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Another Great Day at Sea

Life Aboard the USS George H.W. Bush

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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.

From the Hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly

Jan 27, 2014 – This persona-driven work follows Dyer (But Beautiful; The Missing of the Somme) during the two weeks he spent as writer in residence on the USS George H.W. Bush, interviewing the aircraft carrier's crew, as well as members of the U.S. navy and taking notes on the ship's general operations. Yet, as is his custom, Dyer makes no pretenses about being a reporter or capturing facts. He claims early on that "the essence of character is the inability to get used to things," and though he makes due aboard the vast and bustling ship, he knows himself well. The result is an often hilarious and aphoristic, short-chaptered account written by a British essayist who is fascinated by American culture. Always the outsider, Dyer spends most of his time thinking about food, comparing himself to other writers in a self-deprecating manner, or lamenting the ship's many inconveniences. Dyer is most engaging when he's coming to terms with his own anxieties, or making sharp observations about the accomplishments of others; he is perhaps at his least sophisticated when whining or indulging his own base desires. Though this isn't Dyer's finest work of nonfiction, and he hasn't tackled his subject matter to its full potential, it is still a highly entertaining read. With color photographs not seen by PW.

Customer Reviews


Not sure why the author felt it necessary to write about his differences with the sailors. The authors religious beliefs are irrelevant but he felt it necessary to include them .
The book some fairly good insight but could have included so much more.
Found the author telling his story more than those of the sailors and ship.


One of the most boring and uneventful books I have read. It gives insight to what life is like on board, but the topic wasn't interesting to me.

Captures the feeling of a man who doesn't belong on the boat...

I'm sure that there are countless reviews that proclaim how well the author expresses the experiences of the crew. As someone who was never in the navy, I cannot speak to that. But as someone who was never in the navy I can say that this book captures what we balding middle-aged men think and feel when we look back on a life and wonder "what if."

I have often wondered where I would be had I joined in my youth. I would not be here, I would not be me. This me and that me could never coexist in the same lifetime. It's pointless to even ask. I do look from the outside with a sense of awe and wonder if all of my life's troubles might be gone if that me were to exist. Again, that question can never be answered.

The only question that could honestly come to have meaning is how would I feel if this me met that me through a quirk of fate and time. The author answers the question and, in some ways, balances the equation. I enjoyed every minute of this reading experience.

Another Great Day at Sea
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  • $11.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Transportation
  • Published: May 20, 2014
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Seller: Penguin Random House LLC
  • Print Length: 208 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings