Sail the Pacific Ocean, Beyond the Sea by Paul Lynch
Beyond the Sea in the Pacific Ocean
When fishermen Bolivar and Hector set sail from their South American village, they soon find themselves cast adrift in the Pacific Ocean by a sudden storm. As the days pass and no rescue materialises, the two men must come to terms with each other, and with their environment, if they are to survive.
This is a claustrophobic atmosphere to this novel despite the vastness of the sea.
Given the setting, it’s very apt that this book and its story has lingered with me and I’ve felt its ripples long after finishing it. It’s a simple premise – two men who get stuck on a boat drifting in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, lost at sea.
This is a slow moving read and one where you are carried along on the language of it as it takes you through life’s ups and downs, quite literally at times.
Bolivar and Hector sail out in Bolivar’s boat Camille. The action takes place on this tiny boat in the middle of a vast ocean. Survival is key. The feeling is one of claustrophobia and danger. However, it’s also about two men, brought together in the most extreme of circumstances. The novel explores what it means to be human, what it takes to be strong when life throws a curve ball, what it means to survive any which way you can.
Of course time on the boat is not easy.Life has been paused for a bit. There’s a sense of eerie calm but also extreme fear of what might happen soon. Is there a good end in sight? What has life meant until now? Who might they leave behind and how do you deal with that thought? When they start to hallucinate, the study of these two men becomes even more symbolic and insightful.
I loved the simplicity of this on the surface and the complexity of it when you look underneath. Like that duck, or that iceberg or whatever metaphor you care to use.
We are controlled by the water around us, the stillness, the vast expanse of it can keep us alive or can swallow us whole. A very thought provoking read.