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Michael Gear 1 W. Thanks for stopping by! I'm addicted to books especially crime fiction , laughter and traveling off the beaten path. View all 21 comments.

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Apr 01, karen rated it liked it Shelves: Queens Museum and Colden Center are community landmarks to frequent with family and friends. Queens Theatre erupts with vitality and emerald trees with concerts by Ugandan children and more to excite us. Hall of Science for budding scientists and curious. In Queens there's so much to do, or relax and stare at a rainbow or invite black, white, red, yellow and brown for rainbow gatherings.

Ship Breaker

Play a little music for your community of neighbors. They know thoughtful or buoyant talk abounds with us. They leave admiring the breeze and the trees. View all 35 comments. May 05, Nancy rated it it was amazing Recommended to Nancy by: It was fun, gripping, violent, tense, bleak and there was even a little sweetness at its core.

As soon as I started reading this story, I had a dream I was salvaging copper wire from grounded ships. My boss reprimanded me because I was not making quota and also because I was rapidly gaining weight, which made it difficult to fit into small places. My fingers were like sausages, unable to retrieve the copper wire, and I was soooo hungry… I woke up, made myself some scrambled eggs and sausage, and continued reading.

Thank the Fates it was not me who was performing this dangerous, back-breaking labor, but Nailer, an uneducated teenage boy. He works with a crew of kids his own age who face a similarly grim future. Violent storms have devastated the Gulf Coast region and rising seas have submerged entire cities. I love how this story explores poverty and class differences, friendship, family and survival. It does not shy away from violence or death.

But it will still be there. It never goes away. It was the people that mattered. If they covered your back, and you covered theirs, then maybe that was worth calling family. Everything else was just so much smoke and lies. Sure, there are a few flaws. This is an exciting, well-written, and highly imaginative story.

What are you waiting for? View all 32 comments. In a dystopian future wracked with environmental disaster, a young salvager named Nailer's world is turned upside down when he stumbles upon the find of a lifetime, a magnificent clipper ship, and and its beautiful owner, a rich girl named Nita Paolo Baciglupi crafted quite a tale in Ship Breaker. You've got familial conflict, ecological disaster, young love, dystopia, what's not to like? Not a lot, frankly. The world Bacigalupi has created is quite something. The cultures are very believable, In a dystopian future wracked with environmental disaster, a young salvager named Nailer's world is turned upside down when he stumbles upon the find of a lifetime, a magnificent clipper ship, and and its beautiful owner, a rich girl named Nita The cultures are very believable, especially in today's uncertain economic and ecological times.

Nailer, Nita, and the others are three dimensional characters and Ship Breaker easily rises above just being another young adult novel. Did I mention I loved the cultures depicted within? The scavengers had a rough yet believable life and Nita's transformation from swank to pseudo-scavenger was very well-done. One thing that was foremost in my mind was Paolo Bacigalupi's skills as a writer. When Nailer was in danger of drowning in oil, I found myself getting more and more frantic, even though, rationally, I knew that since pages were left, he'd probably survive. While a lot of people mention the budding romance between Nailer and Nita, by far my favorite part was the filial showdown between Nailer and his father.

Yeah, I'm way past the point in my life where I feel like kicking my dad's ass but I remember those days. Actually, the plot is my least favorite part of the book. The world-building easily super-cedes it. The characters and the world take center stage. Yeah, it wouldn't have been as good if it had ended differently but what are you going to do. Don't let the YA label sway you. View all 26 comments. Aug 01, Maggie Boehme rated it it was ok. I read this in early summer looking forward to seeing it live up to all the awesome reviews I read.

I was totally disappointed. To sum things up, I think it shouldn't have been published. He has a great world and a great story -- the whole idea of ship breakers is AMAZING and his world building is solid -- but three things really bugged me the whole time I was reading: I thought he needs editing, big time. His sentences didn't flow for me and he re-used the same words I read this in early summer looking forward to seeing it live up to all the awesome reviews I read.

His sentences didn't flow for me and he re-used the same words about a hundred times, until I was ready to personally mail him a dictionary. Like the word 'feral'. I've never known a writer to use the word 'feral' so many times. I think the MC was the wrong person. I felt like the main story was about this girl that he rescues. I would have preferred to be in her head, since she was the one with all the secrets and the excitement and the danger at her heels. The MC just felt -- to me -- like he was useless to the story.

