Highliners

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9780070448568: Highliners

Highliners are the elite of the fishing world, the skippers and crews who make the biggest catches—salmon, king crab, halibut, shrimp—and deliver them first to the bustling canneries of Kodiak and Dutch Harbor. For these men—and for their women—the safe eight-hour day does not exist. It never will. Some fishermen get rich, many die broke. But they find a special joy in their work that can never be matched by the easier world of the landsman. No matter how great the hardship or how bad the storm, the highliners put out to sea in their primitive battle against the elements.


The protagonist of the novel is Hank Crawford, a young greenhorn who first comes to Alaska to work in a cannery to earn money while on summer vacation from college. He is quickly hooked by the fisherman’s life, and this novel re-creates how a young man becomes a highliner. He succeeds because he is young enough, strong enough, and brave enough. He learns the brutal business from hard-fisted skippers, penny-pinching cannery managers, and the pirates of the fishing world. Hank also meets the tough women who endure the hardships of Alaska alongside their men.

Journey with him as he learns to survive the elements (100-mile-an-hour winds, ice storms, tidal waves, and fire at sea) and attempts to become a highliner.

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From the Back Cover:

Upon its publication in 1979, Bill McCloskey's Highliners won acclaim and a cult following for its rousing, realistic portrayal of the world of the Alaska Fishery. 'Highliners' is the commercial fishermen's term for their own elite, the skippers and crews who bring in the biggest hauls. Set in Kodiak, Highliners brings into sharp relief the lives of the men and women who make their living catching salmon, king crab, halibut, and shrimp off the coast of Alaska. Hank Crawford comes to Kodiak as a college student to work in the canneries during the summer. But he is inexorably drawn to the water and to the hard, often brutal existence of the fishermen, and ultimately, he joins their ranks. Highliners chronicles Hank's journey from greenhorn to highliner, and the triumphs and tragedies of the people he comes to know so well. (6 X 9, 408 pages, maps, illustrations)

About the Author:

William B. McCloskey Jr. has worked as a Coast Guard officer, merchant seaman, and crewman on several fishing boats, among other positions. He is the author of the novels Highliners, Breakers, and The Mallore Affair, and the nonfiction titles Their Fathers’ Work and Fish Decks. His work has appeared in Smithsonian, Audubon, International Wildlife, National Fisherman, and elsewhere. He lives in Baltimore, Maryland.

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McCloskey, William B
Published by McGraw-Hill (1979)
ISBN 10: 0070448566 ISBN 13: 9780070448568
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William B McCloskey
ISBN 10: 0070448566 ISBN 13: 9780070448568
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