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From a writer “whose genre-jumping refusal to be pinned down [makes him] an exemplar of our era” (NPR), a new book that confirms his power to astound readers.
As a child Geoff Dyer spent long hours making and blotchily painting model fighter planes. So the adult Dyer jumped at the chance of a residency aboard an aircraft carrier. Another Great Day at Sea chronicles Dyer’s experiences on the USS George H.W. Bush as he navigates the routines and protocols of “carrier-world,” from the elaborate choreography of the flight deck through miles of walkways and hatches to kitchens serving meals for a crew of five thousand to the deafening complexity of catapult and arresting gear. Meeting the Captain, the F-18 pilots and the dentists, experiencing everything from a man-overboard alert to the Steel Beach Party, Dyer guides us through the most AIE (acronym intensive environment) imaginable.
A lanky Englishman (could he really be both the tallest and the oldest person on the ship?) in a deeply American world, with its constant exhortations to improve, to do better, Dyer brilliantly records the daily life on board the ship, revealing it to be a prism for understanding a society where discipline and conformity, dedication and optimism, become forms of self-expression. In the process it becomes clear why Geoff Dyer has been widely praised as one of the most original—and funniest—voices in literature.
Another Great Day at Sea is the definitive work of an author whose books defy definition.
“Dyer, at his best, is outstanding. He is one of our greatest living critics, not of the arts but of life itself, and one of our most original writers. . . . The essential fact about Dyer’s nonfiction is that it works beautifully when it shouldn’t work at all. . . . What’s going on in these sentences is the fundamental business of nonfiction: the translation, at once exact and surprising, of world to word. . . . Dyer’s books don’t just have gorgeous throwaway moments. They are gorgeous throwaway moments, a series of extraordinary asides in the long sentence that is life.” —New York Magazine
“The notion of installing a writer of Dyer’s baroquely sensitive and self-conscious temperament aboard an American aircraft carrier stationed in the Persian Gulf is obviously a stroke of genius. . . . Thoroughly enjoyable. . . . The pleasure it delivers comes from two sources: Dyer’s potent descriptive talent as he evokes the sequestered and sometimes surreal environment and society of the carrier, and the comedy he derives from his own fish-out-of-water status and high-strung personality. . . . Dyer’s best is much more than good enough.” —Salon.com
“When Geoff Dyer wants to write about something, he gets totally into it. Be it a Russian film or yoga, Dyer’s unique take on whatever situation he’s focused on always yields a great book. In this latest case, Dyer finds himself on an American supercarrier, and the results are nothing short of superb.” —Jason Diamond, Flavorwire
“When Dyer delves into a specific topic, he delves deeply, which is why we’re looking forward to his latest exploration: what life aboard an aircraft carrier is like. As always, he laces his observations with comedy and captivating storytelling.” —Huffington Post
“Unique, interesting, and surprising . . . fascinating.” —Jay Freeman, Booklist
“Geoff Dyer has managed to do again what he does best: insert himself into an exotic and demanding environment (sometimes, his own flat, but here, the violent wonders of an aircraft carrier) and file a report that mixes empathetic appreciation with dips into brilliant comic deflation. Welcome aboard the edifying and sometimes hilarious ship Dyer.” —Billy Collins, author of Aimless Love
“What could be better than weeks far away on the flat seas of the Arabian Gulf with Geoff Dyer? He is, if possible, even more witty and charming than usual. The carrier's hugeness, its crew's tireless cheer and openness, and the enormous mechanical and electrical forces at work everywhere fare wonderfully here with Dyer's unique combination of depth, irreverence and explosive humor.” —Annie Dillard, author of Pilgrim at Tinker Creek
“I hope one day to meet the demented genius who decided to put Geoff Dyer aboard an American aircraft carrier. The result sounds in places as if Sterne en route to his sentimental journey had paused for a week's stint on HMS Victory. There's something like New Journalism happening but in the hands of a writer who'll suddenly flash out sentences such as, 'The sea was a prairie of glitter green.' In the end one is forced to call it "a Dyer book," which luckily for him and us is a high compliment.” —John Jeremiah Sullivan, author of Pulphead
“Dyer stows himself away on an American aircraft carrier, fortunately, with all his hilarious tics in place. A rare kind of non-fiction, with sentences that keep on giving long after your eye has sailed on.” —Steve Martin
“Another Great Day at Sea, Geoff Dyer's chronicle of his two weeks in residence aboard the USS George H. W. Bush, is a tale of routine, lyricism and terror, of long hours and hard work, and of camaraderie and conviction, which are a form of faith. Original, humane, and very funny, Another Great Day is another great book by an incomparable writer.” —Brenda Wineapple, author of Ecstatic Nation
“Another Great Day at Sea is what we’ve all come to expect from Geoff Dyer—another great book. I loved everything about it. It’s brilliantly observed, beautifully written, incisive, funny, and filled with stirring truths about life and the value of service.” —David Finkel, author of Thank You for Your Service
“A great day is any day you get to read Geoff Dyer, and this book is no exception. Witty, empathetic, and insatiably curious, Dyer is the perfect guide to the floating world of an American aircraft carrier. With Another Great Day at Sea he makes a perfect night landing on the ‘postage stamp,' with élan to spare.” —Sam Lipsyte, author of The Fun Parts: Stories
“I have read Geoff Dyer on World War I, jazz, photography, the Venice Biennale, and D. H. Lawrence, among many other subjects. It's as though his mind is slave to some unpredictable Internet browser inaccessible to the rest of us. His new book—an inimitably close study of life on an American aircraft carrier—is one of his best, funniest, and most humane yet. Geoff Dyer remains an unconventionally great writer—perhaps the most bafflingly great writer at work in the English language today.” —Tom Bissell, author of Magic Hours: Essays on Creators and Creation
“An often hilarious and aphoristic, short-chaptered account written by a British essayist who is fascinated by American culture. . . . A highly entertaining read.” —Publishers Weekly
“Geoff Dyer is one of those writers who can’t stop—he’ll write about anything that catches his fancy and do it really well. . . . This is a riveting (excuse the pun) excursion into bigness and ‘endless walkways, hatches, and doorways,’ and it’s totally engrossing. . . . Dyer goes on quite a trip and keeps us intrigued the whole way.” —Tom Lavoie, Shelf Awareness