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One of the villains and a pretty main villain didn't really have motivation for what he did. He just killed and killed and killed like a destructive machine. There was nothing to make us feel sorry for him or get into his phsychie. I like complex villains, and even better ones that are slightly slightly sympathetic. At least none I ever picked up on. That being said, you should go read it and tell me what you think. These things tend to bother me in whatever book I read. I'm kinda amazed Ship Breaker won an award.

View all 24 comments. Jan 27, David Schaafsma rated it really liked it Shelves: So what happens to old ships when they die? And what will happen to the thousands of ships as the oil runs out and we return to sailing clippers, as the cities drown and the poor scramble for their small share of the diminishing resources? Ship Breaker is a YA dystopian novel about a time in the not too distant future when the coasts are significantly diminished, when the oil is gone, when category 6 hurricanes—city killers—have finally destroyed key coastal cities like New Orleans.

The rich—the So what happens to old ships when they die? But what do the poor do? It is a brutal life, violent, with people scrambling close to starvation. Our hero is maybe 15 year-old Nailer, whose abusive Dad is a drug addict; they live in a hut on the beach.

He is protected somewhat by Pima and her Mom, Sadna. He belongs to a scavenge crew, just barely surviving, but tenacious, and resourceful. One day a city killer wipes out everything on the beach, as it sometimes does, and Pima and Nailer travel down the beach to find a broken clipper with one swank survivor, Nita, and unbelievable riches on the boat.

They get there first, but soon they are not alone. Something to do with ethics in the face of disaster, and the nature of family. What will we cling to, what matters to us as we fearfully face each other? It speaks of ethics and belief systems that support ethical actions. But it is better at world-building by far than story. That world will stay in my head for a while. Atlantic Monthly article on Ship Breaking: National Geographic article on Ship Breaking in Bangladesh: A YouTube video copy of a documentary on Ship Breakers.

View all 4 comments. Apr 16, Melki rated it liked it Shelves: The test of the morality of a society is what it does for its children. Somewhere, Newt Gingrich will be beaming. Meet a generation of Lost Boys and Girls. They don't wanna grow up because getting bigger means they can no longer squeeze into those narrow passageways. Might as well sell your body for medical experiments, or in this case, organ harvesting.

Creepy and fascinating stuff, and if the whole book had carried on in this vein, it would have been an instant 5-star read. Nailer, our hero, finds a clipper ship, wrecked in a recent storm. Boarding this veritable gold mine, he discovers "Princess" Nila, and THIS is where the story hits a wall, then limps off in the wrong direction. Nila is not technically "a princess", but she is a rich girl.

Had Nailer not been smitten by her loveliness, perhaps he would have cut her fingers off, stolen her rings, and started his own, "kinder, gentler" ship breaking company. But, instead we descend into "Rescue the Princess" mode, and pfffftt Sorry if my disappointment is showing. The first 90 pages held SUCH promise View all 11 comments. Aug 02, Carol. Four and a half stars of young adult goodness.

His short stories are hard for me, as in hard-edged, hard-hitting, hard-healing. I liked The Wind-Up Girl, mostly, though I was troubled by the lack of feminism and the bleakness of the dystopia. Young adult might be the area where Bacigalupi and I best intersect; Ship Breaker is full of his evocative prose, great world-building, and is generally more Four and a half stars of young adult goodness. Young adult might be the area where Bacigalupi and I best intersect; Ship Breaker is full of his evocative prose, great world-building, and is generally more hopeful, more identifiable, and more empowering.

View all 5 comments. Aug 03, Patrick rated it it was amazing. I read this earlier this year and really, really dug it. Very tight and well-written. Gritty without being bleak, and sometimes dark without being depressing. View all 3 comments. May 05, Stephen rated it really liked it Shelves: While his catalog is not yet extensive, I have yet to read a novel or short story by Paolo Bacigalupi with which I have not been impressed.

This is another great book with sharp, well written dialogue, a fast-paced story and an interesting main character. As a YA book it is a home run. The only reason is does not get the full 5 stars from me is that, as a YA novel, the det 4. The only reason is does not get the full 5 stars from me is that, as a YA novel, the detailed world-building that was so incredible in The Windup Girl is less prevalent in this story in order to keep the narrative moving and the page count manageable. I only hope that there is a sequel that will allow the author to expand and fill in some of interesting "hints" that were made about the state of the world.

