Fiction Jim Lynch The Highest Tide: A Novel

ISBN 13: 9781582346298

The Highest Tide: A Novel

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9781582346298: The Highest Tide: A Novel

One moonlit night, thirteen-year-old Miles O'Malley, a speed-reading, Rachel Carson-obsessed insomniac out looking for tidal specimens in Puget Sound, discovers a giant squid stranded on the beach. As the first person to see a giant squid alive, he finds himself hailed as a prophet. But Miles is really just a kid on the verge of growing up, infatuated with the girl next door, worried that his bickering parents will divorce, and fearful that everything, even the bay he loves, is shifting away from him. As the sea continues to offer up discoveries from its mysterious depths, Miles struggles to deal with the difficulties that attend the equally mysterious process of growing up.
"In stunning prose, author Jim Lynch puts sea life into a kaleidoscope where swirling shapes burst and reconfigure in continuous life-affirming wonder...The balance of elegance, groundedness and style is remarkable."-San Francisco Chronicle
"An irresistible coming-of-age fable, dappled with lyricism, briny honesty and good humor. It's as if Carson herself (or, say, John McPhee) had turned to fiction, bringing an exacting sense of the ebb and flow of nature to the story of one largely unsupervised boy and the exploration of his surroundings."-Los Angeles Times
"Unforgettable...[A] classic coming-of-age story, told with wry wit and quirky mating-marine-life facts."-Seattle Times
"In his superb first novel, Olympia's Jim Lynch has achieved a unique literary Triple Crown: 1) best coming-of-age novel set in the Pacific Northwest in recent memory; 2) best novel to resurrect the writing of the visionary Rachel Carson; 3) best novel to educate people about that mysteriously awesome place where freshwater meets the sea."-Oregonian
"The fertile strangeness of marine tidal life becomes a subtly executed metaphor for the bewilderments of adolescence in this tender and authentic coming-of-age novel."-Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Nerdy, vulnerable,

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Review:

Miles O'Malley, 13-year-old insomniac, naturalist, worshipper of Rachel Carson, and dweller on the mud flats of Skookumchuck Bay, at the South end of Puget Sound near Olympia, Washington, is the irresistible center of The Highest Tide. He says, "I learned early on that if you tell people what you see at low tide they'll think you're exaggerating or lying when you're actually just explaining strange and wonderful things as clearly as you can" and "People usually take decades to sort out their view of the universe, if they bother to sort at all. I did my sorting during one freakish summer in which I was ambushed by science, fame and suggestions of the divine."

And what a summer he has! Miles, who is licensed to collect marine specimens for money, slips into his kayak late one night when he can't sleep and begins his exploratory rounds. What he sees is not the usual collectibles. He hears a deep exhale, a sound of release, and comes eye to eye with a giant squid. But, there are no giant squid in Puget Sound or anywhere around it--and when they are seen by humans, they are always dead. His discovery is confirmed by Professor Kramer, a local biologist and Miles's friend. Television cameras arrive, everyone wants to interview this small-for-his-age but very smart boy and the events of the summer begin to unfold.

Jim Lynch has an ability to tell a tale that glows on every page. He knows everything that lives in or near the water by name and habit. This knowledge and his sense of wonder at the natural world brings the reader very close to his story, both in its setting and its characters. One early morning Miles says, "...the water was so clear I could see coon-stripe shrimp ... and the bottomless bed of white clam shells ... Those shells, as unique and timeless as bones, helped me realize that we all die young, that in the life of the earth, we are houseflies, here for one flash of light." Such insights are perfectly natural coming from Miles, whose interests are not garden-variety. He has a mad crush on the mixed-up 18-year-old girl next door, a randy age-mate named Phelps, and a deep friendship with Florence, the elderly woman his mother refers to as "a crazy witch." Florence is a psychic of sorts and her powers come into play when she predicts an extremely high tide on a certain day.

All of these relationships and what is happening between Miles's parents are part of this event-filled, life-changing summer. Early on, Miles says off the top of his head, when asked by a TV reporter why a deep-sea creature has found its way to his front yard, "Maybe the earth is trying to tell us something." What the earth and the sea and the people in Miles's life are all trying to tell him is what he susses out in the days that follow--before that high tide.

This absolutely luminous first novel has all the earmarks of a classic. The Highest Tide is destined to be read, re-read, and to remain on bookshelves for the enjoyment of generations to come. --Valerie Ryan

About the Author:

Jim Lynch spent four years as the Puget Sound reporter for the Oregonian, and has won national journalism awards and published short fiction in literary magazines. A Washington state native, Lynch currently writes and sails from his home in Olympia, where he lives with his wife and daughter. The Highest Tide is his first novel.

