Two men decide to fulfill the lifelong dream of one of them and set out to catch a Greenland Shark. It’s a beast of the ocean living for centuries and the flesh of the shark, if consumed in small quantities, makes one drunk. Eat too much…you die of the toxins. But it’s the idea of pulling one of these giants off the floor of the deep off the fjord in northern Norway that captivates the pair and sends them on their years long quest.
This book was pitched to me as A Walk in the Woods on the ocean off Norway. I was thrilled and really excited to finally get around to reading it! Unfortunately that is not what this is. Yes, the pair is mismatched but neither is as endearing as Katz or Bryson. Yes, there are asides, many, many, many asides about everything from the evolution of the creatures of the ocean, the currents around the fjords, the ups and downs of the fishing industry, any tangent even slightly related but the quest for the shark definitely takes the back burner throughout most of the book. I learned a lot, but I skimmed a lot as well. Those without much interest in commercial fishing will probably lose interest way before I did. I kept reading because I wanted to know what happened when they finally caught the shark.
Spoiler Alert: They never catch the darn shark.