A good read but not, I eventually realised, for me. The story is about a boy called Nailer who works hard gathering copper wiring from old oil tankers in order to make quota and keep his pitiful job. A bleak and miserable future years from now. One day he finds something on board a wrecked clipper ship that is destined to change his life forever in ways he could never have imagined But, ah, there was a bit too much oil and ships and copp A good read but not, I eventually realised, for me.

But, ah, there was a bit too much oil and ships and copper wiring for me. There were some great fast-paced action scenes, some real gritty nastiness and the author had a tendency to describe the gory details very accurately. I thought some parts were better written and more interesting than others but, on the whole, the story failed to grab me and, thereby, failed to hold my interest.

One of my favourite parts of this book were the constant moral battles the characters faced of self-preservation vs doing the right thing. Getting rich or saving a life? Helping your colleague out of a sticky situation or using their misfortune to further your own career prospects?

The tagline of the book is: But loyalty is scarcer. And that couldn't be a better summarisation of what the novel is about.

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I was thankful that, even though a lot of the story is built around trust or lack of and relationships, there was no birds-singing, cupids-flying, starry-eyed romance; it seems to be an almost unavoidable component in modern dystopian fiction and it made a nice, refreshing change. Jul 25, j rated it it was ok Shelves: This book is a really good example of why I almost always find YA literature unsatisfying: I am, sadly, no longer a YA though my A status might be called into question from time to time.

See, I just finished this book called The Windup Girl , which is about a post-oil society in which man's unchecked manipulation of the environment - from drilling into the ground to extract oil to drilling into the very DNA see what I did there? It's an ambitious, harrowing, difficult book, with an expertly drawn cast of characters, none of whom you'd want to call a hero or even a friend, but you ache for them because you know exactly why they do, and are forced to do, the sometimes terrible things they do to survive in a world we might be making right now.

Ship Breaker, which happens to be by the same very talented guy, Paolo Bacigalupi, takes all those big ideas and crams them into a wholly pedestrian YA template, sketches the interesting details, and concentrates too hard on a simplistic, predictable plot. Don't get me wrong: The notion that in a society strapped for resources, the remains of the excessive waste of our era - including huge oil tankers - would be stripped for resources by bands of glorified slave laborers many of them children, because they can slip their soft, supple bodies into tight ducts and tubes and such is a pretty good one, and from what we see of it, not at all far-fetched, since its a condition that basically already exists in much of the third world, where children literally live in the dumps they scavenge for scrap they sell to survive.

Then there are the other amusements, like hey, genetically bred creatures that are half-man, half-dog, which is obviously a commentary on, um, our modern day exploitation of I had fun debating whether this one takes place in the same world as Windup Girl, and if so, if it's the same era.

But an interesting world doesn't make an interesting book, and the plot really didn't do it for me, mostly because once it finally gets going, it's a lot of waiting around, then a lot of traveling, then a big action scene, and it all goes exactly how you think it will, right down to the rather lame and poorly justified romantic angle. The people who expect to be good are good, the ones you think are secretly eviiiil are evil, etc. I know it's for teenagers, but I am writing this review for other adults if not, sorry about any swearing , and I was bored.

Credit where it's due: Bacigalupi lets his main character do some nasty stuff, like contemplate muder and even kill a few people. In this respect, at least, he has more balls um than Suzanne Collins, who never quite lets Katniss be totally badass in Hunger Games Trilogy Boxset you know what I mean: I think she only murders for sport once in the series to date, and it's not a very cold-blooded killing at that. Not to rag on that series, because I like it a lot more than Ship Breaker, and Katniss would totally annihilate whoever the nondescript main character of Ship Breaker is name?

Provided, you know, he wasn't first unexpectedly attacked by genetically modified bees. View all 8 comments. Jan 22, Arlene rated it liked it Shelves: Let me point out upfront that Ship Breaker is an award winner of the Michael L. This novel does a good job of setting the stage to portray the struggles of loyalty, integrity and ethics. It begs the questions of: How far will someone go to rise above their desperate means in search of something better?

