Sunday, February 25, 2007

Finished: "Uncommon Carriers" by John McPhee

Finished: Uncommon Carriers by John McPhee, 2006, 0374280398.

I've always liked McPhee's books a lot. Except for the geology ones; they bore me to tears. This is a collection of, presumably, New Yorker pieces about 'carriers', meaning shippers. Trucks, barges, trains, etc.

McPhee always writes nonfiction. He'll hang out and observe a guy or group of people for a decent amount of time, do what seems to me like an extraordinary amount of research on the topic, and then report. McPhee is a great writer and the information he randomly plugs in to his work is surprising and illuminating.

This is the sixth book of his I have read and it was good. Uncommon just did not jolt me and highly impress me like his other books have. Maybe because this is a collection; McPhee does not have the room to expand on the subject.

This most interesting piece is about UPS and their MASSIVE sorting facility in Louisville, KY. The next most interesting piece has McPhee travel to a lake in the Swiss Alps where blue water sailors come to train on scale sized cargo ships.

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