
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Overview

Award-winning and best-selling author James Dickey returns with the heart-stopping story of Muldrow, an American tail gunner who parachutes  from his burning airplane into Tokyo in the final months of World War II. Fleeing the chaotic,  ruined city, he instinctively travels north toward a frozen, desolate sanctuary he is certain will assure this survival--and freedom. Making his way through enemy terrain, on the lookout for both danger and  opportunity, Muldrow's journey becomes the flight of a pure predator. Moving through the darkness,  bombarded by haunting visions that consume his  imagination, every step in his violent odyssey brings  him closer to a harrowing climax that is pure  James Dickey.

From the award-winning, bestselling author of Deliverance and Buckdancer's Choice comes the heart-stopping story of an American tail-gunner who parachutes from his burning plane into Tokyo during the final months of World War II.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The book's closest forebear may be Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea... an exhilarating ride."--The New Yorker
New Yorker
The book's closest forebear may be Hemingway's The Old Man And The Sea... an exhilarating ride.
Atlanta Journal Constitution
A splendid tale...There are extraordinary passages of intense poetry...An intense, page-turning adventure.
Laurence Lieberman
Within the work's horrific narrative labyrinth are numerous passages that offer a retrospective survey of Dickey's hard-earned poetic mythologies, his achieved personal mythos....[there are]eloquent forays into homemade theories of optics, physics, and aesthetics and into the esoteric lore of icebergs and arctic predators...
Southern Review
Library Journal
His bomber hit by anti-aircraft fire, an American gunner must parachute into Tokyo days before the great firebomb raid on that city. Fortunately, this recorded version of Dickey's macho story of survival against the odds is abridged, making the hero more believable and the tale more mesmerizing. The book, unfortunately, contains too many instances of poetic flights of fancy and philosophical baggage for a blood-and-guts action story wherein the hero commits a large number of murders, both necessary and gratuitous. The main focus here is how to escape and how to become invisible in a nation where you are the outsider. Dickey's solution is highly imaginative and entertaining. -- James Dudley, Copiague, New York
Library Journal
His bomber hit by anti-aircraft fire, an American gunner must parachute into Tokyo days before the great firebomb raid on that city. Fortunately, this recorded version of Dickey's macho story of survival against the odds is abridged, making the hero more believable and the tale more mesmerizing. The book, unfortunately, contains too many instances of poetic flights of fancy and philosophical baggage for a blood-and-guts action story wherein the hero commits a large number of murders, both necessary and gratuitous. The main focus here is how to escape and how to become invisible in a nation where you are the outsider. Dickey's solution is highly imaginative and entertaining. -- James Dudley, Copiague, New York
Laurence Lieberman
Within the work's horrific narrative labyrinth are numerous passages that offer a retrospective survey of Dickey's hard-earned poetic mythologies, his achieved personal mythos....[there are]eloquent forays into homemade theories of optics, physics, and aesthetics and into the esoteric lore of icebergs and arctic predators... -- The Southern Review
The New Yorker
The book's closest forebear may be Hemingway's The Old Man And The Sea... an exhilarating ride.
Atlanta Journal Constitution
A splendid tale...There are extraordinary passages of intense poetry...An intense, page-turning adventure.
Kirkus Reviews
Dickey doesn't write many novels—three in 23 years—but he makes every one count. And when he's in peak form, as he is here, he makes every word count as well: In this unforgettable story of an American soldier escaping across WW II Japan—a story closer in spirit to Deliverance (1970) than to Anilam (1987)—the prose of this 70-year-old poet slices down to the bone of things like an immaculate knife. On a bombing mission over Tokyo, the B-29 carrying Dickey's hero/narrator—the gunner Muldrow—is shot down, forcing him to parachute into enemy territory. But Muldrow isn't like other men: Raised as a hunter in Alaska, he knows how to get things done. He alone survived the plane crash because he alone had the foresight to tape a parachute to the plane wall—and the same knack for survival gets him out of Tokyo by allowing him to take what he needs as Allied planes firebomb the city. He needs clothes: Amid the heat and smoke, he finds the right-sized man and blows him away. Muldrow decides to head for Japan's northern island of Hokkaido; there, in the snow and the cold, he will survive. He walks; he hops a train; he kills. He meets his match in a blind swordsman, and he almost dies when he encounters an American Zen monk who betrays him—just as this incident, alone in the novel, betrays Dickey's artifice through its too obvious contrast between the monk's grasping for reality and Muldrow's practiced hold on it. As Muldrow treks north, the mercilessness of that hold becomes ever more apparent and is mirrored in the stark beauty of the ever-harsher landscape; by the lyrically brutal conclusion, Muldrow, like the animals he admires,has become one with the land: "I was in it, and part of it. I matched it all." A ruthless adventure of body and soul by a writer of mature—even awesome—powers.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780385313094
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 9/28/1994
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 382,998
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 5 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2005

    A good read

    A lone soldier battling the elements, the landscape and the enemy. Seemingly a peaceful man who is suddenly capable of killing. A unique tale of survival.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 1, 2004

    Brilliant!

    This is one of my all time favorites. I think that it's Dickey's best and an American Classic; a book to savor and thrill. His character is complex and flawed while his descriptions of the landscape are poetic. This book is a work of art and adventure. I have bought this one for many friends.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 21, 2002

    Wonderful, strange adventure.

    I could not put the book down. Do not read this if you have not read the novel. The hero might be a nutjob, I mean he was raised in Alaska but he is an average stupid person. Then he is a gunner on an airplane trying to kill the enemy, but esp. getting ready to firebomb Tokyo. Pretty good so far. Then he gets blown out of the sky and lands in Tokyo. Now he has to mask himself and get away to the north. To the cold that he knows so well. He has to kill people to make his getaway and get food. I think it is a guys kind of book, and it is outdoorsy. Sort of preposteropus but belovable. If you get my drift.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 15, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 25, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews

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