Overall though, the plot is compelling, the writing is solid and the cast has a good balance of good versus evil. So what was my hang up? It was more like being navigated through bleak events as a complicit bystander with no real vested interest in any of the characters or outcome.


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  7. That just goes to show you that mood, perspective and timing is everything in the reading experience. I guess I needed something a bit more uplifting at the moment. View all 6 comments. Jul 20, Stephanie rated it really liked it Shelves: Please tell me this is the first in a series! I really liked this and I hope to read more about Nailer, Pima and Nita and the world they live in.

    I live along the Gulf Coast and this world captured my imagination. The story is set on the oil slicked Gulf Coast in a world where everything has fallen apart and the cities of today are now under water. Nailer and Pima work the "light crew", stripping valuable copper and aluminum from the hulking wrecks of old freighters and oil tankers. The crews tha Please tell me this is the first in a series! The crews that work this stretch of beach are divided into light crew and heavy crew and once you get too large for light crew, you have to fight for a spot on a heavy crew.


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    5. Life on Bright Sands Beach is full of back-breaking labor, dangerous conditions, and near-starvation. If the job doesn't kill you, the polluted environment will. Things take a radical turn for Nailer and Pima after a "city-killer", a massive hurricane, sweeps through their beach, nearly killing Nailer's father, the evil Richard Lopez. Only due to the efforts of Pima's mother, does Lopez survive.

      In the aftermath of the storm, Nailer and Pima decide to scavenge through the debris far up the beach, to an area that is an island during high-tide but accessible by a strip of sand during low-tide. What they find there could change their lives. It's a clipper ship, beached and broken, and one lone survivor, a beautiful "swank" girl, with more riches on her fingers than Pima and Nailer could hope to earn in their entire lives. Could she be their ticket out of Bright Sands?

      Maybe, but they would have to keep alive and safe until her people come for her. And Bright Sands is full of predators, including Richard Lopez, who will stop at nothing to get his "lucky strike", even if it means killing his only child to get it. Love this book, can't wait to read more! Jul 12, Clouds rated it it was amazing Shelves: Following the resounding success of my Locus Quest , I faced a dilemma: It took my 5 days to read Ship Breaker , because real life kept getting the way. Left to myself, I would have easily blitzed through this puppy in a single sitting — not even stopping to eat.

      The world as we know it has gone to wrack and ruin. He works for the Light Crew, scavenging copper wiring from the beached hulks of oil tankers. This is gritty, likeable, fast paced and enthralling reading. Guess which was my favourite? This is about great human qualities — loyalty, trust, faith, determination, self belief, resourcefulness, and never-say-die attitude. The characters have depth and flaws — I cared about them.

      There are definitely elements in common, but not enough to be sure. My instinct said same world, but earlier in the timeline. I loved Ship Breaker. After this I read: Aug 28, Michael rated it liked it Shelves: In Michael Springer's review of Ship Breaker , he uses a narrative account of his experience working at Rally's Hamburgers as a parallel to the type of work the book's characters are engaged in, and follows this lengthy digression with a political rant that goes on in one seemingly endless sentence for several hundred words.

      The actual time invested in discussing characters or events from the book come in a brief paragraph at the end, almost as an afterthought to the rants that have come before. This is fairly typical for the reviewer's style, although it's a vast improvement over his review of the children's book, In the Night Kitchen: That said, what can we say about the quality of this review of Ship Breaker?

      If one were interested in deciding whether or not they'd enjoy the book, it's hard to imagine how the reviewer's multiple experiences wounding himself while cooking hamburgers will help us determine whether we ought to read it or not. Likewise, the reviewer's ravings about the madness of the political system in the United States, and his accusations that "all of us, every one of us on this website, all of my goodreader friends, are just pawns to the American Empire, forever blinded by the superficial bickering of political hacks while those with the money lurk behind the scenes, pushing an agenda that subjugates those in Puerto Rico, Hawaii, and all of the middle east, those most of us would rather embrace than marginalize It seems that overstatement is the rule of the day, considering the reviewer chooses to portray his own mediocre job at a fast food restaurant which he admits he only worked at for two months with the slavery-like conditions experienced by the children in the book.

      At their jobs extracting copper from abandoned ships, they ran the risk of death on a daily basis, whereas Michael's worst experience involves a fairly mild burn on his finger. In one of the few evaluative statements in the entire review, Michael states that, in comparison to Paolo Bacigalupi's previous novel, The Windup Girl , "This book gargles donkey cum.

