Moby-Duck and Piggy-Duck met one Sunday afternoon in front of the pool hall. Their minds were blank and their pockets empty, so they decided to wander off to circle the globe, thinking such adventure would be interesting. They were gone a long time before Piggy-Duck reappeared in a gin joint in Newark, New Jersey. Fortunately Donovan Hohn was sitting at the bar that morning and became the first to hear Moby-Duck: The True Story of 28,800 Bath Toys Lost at Sea and of the Beachcombers, Oceanographers, Environmentalists, and Fools, Including the Author, Who Went in Search of Them.
Piggy’s story was thin and in places confusing, so Hohn spent the next three years retracing Moby’s and Piggy’s adventure and filling in details too difficult for Piggy to remember. Hohn learned a lot of things about our deteriorating environment, the oceans and the people who live off of them, and reread Moby-Dick, all of which have given him new insights into man and water. During his seafaring years, he admitted to fathering one child, which seems to be a low figure for a sailor but we must take his word. All sailors should write so beautifully of parenting and father’s love.
This is a rollicking good adventure on the sea, memoir, and a rather late coming-of-age story. The serious message of his research is the abyss of the oceans is no safer than the land and air in our careless hands. This is a useful book for the good citizen. Charles Marlin