A Sailor’s Adventure to the “Dark Side”

David Midgett


Mark Raney

Publication Date: Lulu 2007 

Mark Raney’s nautical tale of David Midgett is a waterman’s tale that pulls at the reader much like the ebb and flow of the tides. Raney reveals the isolated lifestyle of those who live on the sea and brings to light the selective and seductive loneliness chosen by some seasoned sailors. 

David Midgett exposes the brutality of the hostile seas and some of the characters who sail it as well as shows the allure of its harshness. The men and women who make their living on the water have a unique vantage point to tell the story of the bitter sweet gifts the sea has to offer.  Those who understand the rugged give and take of the sea are well aware of its murderous give and take of those who attempt to master it.  

David Midgett is the quintessential waterman. Icy cold, nerves of steel, unapproachable and a scowling brooding visage, he epitomizes the trawling fisherman.  He is fierce, independent and resourceful Midgett accepts the bad that comes with the good dished out by the sea. Midgett never feels the safety and security offered by a shuttered house, he is pulled unexplainably by the siren song of the sea and the lure of the dollars to be made there. It is this pull that sucks him into making a run with some cargo for unsavory customers. 

The greed of the greenbacks offered for a pickup of bales of drugs was the price of Midgett’s soul. In exchange for the pickup he would be paid handsomely, enough to pay off the credit hounds constantly baying at his doors. It was absolute madness but this haul would save him from the hardship and frustration of the waterman’s life. He and his ship the Bright Dawn had to try. Yes, it was inevitable.   All that is evil and rank and sour and smells of death in the sea also feeds life into those who sail her, and David Midgett was no different. Upon her waters in the change of the tides, so too does David reach a declaration of his faith in himself and he makes a determined choice to change his destiny. 

Raney does an excellent job of presenting Midgett as a character deeply conflicted, much like Melville’s Billy Budd. His story, while very much in the stream of consciousness style of Hemingway’s Old Man and the Sea, is a great tale of a man facing the sea and its myriad choices.  The abundance of life David Midgett chooses is all of his own making as he charts his own course on his sea. 

Shannon Evans, senior editor of http://www.mywritingmentor.com lives with her best friend Rick on Bainbridge Island in the Puget Sound just a “ferry ride from Seattle.” She works at her desk with her two Labrador virtual assistants, Mocha and Luke, and her feline copywriting assistants, Caesar and Yoda. She is widely recognized as one of the top writing coaches to authors of non-fiction. Shannon has over 17 years in the academic world teaching English composition to native and non-native speaking students.


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