Books: Salt-Water Dirge

THE WAY OF A SHIP (429 pp.) — Alan Villiers—Scribner ($6.50).

The full-rigged, deep-sea sailing-ship is gone, perhaps forever, and the man who mourns her most eloquently is Australia-born Alan Villiers. Anyone familiar with his earlier books (The Set of the Sails, Cruise of the Conrad) might suppose that Sailor-Author Villiers had unloaded his full cargo of grief and nostalgia, but not so. The Way of a Ship makes it clear that, after his seven trips around the Horn, sails will be flapping in his memory for life. A bit long on statistics, the book is nevertheless a fine armchair way of...

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