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Before the Wind

Fiction: Literary
Unabridged   9 hour(s)
Publication date: 04/19/2016

Before the Wind

Available from major retailers or BUY FROM AMAZON
Audio CD ISBN:9781681681443
Digital Download ISBN:9781681681450


Following The Highest Tide, Border Songs, and Truth Like the Sun, Jim Lynch now gives us a grand and idiosyncratic family saga that will stand alongside Ken Kesey’s Sometimes a Great Notion.

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Product Description

Joshua Johannssen has spent all of his life surrounded by sailboats. His grandfather designed them, his father built and raced them, his Einstein-obsessed mother knows why and how they work (or not). For Josh and his two siblings, their backyard was the Puget Sound and sailing their DNA. But both his sister and brother fled many years ago: Ruby to Africa and elsewhere to do good works on land, and Bernard to God-knows-where at sea, a fugitive and pirate. Suddenly thirty-one, Josh—who repairs boats of all kinds in a Steinbeckian marina south of Seattle—is pained and confused by whatever the hell went wrong with his volatile family. His parents are barely speaking, his mystified grandfather is drinking harder, and he himself—despite an endless and comic flurry of online dates—hasn’t even come close to finding a girlfriend.

But when the Johannssens unexpectedly reunite for the most important race in these waters—all of them together on a classic vessel they made decades ago—they will be carried to destinies both individual and collective, and to a heart-shattering revelation.


This is a terrific book. I love that Einstein is from beginning to end its genius loci, and that the endlessly changing physics of sailing are mirrored by the fluid dynamics of the Johanssen family. Lynch writes as if every single one of his myriad details comes from intimate first-hand experience. Nothing at all seems researched or vicariously imagined. What I most admire is the tender regard in which he holds all his characters, in all their unpredictable mutations. Jonathan Raban Jim Lynch seems to get better with every bookand Before the Wind is no exception to the trend. With its unforgettable setting, irresistible warmth, and oddball cast of characters, Lynch has given us a Cannery Row for the Great Northwest. This is that rare book you can recommend to anyone. Jonathan Evison Glorious. Put a rambunctious family clan of misfits and genius sailors in Jim Lynchs masterful hands, and what you get is a gorgeous, full-bodied novel that contains pretty much all of life, from the agonies of online dating and boat repair to Einsteins sublime quest for a simple and beautiful unifying theory of everything. Strap yourselves in for a wild rideBefore the Wind takes off at gale force and never lets up. Ben Fountain I never expected to be captivated by the world of sailing the way I was with Before the Wind. From the first paragraph I was hooked by Jim Lynchs language, his humor, his wisdom. The characters are marvelous; the storytelling confident and rollicking; the whole book a delight and a surprise. Maria Semple Jim Lynch's Before the Wind is such a wonderful novelso wry, wise and engaging, so sleek and descriptiveI already have a spot picked out for it on my bookshelf, next to those other classic stories of iconoclastic Western families, Kesey's Sometimes a Great Notion and Duncan's The Brothers K. Jess Walter Before the Wind will enthrall the mariner in all of usour mystical connection with the sea and the irresistible appeal of competition against wind and waves and one another. It is also a story about the complexity of familyalienation, estrangement and sibling rivalry, and the healing power of humour, loyalty and love. Linden MacIntyre, 2009 Scotiabank Giller Prize winner A beautifully rendered tale of family and friendship, of souls caught on the wind, of birds that think they're fish and sailors who yearn for the shore. It's a story that will stay with you long after it's done, like the spreading wake of a boat passing at dusk. Will Ferguson I was born and raised at the mouth of the ocean and watched boats come and go my whole young life. Jim Lynchs Before the Wind brings me back to those shores as his song of a novel sings of both the ease and magic of the perfect sailing dray and the near impossibility of surviving the worst one. Alan Doyle

Author Bio

Jim Lynch lives with his wife in Olympia, Washington. His novels The Highest Tide, Border Songs, and Truth Like the Sun have been adapted for the stage in Seattle. His prizes include the Indies Choice Honor Book Award, the Washington State Book Award for Fiction, and the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Award.