Saturday, July 16, 2011

Book Review: Moby Duck by Donovan Hohn

Moby Duck was yet another new books section impulse pick-- I liked the idea of reading about bath toys bobbing their way across the ocean. That, apparently, was Hohn's motivation to begin his journey (a student of his wrote a short essay on a shipment of bath toys that had plunged into the Pacific Ocean during a storm. The toys wound up scattered across the North American continent). His search for the rubber ducky, beaver, frog, and turtle ultimately took him across several bodies of water and a number of countries over the course of several years. I'm not generally a fan of stunt memoirs, but I do enjoy ones like this that intelligently discuss pressing issues. While Hohn's search for the Floatee toys was the reason behind his search, much of the narrative was devoted to discussing the scientific ramifications of his journey: water currents, ocean pollution, sea storms' power to topple supersized cargo ships, and the melting of the polar ice caps. Through Hohn's eyes, the reader learns a great deal about all of these things, and more.

Funny, well-written, and thought-provoking. 4 out of 5 stars.


  1. I'm going to have to add this to my long to-read pile. Thanks! Sounds good! I remember hearing about those toys a while ago.

  2. Ooohhh sounds interesting! Does he talk about garbage in the ocean too?