Shanghaied


Fiction - General
322 Pages
Reviewed on 06/21/2012
Buy on Amazon

Author Biography

David Paul Collins was born with a thirst for adventure. As a teenager, he set out to go to sea on his own, working aboard merchant ships sailing under African, Asian and Central American flags and later, on American ships as a member of the National Maritime Union.

SHANGHAIED is a fictionalized memoir based on his experiences on a Liberian freighter and the dangerous ways of life at sea in the 1950s. The fictional protagonist, fifteen-year-old Jack Sligo, is looking for a summer job when he is shanghaied on an African freighter. By the time September school bells rang, Jack had learned lessons that would never have been taught at St. Peter’s Central Catholic High School.

Unbeknownst to Jack, the ship’s bo’sun, Manor Nelson, a Cayman Islander, protected him from members of the crew who would have made Caribbean pirates seem like drawing room gentlemen.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Joy Hannabass for Readers' Favorite

Just the thoughts of a fifteen year old boy waking up on an African ship with no idea how he got there give me chills, but that is what happens to Jack Sligo in this story. And it is what happened to David Paul Collins in real life. Spellbound by his Irish grandfather’s tales of adventure, Jack Sligo had dreams of traveling around the world as part of the crew on a cruise ship. But did he dream of starting out this way? “Shanghaied” is a novel based on the author’s own true story as a merchant seaman, making this not just a fictional story, but a story told with realistic accounts of what actually happens in the life of a merchant seaman.

I was hooked from the beginning of this story because I wanted to see what happened to Jack Sligo. I can only imagine the shock this guy felt waking up on that ship of strangers! In this well-written story, David Collins takes you to the sea with him as he starts his sea journey at a very early age. I have never been at sea, but it felt almost as if I was there, smelling the sea, feeling the spray of salt water, and as a merchant, taking in everything on the entire ship from top to bottom. I always enjoy reading a book by an author writing from personal experiences, and this is truly one of my favorites. I enjoyed the writing style of Collins, and felt I could laugh and cry with him throughout his journey. I highly recommend this book as a fantastic read for anyone, and especially for those looking for a great adventure. This book will take your adventurous juices and take them to a level you never knew you had. After reading “Shanghaied”, you will want to take those adventures with a stronger determination.