The Books

Burt Dow, Deep-Water Man

by Robert McCloskey

One Potato Review

Burt’s the kind of guy you wouldn’t want to run into with a hangover – up and at ‘em first thing in the morning, painting and planting and chirping and clackety-banging out to sea behind his make-and-break engine. If this story seems initially tethered to helium (“Tee-he-he-hee!” you may tire of quoting the giggling gull who is Burt’s primary interlocutor), the whale that appears on Burt’s fishing line – and the sequence from Kipling follows – makes this a worthwhile nautical expedition in the end. That whale is not the half of it either; a churning, unforgettable landscape in these final pages proves enough to excuse even the hoariest of commentaries: “Thar she blows!”