The Colombo Bay
When Richard Pollak woke up in Hong Kong on 9/11, his first thought was to abandon the book he had come to write and get home to his family in Manhattan as soon as possible. But after some agonizing he decided to stay the course he had originally set for himself. Two days later he boarded the Colombo Bay, a 60,000-ton container ship, for a five-week voyage half way around the world. Pollak's account of the journey and of the officers and crew who manned the mammoth vessel at this terror-stricken time was published in 2004 by Simon & Schuster to unanimously enthusiastic reviews.
The New York Times Book Review calls The Colombo Bay "pulse-quickening [and] ingenious . . . an original portrait . . . meticulously researched." To read the full review, click here.
The book is "a maritime masterpiece that both industry insiders and the general public will enjoy . . . .[Pollak] writes brilliantly. Do yourself a favor and get this book." -- Shipping Digest
"[A]n exceptional piece of literary journalism," one whose "technical descriptions and analysis . . . rival the best of John McPhee. . . . this book has the chance to become a sleeper hit, aided by Pollak's terrific writing." -- Publishers Weekly
"[F]ascinating, [a book that] makes you realize that those who go down to the sea in container ships do so on seas increasingly full of perils." -- The Los Angeles Times
"Pollak's synthesis is masterly, both informed and courageously insightful. Not many people in the business would or could 'tell it like it is' with such candor and acumen." -- American Shipper
"[A]n engrossing view of the vital, dangerous, vulnerable business of ocean transport." -- Seattle Times
Pollak is "a true maritime yarn-spinner. . . . [The book]deserves to draw readers from far beyond the ranks of maritime buffs." -- Booklist,
"Don't think you want to read a book about shipping?" writes Steven Brill, author of After. "Well, how about a Jules Verne-like tale of a journey across the world that begins the day after September 11 and makes issues like globalization, international trade, and port security come alive in a deeply personal, poignant narrative crafted by a truly gifted writer.”
James Stewart, author of Heart of a Soldier, writes: "To the ranks of seafaring literature,we may gratefully add The Colombo Bay, an engrossing account by Richard Pollak of his global circumnavigation on a modern container ship. And to the traditional perils of sea crossings--piracy, tropical storms, running aground--we may now add global terrorism. Those who venture with Pollak on this remarkable journey will gain a new appreciation for the importance of the world's sea lanes, and the people and ships that populate them."
This is "a fascinating inside look at how everyday goods now get to their final destination," reports Library Journal, a book, concludes the Milwaukee Journal Sentinal, "that will delight any armchair sailor."