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Publisher's Summary

Two Years Before the Mast, written by Richard Henry Dana, provides a vivid account of "the life of a common sailor at sea". Dana sails from Boston, around Cape Horn, stopping in several ports along the California coast, including San Diego, San Pedro, Santa Barbara, and San Francisco. On the return trip around Cape Horn in the middle of the Antarctic winter, Dana describes terrifying storms and incredible beauty, giving vivid descriptions of icebergs and the scurvy that afflicts members of the crew.

Public Domain (P)2010 Alpha DVD LLC

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Nautical Mispronunciations

It is unfortunate that reader did not consult a nautical dictionary as to the pronunciation of certain often used words. 'Forecastle" is pronounced fo'c's'l and never as spelled. To measure the depth of water the sailor tosses the "lead" (rhymes with head and is a lead (mine is made of bronze) weight attached to a line. "Victualing" is not pronounced as written, but as "vittles".

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • JB
  • San Francisco, CA, United States
  • 09-03-12

New Reader please

Would you consider the audio edition of Two Years Before the Mast to be better than the print version?

No, the reader was a very poor choice for this recording.

What didn’t you like about Pat Bottino’s performance?

He sounded too old. Not just his voice, but his manner of reading. The adventures of a young man are read by a stuffy sounding museum tour guide voice. I'd prefer better talent or at least someone who engages the text when they read instead of this reader.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Charles
  • cerritos, CA, United States
  • 08-13-12

Wrong reader

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

Yes, relearned a lot of early
california histery

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

I would not change the story because that is the way it was for sailors in that time.

What three words best describe Pat Bottino’s voice?

His voice was okay, his naiutical pronunciation was all off.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

It was a movie, several years ago. Yes, I would go and see it again..

Any additional comments?

Biggest comment was that Bottino should have had a real seaman go over his reading with him. I don't know how many times I cringed when I heard him refer to the forecastle. The word is pronounced "Folk-sul." Also when nearing Boston on the return trip he spoke of a man "being in the chains" and taking soundings by swinging the lead. The sounding lead is pronounced lead as in bed or dead. Not as 'you lead and I'll follow" While not mentioned in the book, life for a common sailor didnt' really improve much until welll into the 20th century. Even up to the 1930's seamen were not treated much better than slaves. My thanks to my seamen brothers who helped to change that. I went to sea from 1946 until 1994 when I retired. ,

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • texan
  • Austin, TX United States
  • 06-26-11

worst ever

I listen to alot of stuff, this is the worst read thing I have EVER listened to. DO NOT PURCHASE this. Audible.com ought to be embarrassed to be selling this recording

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Reader robotic and monotonous

What would have made Two Years Before the Mast better?

The reader of this book made listening very difficult. I quickly abandoned the audio book and went directly to the text. I found the book quite book.

What didn’t you like about Pat Bottino’s performance?

Robotic and monotonous. It almost sounded as though it was a computerized voice.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

California

Excellent! A must for residents of California and those who so aspire. Great descriptions of California ports and cities in the 1830s and 1850s

1 of 1 people found this review helpful