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October 24 , 2009


The True Story of 28,800 bath Toys Lost at Sea


When Donovan Hohn first heard the remarkable story of how 28,904 bath toys spilled into the Pacific en route to the US from China and have been washing up along beaches throughout the world ever since, he decided to find out more and assumed he would interview a few oceanographers, talk to some beachcombers and read up on Arctic science and geography. ‘But questions can be like ocean currents: wade in too far, and they carry you away.’

Setting out on a series of journeys to track the renegade rubber ducks, Moby-Duck is an adventure into the heart of the sea through science, myth, the global economy and some of the worst weather imaginable, and the riveting story of an accidental odyssey which pulled Hohn into the secretive world of shipping conglomerates, the daring terrain of Arctic researchers, the lunatic risks of maverick sailors, and the shadowy domain of Chinese toy factories.

With each new discovery, Hohn learns of another loose thread, and with each successive chase he comes closer to understanding where his castaway quarry comes from (and where it is heading…). In the grand tradition of Tony Horwitz and David Quammen, Moby-Duck is a compulsively readable narrative of whimsy and curiosity for anyone who is interested in obsession, travel, plastic, and that great American novel, Moby-Dick.

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