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Book Description Bloomsbury Publishing, 2006. Soft Cover. Book Condition: New. One moonlit night, thirteen-year-old Miles O’Malley sneaks out of his house and goes exploring on the tidal flats of Puget Sound. When he discovers a rare giant squid, he instantly becomes a local phenomenon shadowed by people curious as to whether this gawky teenager is just an observant boy or an unlikely prophet. But Miles is really just a kid on the verge of growing up, infatuated with the girl next door, worried that his bickering parents will divorce, and fearful that everything, even the bay he loves, is shifting away from him, In this beguiling novel, we witness dramatic changes for both Miles and the coastline that he adores over the course of one unforgettable summer. Bookseller Inventory # 002448

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Book Description Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, United States, 2006. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. One moonlit night, thirteen-year-old Miles O Malley, a speed-reading, Rachel Carson-obsessed insomniac out looking for tidal specimens in Puget Sound, discovers a giant squid stranded on the beach. As the first person to see a giant squid alive, he finds himself hailed as a prophet. But Miles is really just a kid on the verge of growing up, infatuated with the girl next door, worried that his bickering parents will divorce, and fearful that everything, even the bay he loves, is shifting away from him. As the sea continues to offer up discoveries from its mysterious depths, Miles struggles to deal with the difficulties that attend the equally mysterious process of growing up. In stunning prose, author Jim Lynch puts sea life into a kaleidoscope where swirling shapes burst and reconfigure in continuous life-affirming wonder.The balance of elegance, groundedness and style is remarkable. -San Francisco Chronicle An irresistible coming-of-age fable, dappled with lyricism, briny honesty and good humor. It s as if Carson herself (or, say, John McPhee) had turned to fiction, bringing an exacting sense of the ebb and flow of nature to the story of one largely unsupervised boy and the exploration of his surroundings. -Los Angeles Times Unforgettable.[A] classic coming-of-age story, told with wry wit and quirky mating-marine-life facts. -Seattle Times In his superb first novel, Olympia s Jim Lynch has achieved a unique literary Triple Crown: 1) best coming-of-age novel set in the Pacific Northwest in recent memory; 2) best novel to resurrect the writing of the visionary Rachel Carson; 3) best novel to educate people about that mysteriously awesome place where freshwater meets the sea. -Oregonian The fertile strangeness of marine tidal life becomes a subtly executed metaphor for the bewilderments of adolescence in this tender and authentic coming-of-age novel. -Publishers Weekly (starred review) Nerdy, vulnerable, Bookseller Inventory # AAC9781582346298

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Book Description Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, United States, 2006. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. One moonlit night, thirteen-year-old Miles O Malley, a speed-reading, Rachel Carson-obsessed insomniac out looking for tidal specimens in Puget Sound, discovers a giant squid stranded on the beach. As the first person to see a giant squid alive, he finds himself hailed as a prophet. But Miles is really just a kid on the verge of growing up, infatuated with the girl next door, worried that his bickering parents will divorce, and fearful that everything, even the bay he loves, is shifting away from him. As the sea continues to offer up discoveries from its mysterious depths, Miles struggles to deal with the difficulties that attend the equally mysterious process of growing up. In stunning prose, author Jim Lynch puts sea life into a kaleidoscope where swirling shapes burst and reconfigure in continuous life-affirming wonder.The balance of elegance, groundedness and style is remarkable. -San Francisco Chronicle An irresistible coming-of-age fable, dappled with lyricism, briny honesty and good humor. It s as if Carson herself (or, say, John McPhee) had turned to fiction, bringing an exacting sense of the ebb and flow of nature to the story of one largely unsupervised boy and the exploration of his surroundings. -Los Angeles Times Unforgettable.[A] classic coming-of-age story, told with wry wit and quirky mating-marine-life facts. -Seattle Times In his superb first novel, Olympia s Jim Lynch has achieved a unique literary Triple Crown: 1) best coming-of-age novel set in the Pacific Northwest in recent memory; 2) best novel to resurrect the writing of the visionary Rachel Carson; 3) best novel to educate people about that mysteriously awesome place where freshwater meets the sea. -Oregonian The fertile strangeness of marine tidal life becomes a subtly executed metaphor for the bewilderments of adolescence in this tender and authentic coming-of-age novel. -Publishers Weekly (starred review) Nerdy, vulnerable, Bookseller Inventory # AAC9781582346298

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