Book review: In the Company of Dolphins by Irwin Shaw
Originally published in 1964, this is author (among other talents) Irwin Shaw’s sweetly inspiring memoir of chartering a yacht and sailing the Mediterranean with his wife and son and an amusingly difficult captain. As a boy in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, he watched the ships and dreamed of sailing one of his own, and after spending his adult years serving in World War II including at Normandy on D-Day and leaving the United States for Europe after accusations of Communist sympathies, he finally got his dream. This edition includes a great biography and photos of Shaw’s fascinating life.
His sense of humor makes this such a charming, light and lively account, as he ties his European experiences in with the events of the times and some Americanisms. It’s short, fast-moving and readable, so it should appeal to both armchair travelers and anyone planning a trip or relaxing on one – it’s exciting in that anticipation of traveling or living vicariously sort of way.
I’m not crazy about the title – usually I don’t let something like that don’t bother me, but this title did make me think it’d be less thoughtful and a little cheesier than it was. Which was not at all. It was completely delightful and highly recommended. Also the dolphins weren’t really such a factor, so it was a strange choice.
But that’s a non factor, I just wanted to dispel in case anyone else was feeling judgmental about the title like I did. There are so many interesting anecdotes here. The book is breezy, funny, and very smart despite its brevity and chatty tone – an ideal summer read and it feels surprisingly, refreshingly timeless.
In the Company of Dolphins: A Memoir
by Irwin Shaw
published August 16, 2016 by Open Road Media
I received an advance ebook copy courtesy of the publisher for review.