It is not often that I take to reading a “classic”. Most often, I find them overly-wordy and well, boring. But while sick in bed this week, I looked on my library’s website for an audio-book to download. This one caught my eye, as it was read aloud by none other than Frank Muller, one of my favorite narrators.
During a voyage on the Pacific Ocean, Humphrey vanWeyden’s ship is hit and he is flung into the water. After drifting apart from the other survivors, he is picked up by “The Ghost”, a schooner hunting seals. Instead of being pampered as a gentleman, Humphrey is treated harshly by the insane captain, Wolf Larsen. Poor Humphrey – or Hump, as the captain calls him – has never worked a day in his life, and being the cook’s dishwasher and potato-peeler is a great indignity.
It quickly becomes obvious that everyone on board is treated as a slave by the Wolf, and there is no escape. Life becomes a struggle to survive both the physical abuse and the psychological terror. Later, “The Ghost” picks up the survivors of yet another shipwreck, including a young woman, Maud Brewster, who is a poet. Everyone aboard yearns to be free of Wolf Larsen and his tyranny, but it is an almost-impossible battle to win.
I don’t think I would have liked reading this as a regular book, but it certainly was enjoyable listening to Frank Muller’s rich, animated voice read it. He really made the book come alive. I can honestly say I enjoyed this classic.