Mettle: A Novel

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University Press of New England, 2007 - Fiction - 255 pages
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G. F. Michelsen's novel Hard Bottom was acclaimed as "a beautifully written, impeccably crafted book" by Publishers Weekly, while the Washington Post hailed his To Sleep with Ghosts as "compelling" and "lyrical." Michelsen's dazzling new novel once again showcases his flair for nuance and narrative.

Lorenzo is a seasoned Cape Cod seaman who is called to captain the behemoth grain freighter Pacific Debenture up the east coast of Africa. Mettle's fast-paced story alternates between Cape Cod, the off-Cape Islands, and the Debenture's African ports of call. Woven into the narrative are short, highly charged passages relating to corruption in the Chinese steel industry. Michelsen sustains the adrenaline rush of his seafaring drama with personal conflicts involving Lorenzo's son, a woman they both love back on the Cape, a stowaway on board, and the Pacific Debenture's rebellious officers

Ultimately, Lorenzo's extraordinary "mettle" is forced into a life-or-death confrontation with the Chinese "metal," with shocking results. Michelsen's crisp prose and brilliant, unpredictable plotting will keep you guessing until the last page. This superb novel will stay with you long after you have enjoyed it for the first time.

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Mettle: A Novel (Hardscrabble Books)

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Michelsen (Hard Bottom) pits a commercial sea captain against a broken ship and an insubordinate crew in his disappointing new novel. Lorenzo Fuller captains the Pacific Debenture, a grain freighter ... Read full review


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About the author (2007)

G. F. MICHELSEN is a native-born Cape Codder and the author of eleven novels including To Sleep with Ghosts: A Novel of Africa (1992), Hard Bottom (UPNE, 2001), and The Art and Practice of Explosion (UPNE, 2003), which won honorary mention in Foreward's "Best Novel of the Year" competition. The recipient written for Harper's Magazine, Rolling Stone,and Men's Journal, and he has worked as a merchant marine officer and commercial fisherman.

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