Rockbound

Rockbound

by Frank Parker Day

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Overview

When David was eighteen he heard from some of the Outpost fishermen
that his great-uncle Uriah, the rich king of Rockbound, wanted a
fisherman. Here was his opportunity; for weeks, in fact, ever
since old Gershom Born had talked with him, he had wondered how he
would get up courage to face the old man and tell him what he knew.
In his yellow dory he set out from Big Outpost one morning of early
summer. The sea was apparently oil-smooth, but a ground swell
always runs among these outer islands, and the flood tide was
against him. He tugged hard at the splintered spruce oars, which
had seen two years service on the Grand Banks, lifting his elbows
at the finish of his stroke in a manner peculiar to the Outposters.
With slack water he gave himself a spell and drifted idly for a
little, a yellow speck on an immense floor of blue.

He looked up at the sky half-conscious of his insignificance in the
universe above him; then, feeling cold water about his feet,
reflected that only a half inch of leaky spruce marked him off from
the watery world below, where shadowy albercore dodged in and out
between streamers of waving kelp. The Outposts and Rockbound, now
almost equidistant, were dimmed and softened by summer mists. As
he sat there resting, his oars half drawn in through the thole
pins, he looked at first glance like a hundred other young
fishermen along the coast. He was barefoot and clad only in a pair
of ragged brown trousers and a faded blue buttonless shirt that
fell open at the neck to reveal a bronzed and hairy chest. His
hands that clutched the oars were calloused and split, and scarred
with marks of salt-water boils and burns from running hand line or
halliard. Sly but kind gray eyes shone out through narrow slits
overhung with thick eyebrows; a hawk's nose gave his face a touch
of fierceness; his head was crowned with a thick brown mop of
uncombed hair. He was not unhandsome, and when he smiled the
corners of his mouth twitched and drooped.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940013668935
Publisher: WDS Publishing
Publication date: 01/20/2012
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 167 KB

Customer Reviews

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Rockbound 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
canread on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Fantastic story, simply told with profound meaning about the dangers of too much power.
gilly1944 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Interesting and very different story.
isabelx on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Though he looked it not, he was a man of destiny - in small things, it is true, yet in relation to the universe all things upon this earth are small - and this voyage in his yellow dory, a voyage of destiny, less spectacular than Jason's but requiring none the less courage and resolution. For Jason had with him forty heroes and had but to meet a dragon, while David was alone and had to meet Uriah.It was a harsh life for the fishermen in the islands off Nova Scotia's South Shore in the 1920s, but the people of Ironbound (the real-life equivalent of Rockbound) were insulted and furious at Frank Parker Day's depiction of them as illiterate, superstitious and immoral. A tale of an orphan who regains his inheritance, family feuds, a tragic love triangle, and the endless back-breaking work that the life of the fisher-folk of Rockbound entailed. A book that I really enjoyed after being initially uncertain if I would like it at all.
Niecierpek on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The winner of Canada Reads for 2005. Set in the twenties on a small weather beaten island off Nova Scotia, it is a gripping story of a small fishing community and its rough life. Storytelling at its best, and, what vitality in the story and the characters!
Miche11e on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Much to my surprise, I really enjoyed this book. I enjoyed it because it described life in an isolated small town. I enjoyed learning about work fishing and keeping a lighthouse. The small town grievances that last for generations were entertaining. I enjoyed hearing in my head the Newfoundland accents that I was reading.Imagine my surprise when I discovered that the book was written in 1928! I highly agree with this statement:"[Rockbound]... stands boldy from the mass of Canadian writing of its time, and is far more deserving of a permanent place in our literature than are most of our early 'classics'." - Harold Harwood Journal of Canadian Fiction
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Rockbound by Frank Parker Day is a "rediscovered" novel from 1928. Reprinted only for the second time in 1973, yet not achieving widespread acclaim until 2005, this hidden gem took thus almost eight decades to capture the attention of Canada from coast to coast. When my library system singled out this novel as a "Rave and Fave" (a term we use for focussing attention on specific novels or works of nonfiction for a brief period, then introducing new titles) I was interested. Rockbound bills itself as "the classic novel of Nova Scotia's South Shore". Since my beloved is from Nova Scotia I always read something from down east before or after a trip I make with him to see the in-laws. I do this to get me in the maritime mood. Rockbound was my choice prior to our upcoming trip. Not since "...And Ladies of the Club" have I read a novel that has given me such pleasure. I will be raving about Rockbound for months to come. Day captures the hard fishing life on a small Nova Scotia island with an accuracy that could only have been acquired from being there. Day was a native Nova Scotian and paid exquisite attention to the dialect of the fishermen of the South Shore. He reproduces the speech of the islanders and, unlike many phonetic dialectical transcriptions which I find difficult to read in print (but not a problem to read aloud), the Germanic-based dialect flows along without pulling me back to parse what it is that people are saying. For example, when David Jung, the protagonist, sails to Rockbound island, he asks his great-uncle Uriah to work with him on the fishing boats: "An' what might ye be wantin'?" said the old man, the king of Rockbound. "I wants fur to be yur sharesman," answered David. "Us works here on Rockbound." "I knows how to work." "Knows how to work an' brung up on de Outposts! jeered Uriah. "Us has half a day's work done 'fore de Outposters rub de sleep out o' dere eyes, ain't it!" "I knows how to work," repeated the boy stubbornly. "Where's yur gear an' clothes at?" "I'se got all my gear an' clothes on me," said David, grinning down at his buttonless shirt, ragged trousers, and bare, horny feet, "but I owns yon dory: I salvaged her from de sea an' beat de man what tried to steal her from me." The language in the narrative could just as easily have been written in 2011. Aside from the occasional "never the less" (when compound words were still written comprised of individual words), the novel has a contemporary flow and I could not believe as I read its 328 pages that it was written in 1928. Day writes a story that feels like one of those tales you cuddle up with your cousins to hear an old uncle tell. I felt so captivated by the story of David's life and struggles on Rockbound island that it took me back to the days of my childhood when I had stories read to me. Life on an isolated small island gave its leader, or "king" Uriah, as well as its inhabitants, certain feelings of autonomy and liberty. Day writes about the general feelings of sexual laxity on the island, and how no one was scandalized by premarital sex or even "love children" (i.e., children born out of wedlock). Women on the island were raised to believe that they served their men, both in the kitchen and in the bedroom. I was touched by the lonely, yearning feelings shared by th