Blue Latitudes: Boldly Going Where Captain Cook Has Gone Before - Tony Horwitz Halfway through the book I was sick and tired of Captain Cook and his sailors. The story is so repetitive - visit island, visit bar, get drunk, ogle half-naked girls, get laid, repeat tomorrow at a different island. Admittedly this is probably exactly what they did but chapter after chapter of this was rather boring to read.

Though I will say that Tony Horwitz made some insightful speculation while at Captain Cook's childhood home. He explained, reasonably I thought, how the various things helped (or hindered) Cook on his adventures. I found this part of the book very interesting.

I think the most poignant insight was this passage from page 296.
Even more enigmatic was this: Cook spent most of his career charting new territory and probably named more places than any person in history. Yet there's no evidence that he ever once called a river, shore, island, or promontory after any of the places he'd known during his childhood. And while he named countless landmarks after Admiralty bureaucrats, second-rate aristocrats, and sailors on his ship, he never gave this honor to any member of his own family. hmmm what exactly does that say about Cooks childhood? Apparently Cook wasn't a vain man and was too humble to name places after his own. Makes sense, I guess.

It was interesting that in Britain he was hailed as a hero with monuments, museums, holiday etc while in the South Pacific he was the villain, murdering and pillaging the country while stealing the land for Britain. Though not too surprising considering.

The second half of the book was much more readable (is that a word) than the first. He finally reached the Americas on his second and third circumnavigations which was more interesting to this American. I do find it amazing that the trials and tribulations associated with eighteenth century sea travel and discovery. It's truly incredible that anyone was able to circumnavigate the world without any kind of navigation instruments, the limited food and the amount of alcohol the sailors consumed. I can't even imagine trying to pilot a boat in those wild seas never mind if I myself were two sheets to the wind.

Tony Horwitz does a great job with this memoir. I feel as if I was actually on the Endeavor and the Resolution traveling the world right there along beside Captain Cook. It's a well-written and well-researched and IMHO gives a realistic accounting of Captain Cook's travels.