News from NORLA
Morten A. Strøksnes' "Shark Drunk" making waves in the US and UK
Morten A. Strøksnes’ award-winning book Shark Drunk (original title: Havboka) has been launched in the US and UK to great acclaim and is receiving starred reviews. The author was recently interviewed in National Geographic, and last week Shark Drunk featured as «Book of the week» in BBC Four.
The book is translated from the Norwegian by Tiina Nunnally. It is published in the US by Penguin Randomhouse and in the UK by Jonathan Cape under its full title; Shark Drunk: The Art of Catching a Large Shark From a Tiny Rubber Dingy in a Big Ocean.
“An epic fishing trip reels in fascinating sea lore in this briny eco-adventure. . . . The author ponders everything related to the ocean, including bizarre luminous squids of the inky depths, frolicking orca pods and sperm whales, ancient disquisitions on maritime monsters, flinty islanders who live off the sea, and the close, testy relationships between fishing friends. Strøksnes’s erudition, salty humor, and unfussy prose yield a fresh, engrossing natural history.”
—Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
“Accomplished Norwegian historian, journalist, and photographer Strøksnes invites readers into the fantastical ocean environment of his quest to capture a Greenland shark. . . . readers will happily devour this smorgasbord of delights.”
“Melville’s Ahab and Hemingway’s Old Man spring to mind. . . . Rich and fascinating. . . . Morten Strøksnes’s clever trick is to remind us for one last time that the catching of the big fish is the least important part of the story.”
—The Wall Street Journal
“Strøksnes follows his capacious curiosity…. The end result reads a bit as if Geoff Dyer had written ‘Jaws’.”
—The New York Times
“Outré cool . . . [A] chromatic, investigative work . . . There is [a] wonderful radiance [to] these two gents out chasing their curiosity [and] that romantic mingling of terror and beauty, the sublime.”
—San Francisco Chronicle
“Utterly engrossing… A triumph… A work of meditation and wonder with a horizon as wide and open as the far Nordic coastlines that [Strøksnes] so beautifully evokes.”
—The Spectator (London)
“Its beauty, undemanding science and soothing, musing qualities have made [Shark Drunk] a bestseller in Norway and beyond. In vexed times, gently informative escapism is a winner for publishers and a refuge for readers. Strøksnes nails the appeal.”
“Move over, Ishmael. Move over, Jonah. Move over, Izaak Walton and Norman Maclean. Make room for a fish tale, wry and fantastical, weird and melancholy, that must now take its rightful place among our classic existential stories about the denizens of the deep.”
—Hampton Sides, author of In the Kingdom of Ice
“The Greenland shark is the bait, but the point is not to catch the fish. Shark Drunk is a phantasmagoric journey, both ultra-vivid and laconic, through the history and natural history of a remarkable region, its teeming seas and tough, resourceful locals. Strøksnes weaves his tale from a dense wool of close observation, fishing yarns, erudition lightly worn, and a helpless, consuming love of the ocean.”
—William Finnegan, author of Barbarian Days
“A beautifully crafted, slyly funny meditation on friendship, nature, history, literature, and most of all, the sea. That, and a gripping adventure tale about a hunt for a flesh-eating, razor-skinned sea monster. I don’t know how Strøksnes makes it work, but he does, brilliantly.”
—Mitchell Zuckoff, author of 13 Hours
“Gorgeously written and thoroughly addictive. With the open-minded inquisitiveness of Charles Darwin and the obsession of Captain Ahab, Strøksnes heads out to sea, chasing a monster of the deep known as the Greenland shark. Every page feels like a cabinet of curiosities, filled with head-scratching surprises, nuggets of wisdom, and wondrous insights.”
—Michael Finkel, author of The Stranger in the Woods
“Some great quests defy any logical explanation but by virtue of their whimsical turns lead to unexpected wonder and enlightenment. This is one such quest—it transports us with humor and insight to forbidding coasts and unexplored depths.”
—Peter Stark, author of Astoria
Shark Drunk has earned Morten A. Strøksnes the Norwegian Brage Prize 2015, the Norwegian Critics’ Prize for Literature 2015 and the Norwegian Reine Ord Prize at Lofoten International Literature Festival 2016.
Foreign Rights to the book have been sold to 23 countries.
Morten Strøksnes is a Norwegian historian, journalist, photographer, and writer. He has written reportage, essays, portraits, and columns and reviews for most major Norwegian newspapers and magazines. He has published four critically acclaimed books of literary reportage and contributed to several others.