      When attempting to actually review the book in his final paragraph, Michael proves himself inept: He mentions the book is part of the science fiction movement known as "biopunk," but quickly moves on to other territory without defining this term, or explaining why this term matters in our understanding of the book. Perhaps, if the reviewer were to view this "review" as a rough draft, or a brainstorm for ideas, he might eventually develop something worth reading. However, the review seems to have happened as a stream-of-consciousness rant that only tangentially has any connection with the novel in question, and then attempts to flesh out a review at the last minute before fizzling out ambivalently.

      If one is inclined to read a review of Ship Breaker on the goodreads. In comparison to these reviews that actually contain substance, Michael's review clearly gargles donkey cum. Dec 25, Morgan F rated it really liked it Recommended to Morgan by: Ship Breaker takes places in a gritty, grim future, where the divide between the rich and the poor is deeper than ever. The poor grow up like Nailer, a youth who lives in a little shack on a beach off the Gulf Coast with his abusive, drugged-up father.

      Like everyone else on the beach, Nailer must work hard to survive, stripping washed-up oil rigs for the raw materials, but even hard work is not enough to guarantee survival in his dog-eat-dog world. Nailer can rely on hardly anyone, besides his c Ship Breaker takes places in a gritty, grim future, where the divide between the rich and the poor is deeper than ever. Nailer can rely on hardly anyone, besides his crew boss Pima and her mother. His father doesn't care, and even his own crewmates, blood-sworn to have his back, will betray him if it means being rewarded by the Fates with their own "lucky strike".

      Nailer's beach has people from a hodgepodge of cultures and ethnic backgrounds. One thing I loved about this book was that the people came in all shades of colors, and none of the characterizations resorted to stereotypes. Unlike most books, white is not the default. Such a mix of characters also paved the way for an interesting culture, one that thrives on luck and "the Fates", with gods and deities from all religions, as well as some made-up ones like the Rust god.

      I just found this interesting because it emphasized the fact that everyone was poor, no matter their color or beliefs. Everyone had to struggle, with no one being that much better off than another. One theme that this novel explores pretty well is how some people lose their sense of humanity in the face of adversity.

      No one in this book is nice. They are all willing to kill if they have to, but with each person having a different way of determining when they "have to". Nailer has more humanity than most. When a city-killer storm ravages the beach, it leaves behind the wreck of a clipper ship, a vessel for rich people. Nailer and his best friend, Pima, are the first to discover the ship, and are determined to scavenge all they can from it. In one of the rooms they discover a beautiful "swank" girl, who appears to have been crushed by toppled furniture.

      Noticing the girl's gold jewelry, Nailer and Pima have no qualms about taking it from her, perhaps cutting off her fingers in the process in order to get her gold rings. Things become complicated when the girl turns out to be alive. Pima is all for cutting the girls throat and taking the loot. Pima is not a bad character. She is fiercely loyal to Nailer and the rest of her crew and family, but she has no sympathy for characters outside her circle of loyalty. Nailer is more conflicted, convincing Pima that the girl is worth more alive than dead, for people are certain to come looking for her.

      Through out the novel, Nailer is torn between being "smart" aka doing what he can to survive and get ahead , or doing what is right. He constantly finds himself doing what he can to save the swank girl, Nita, and returning her to her family, although that is difficult because they are being pursued by enemies of Nita's father, who want to use Nita as leverage, as well as Nailer's own father, a killer who wants revenge. The world that Ship Breaker is set in is one of YA distopia's best, as it is well-concieved and imaginative, while remaining plausible. The plot was extremely fast-paced, violent, and action-packed, and the writing had moments of insightfulness.

      But one thing that was missing from the novel was empathy. I felt it lacked heart and an emotional punch. The characters felt more like roles than actual people. There was potential for some extremely heart-wrenching moments that was ignored, and the small romance between Nailer and Nita could have been fleshed-out more. I don't intend to be sexist, but I just believe this is because the author is male and this book is geared towards a male audience. Not that females can't enjoy it too, its just if they are hoping for some intense romance, they will be disappointed.

      One more small quirk I had with this book was how Nailer learned to read so fast. I just found that highly unbelievable, and it took me out of the story.