The Passage Mass Market Paperback – Feb 15 1997
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From Publishers Weekly
Poyer's powerful fourth adventure featuring U.S. Naval officer Dan Lenson (The Circle, etc.) opens aboard a doomed submarine off Siberia, then focuses on Lenson's new assignment on the newly commissioned USS Barrett, which is bound for Guantanamo Bay for a shakedown and training mission. The Barrett is a troubled ship, not least because of the suspected homosexuality of Commander Thomas Leighty, and her troubles worsen with the loss overboard of a gay crewman whose diary implicates the captain. Meanwhile, Lenson isn't in such good shape himself. With his marriage broken and his career tottering on the brink of disaster (these events are chronicled in previous books), he is emotionally shattered and prone to excessive drinking. When the Barrett is sidetracked on a rescue mission to aid a flotilla of Cuban refugee vessels caught in violent seas, Lenson's path crosses briefly with that of pregnant refugee Graciela Gutierrez. In the book's most dramatic and moving passages, as Gutierrez gives birth during a horrendous storm, Lenson begins to regain his moral compass. The complex main plot, which also involves espionage, isn't resolved until a mutinous confrontation just off the Cuban shore; and even then, most readers of this stirring tale will be sorry to see it end.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
This fourth of Poyer's excellent Dan Lenson novels deals, not unexpectedly, with the naval officer hero's experience aboard a Spruance-class destroyer in the Caribbean. Lenson comes to this ship, a brand-new one with a highly automated weapons system, in the wake of the breakup of his marriage. As if this were not heavy enough baggage to port, he quickly encounters a sailor's suicide, a gay commanding officer, sabotage of the computer systems, being cast adrift in a homemade boat with a refugee Cuban woman giving birth, a rescue by a Russian destroyer, a whole shipload of Cuban refugees, a riot in Miami, and--climactically--mutiny, murder, and confrontation with the same Russian destroyer. Poyer balances hardware description and an extremely well drawn cast of characters with enormous skill. He handles the subplot concerning the voyage of the Cuban refugees particularly well. He makes one hope this is not the last Dan Lenson novel, all the more because the first four together constitute one of the outstanding bodies of nautical fiction in English during the last half-century. Roland Green --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Poyer is using the device here of an unpleasant character who learns and grows through his experiences in the story. Dan Lenson, the hero, is shallow and unable to engage meaningfully with others. One of the themes of the book is the process by which he learns to connect with his fellow human beings. But it takes a long time, and he's a jerk for much of the story.
In a year I make to be about 1981, the USS Barrett is an experimental warship with a computer program that can fight the ship essentially in autopilot. Lenson is an officer on the ship. Not only are there severe technical problems with the computer system, but there are various rumblings of discontent within the crew. This plot thread is interspersed with the story of Graciela, a pregnant Cuban woman who tries to escape the island in a refugee boat. The plot develops slowly, and though the climactic portions are exciting, they take a long time to show up. Because of the year, some of the plot seems dated, as when the computer whiz figures out what a computer virus is: realistic for the time, but not very exciting from the perspective of 2002 (the book having been published in 1995).
Poyer was exploring the issue of homophobia here, and so the reader has to sit through lengthy revelations of ugly bigotry on the part of various characters. While the dirty stories and nasty attitudes are no doubt realistic, they weren't fun to read. Likewise, though the main antagonist, Harper, is believable in his ugly sexism and crudity, I didn't enjoy reading about him. Eventually, Poyer comes across with a genuinely heroic homosexual character, but as with other aspects of the book, the reader has to suffer for a long time first.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
The Dan Lenson series is spectacular. I got out of the Navy 27 years ago, but his exploits bring back so many memories. The description of shipboard life, the jargon, etc. Read morePublished on Aug. 24 1998
Generally a good read. However, the very first chapter, a story about a doomed submarine, doesn't belong in this book. Read morePublished on March 11 1997