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Cork Boat

  • Paperback $16.00

    Apr 12, 2005 | 304 Pages

  • Ebook $11.99

    Jan 06, 2004

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Praise

“As the boat bobs down the Douro River to the cheers of the crowd, Pollack’s absurd quest seems not merely charming but heroic.” –The New Yorker

“A surprisingly charming memoir.” —Esquire

“An adventure whose goofiness is exceeded only by its fun.” –Detroit Free Press

“Fascinating and extraordinary.” —San Francisco Chronicle

“A great story of adventure and imagination.” —The Oregonian

“Irresistible. . . . This adventurous memoir is the perfect post-holiday escape. It is a hearty affirmation that dreams can–and sometimes do–come true.” –Tucson Citizen

“Compelling. . . . Pollack is so likable that it’s hard not to root for him. . . . After reading this book, you might never look at a cork–or a pipe dream–in quite the dame way again.” –San Antonio Express-News

“This spiritual journey on a boat made from wine bottle corks is . . . well worth taking. This Cork Boat floats.” –Orlando Sentinel

“Written in a style of singular grace and impact. . . . The example of John Pollack imagining and fashioning this object of rare, if bizarre beauty, is worthy of warmest admiration.” –Washington Times

“This buoyant nonfiction adventure saga is bound to float any armchair adventurer right out of the winter doldrums.” –Boston Herald

“A Quixotic tale that made me chuckle–and brought a lump to my throat.” –Witold Rybczynski, author of Home

“What can be more fun than a childhood fantasy realized and beautifully told? An absolute delight for sailors; for landspeople; for people like ourselves who delight in the simple, noble, and amusing cork, often the best part of the wine.” –David and Daniel Hays, authors of My Old Man and the Sea

“[Pollack’s] breezy writing and witty asides go well with a comfy armchair and a bottle of wine.” —Washingtonian

“Hard to resist.” –Arizona Republic

Awards

School Library Journal Adult Books for Young Adults WINNER

Author Essay

Why I Wrote the Book
from John Pollack

In 1999 I was working as a Washington speechwriter when, frustrated by the cynicism and hypocrisy of Congress, I quit my job to pursue a whimsical ambition that I had been harboring since the age of six – to build a boat made entirely of wine corks, and to take it on an epic journey.

That was easier said than done. But over the next two years I convinced dozens of skeptical bartenders and waiters to save corks for the boat (supplementing those I had been saving for nearly three decades), struggled with a brilliant yet challenging partner to overcome serious design hurdles, and eventually cajoled more than 100 volunteers to help build the boat itself.

In 2002, we completed this vessel of 165,321 corks, shipped it to Portugal and spent 17 days sailing and rowing down the Douro River, where the Cork Boat became a national sensation. The whole adventure was so improbable yet so colorful that, upon my return to the United States, I felt compelled to write the story.

The result is Cork Boat.


From the Hardcover edition.

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