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19 Reviews
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5.0 out of 5 stars Love it!, Aug. 1 2011
By 
Clint Harvey (Wembley, Alberta) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Boat Who Wouldn't Float (Mass Market Paperback)
One of my favorite books of all time. Farley is witty and keeps you interested the whole time. Never had a book make me want to sell everything and buy a boat before. Highly recommend this book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Tale of Perserverance and Folly, July 18 2004
By 
John R. Linnell (New Gloucester, ME United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Boat Who Wouldn't Float (Mass Market Paperback)
Farley Mowat is nothing if not persistent. After purchasing the Newfoundland schooner from Hell, badly misnamed as Happy Adventure, he finds he has a boat that leaks constantly, has a compass that doesn't know where magnetic north is, hates to head West, has an engine that works when it feels like it and that is just for starters. Much of the time sailing is in the fog, both real and self imposed. Most sane men would have turned this boat into kindling, but Mowat sailors on, one harrowing experience after another with an assortment of mates and in the process tells us a funny and true story of his adventures as only he can. Written over thirty years ago, the story has lost none of its charm and interest.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Laugh out loud page turner, Oct. 23 2002
By 
"dyneemo" (Centralia, WA. USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Boat Who Wouldn't Float (Mass Market Paperback)
I have read this book twice and I still laugh when I re-read some of the passages. This book captures the spirit of Canada during Mowat's youth and compiles the voyages (or not so voyages) of his ambitious father. Great book and highly recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An Unexpected Joy, July 12 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: The Boat Who Wouldn't Float (Mass Market Paperback)
I bought this book for my father, a maritime history enthusiast. I planned to save it for a holiday gift, but I decided to read it myself first. Not being as excited about maritime stories as my father, I didn't have high expectations, but after the first page, I was hooked. My husband could not be in the same room with me because my laughter disturbed his own reading. I was especially enthralled with Mowatt's anectdotes and descriptions of the people residing in the various villages he visited. I felt like I was there with him. This book was sheer delight from beginning to end. I don't think I will be able to wait until Christmas to give this book to my father, I must share this unexpected joy.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Funny, Poignant, and Inspiring, April 23 2002
By 
G (Calgary) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Boat Who Wouldn't Float (Mass Market Paperback)
Warning: Mowat's love of the sea, the people of Newfoundland, and his defiant schooner is contagious. A few pages in, and you'll feel like following in his footsteps. Wry anecdotes are coupled with fond sketches of the people of Newfoundland's outport communities at a turning point, shortly before many of these ancient, remote towns were completely uprooted in the name of government cost-cutting. Happily, thirty years after this book came out, I made of a couple trips to Newfoundland harbour communities and report that these warm, resilient folk will never change. If you can't make the trip yourself, then "lard jesus, bye" read this book! The last pages of the book do rush through years rather quickly, but remember that it's really a biography of a boat, and she wasn't doing much in those years. But when she was busy, the tales she could generate...
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Introduction To A Little-Known Life, March 17 2002
This review is from: The Boat Who Wouldn't Float (Mass Market Paperback)
I first read this book in middle school, and have re-read several times over the years. What I really liked about it was that, though Happy Adventure ... and Farley are the reason for the book, the real story and focus is on the Newfoundlanders and their way of life. Far more than you hear about Farley, you hear about Muddy Hole, "the boys of Burin", Farillon and Ferryland, and various other places, as well as the people who inhabit them. It's a delightful peek at another place and time, that still endures to this day.
I was recently delighted that I had read it, since I discovered the band Great Big Sea, which comes out of Newfoundland. Thanks to this book, I can understand their idiom, and recognize places that they sing about. It gives the music a richer feeling for me.
Both are worth spending your time on.
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5.0 out of 5 stars If you love hanging out on the water, you'll love this book, July 13 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: The Boat Who Wouldn't Float (Mass Market Paperback)
We are big Farley Mowat fans. And this book is our favorite. We love to sail and hang out on the water puttering about so this book fits our psyche perfectly.
You won't be disappointed in this story -- we've loaned it out to most of our family and some of our friends when they take "water vacations". Its a fun read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Laughter is the Best Medicine, April 23 2001
By 
Charles E. Love (Essex Junction, VT USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Boat Who Wouldn't Float (Mass Market Paperback)
I had a heart attack in 1993, and spent some time in the hospital. A friend gave me The Boat Who Wouldn't Float. It was the only book I have ever read (and I read a lot) that caused me to laugh out loud over and over. I just had to read passages aloud to my wife, and then she read it, and we laughed together. It may have helped me get better. Whether it did or not, it'a a treasure. I'm surprised it's classified as a children's book; it doesn't strike me that way, though it's OK for older children. Adults should buy it and get in on the fun!
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4.0 out of 5 stars vintage mowat, but shows more about his darker character..., March 24 2001
This review is from: The Boat Who Wouldn't Float (Mass Market Paperback)
this was a beautiful book about a time and a place and a world about which i knew little, and as usual farley mowat does his brilliant job of bringing it to life in full radiance, and of personifying the non-human in a unique and gripping way.
weak points: this book, more than the others i previously read by him, showed more about the real character of farley mowat, and in this book he struck me as a very unhappy man, both depressed and even alcoholic. i'm glad to have read it however, as it not only gives me insight into him as the author of this book, but into the underlying character of the author who wrote his other wonderful, and less dark, books.
also, honestly, this wasn't a particularly deep book. it sort of "appears" to be deep, but like his boat, sorta skims across the surface.
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5.0 out of 5 stars This one is NOT just for children - read it yourself!, March 17 2001
This review is from: The Boat Who Wouldn't Float (Mass Market Paperback)
Farley Mowat is the kind of writer whose words flow across the page as easily as breathing - and what a delight those words are! I've never sailed, I'm not a boat lover and yet I could not put down this true tale of one man's adventures getting a primitive vessel into seaworthy shape. Several pages had me laughing out loud, especially Mowat's account of drinking Screech, an alcoholic beverage of near deadly strength.While this book is classified as a "children's" book, I think it is far more suitable for adults, who may appreciate some of the humor here with an adult's perspective. Then again, if you have a reluctant reader, I can't think of a better book to keep him or her reading. I guess this book is actually for the WHOLE family.
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The Boat Who Wouldn't Float
The Boat Who Wouldn't Float by Farley Mowat (Mass Market Paperback - 1984)
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