Books: Passage to Juneau

By Jonathan Raban

The inexorable, beautiful and sometimes malevolent caprices of the tides provide structure to Raban's solo trip by sailboat from Seattle to Alaska. He is less sure-footed discussing the forested shores than the channels, but, swept along, the reader scarcely notices, as Raban mixes the tributaries of his own experience, accounts of early explorers and the myths of coastal natives. His masterly book becomes a surging current that spins off eddies in which the strands of the narrative converge. At first dazzling and droll, these whirlpools deepen and darken until, in a heartbreaking conclusion, Raban finds himself captured by the tidal forces...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!