Monday, February 19, 2018

The Stowaway - Laurie Gwen Shapiro

I am not a winter person at all. But a recent cold, blustery week seemed like the perfect setting to listen to Laurie Gwen Shapiro's latest book - The Stowaway: A Young Man's Extraordinary Adventure to Antarctica.

While adventures and tales can by imagined by authors, sometimes the most intriguing and captivating stories are those plucked from real life. Such is the case of Billy Gawronski. In 1928, Billy was a seventeen year old high school student. Explorer Richard Byrd was putting together an expedition to Antarctica. Over sixty thousand people volunteered to go along with Byrd. And Billy? Well, Billy stowed away on one of Byrd's ships, determined to go along. His attempt to join was not smooth sailing though. But his spunk, determination and heart captured the public's interest.

Shapiro's telling of this fascinating story is really well done, bringing intimate details of Billy's life and family to the story, through interviews and mementos shared from family members. The details surrounding the actual expedition, time period and players are equally captivating.

Jacques Roy was the reader. His voice is well modulated and pleasant to listen to. His enunciation is clear and easy to understand. His accents were believable. Roy's interpretation is understated, letting the listener absorb the details and imagine the time and events. Listen to an excerpt of The Stowaway.

This armchair adventurer quite enjoyed The Stowaway, imagining the tenacity, fearlessness and courage it would take to follow such a dream - all from my comfy chair by the fireplace.


Icewineanne said...

This sounds so good Luanne. I love stories of exploration & really enjoy listening to audiobooks (usually when I’m cooking) so I’m definitely going to hunt down a copy of this.
Thanks for the terrific review. Cheers!

bermudaonion said...

I enjoy stories like this, too - always wondering if I'd have the guts the people in them do.

Luanne said...

Icewineanne - I listen to quite a few audiobooks - travelling back and forth to work. And when I can't sleep.

Bermudaonion - oh, real life has the best stories!