The Outer Buoy: A Story of the Ultimate Voyage

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9780679436041: The Outer Buoy: A Story of the Ultimate Voyage
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The sea captain is now retired, but adventure is still in his blood. The taste for excitement and the lure of the unknown have led Harinxma to crisscross the face of the earth many times, and they now draw him toward the only frontier left to him. With several of his old shipmates - all of them reaching the final years of their varied lives - Harinxma joins in NASA's exploration of the mysterious effects of space travel on the human soul.

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From Kirkus Reviews:

De Hartog completes his offbeat series of stories about Dutch sea captain Martin Harinxma (The Centurion, 1989, etc.) with a padded tale that never lives up to its intriguing premise. Harinxma, who last time out dabbled in time travel, is now 82, a widower wallowing in an old age funk, when he is approached by Ellie Bastiaans, former aide to his old employer and enemy, Kwel. She offers Harinxma, and a team of other aged warriors to be selected by him, the opportunity to participate in a startling new attempt to explore the vast ocean of space. Utilizing an OOBE--Out Of Body Experience--Martin and/or one of his cohorts will journey to the moon to obtain dosimeter readings from a Lunar Rover left there by the final manned space flight, Apollo 17. Why men in the last years of their lives would be chosen for such a venture is a disturbing question in Harinxma's mind, but Bastiaans's ability to maneuver Harinxma into doing what she wants (even when he is fully aware of the manipulation) and his own innate curiosity lead him to contact some old comrades and undertake the adventure. Tragedy strikes, however, seemingly ending the project, and Harinxma gets a clear reminder of his own mortality. In the end, he alone chooses to embark on the fateful journey toward a more distant shore than he has ever set out for before. Filled with some interesting ruminations on age and the nature of our lives, this story is ultimately too plodding and drawn out to be satisfying for the casual reader. However, those who have followed Harinxma this far along his epic journey will most likely want to accompany him on the final voyage. -- Copyright ©1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

From Publishers Weekly:

Lying in an isolation chamber in a NASA lab in Houston, octogenarian Dutch ex-sea captain Martin Harinxma attempts to have an out-of-body experience so that his consciousness, floating free from his body, can visit the moon and read the dial on a damaged lunar module. Four other European WWII vets, all navigational experts, have been recruited along with Harinxma for this secret mission, whose ostensible goal is to furnish data to aid in the construction of a space station. De Hartog's ambitious novel, which completes a saga begun in The Captain and continued in The Centurion and The Commodore, disappoints as an adventure and as an exploration of paranormal research, promising much more than it delivers. But as a study of one man's gallant confrontation with old age and death, it is poignant, touching and ruefully wise. Harinxma, a self-deprecating widower still mourning the wife who died a year earlier, is a complex figure. His ordeal with prostate cancer, his memories of D-Day and his relationship with a nurturing woman who cares for infants dying of AIDS give the story emotional depth.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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9780708937716: The Outer Buoy (U)

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ISBN 10:  0708937713 ISBN 13:  9780708937716
Publisher: Ulverscroft, 1997
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