The Boat - A Short Story by Alistair MacLeod - 1968
Join in with Buried in Print for A read along through The Short Stories of Alistair MacLeod.
Audio book of The Boat
Buried in Print’s Post on The Boat
For almost four years i read along with Buried in Print through The Short Stories of Mavis Gallant. I was able to read and post on about half of her two hundred or so stories. It was a great Reading Life experience which also gave me a sense of accomplishment. Plus it was a lot of fun to folllow along with Buried in Print. Now we begin a new read along on a writer new to me, Alistair MacLeod.
July 26, 1936 - North Battleford, Canada
April 20, 2014 - Windsor, Canada
Like much of his work “The Boat” is set in the rugged Cape Breton area.
It is a very sad story, close to pain. It centers on a family of nine. They are Six daughters, a son the narrator and at fifteen youngest child, the wife and mother, and her husband. He supports the family through fishing from his boat. He likes reading everything from detective stories to Dickens and Hardy. His wife says reading is a waste of time. He has his own room and it looks like intimate relations ended years ago.
The story is very much about how the family’s life is shaped by tradition. The wife has contempt for tourists, anyone not “our people”. Their six daughters have no interest in becoming the wives of fishermen,
They read In the large book collection of their father. When they marry men from New York City, Toronto or Boston they send him books. The mother has contempt for her son in laws as not our kind.
Only the son stays loyal. The ending is tragic.
Something deep is being said about the love of reading in this story.
And also the hatred of reading.