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Extended Audio Sample Cork Boat: A True Story of the Unlikeliest Boat Ever Built, by John Pollack Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (279 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: John Pollack Narrator: Jonathan Marosz Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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In the late 1990s, John Pollack was working as a Washington speechwriter when, frustrated by the cynicism and hypocrisy on Capitol Hill, he quit his job to pursue a boyhood dream: to build a boat made entirely of wine corks and take it on an epic journey.

Cork Boat tells the story of Pollack’s improbable quest. Overcoming one obstacle after another, he convinces skeptical bartenders to save their corks, corrals a brilliant but disorganized partner, and eventually cajoles more than one hundred volunteers who help build the boat until their fingers bleed. Ultimately, Pollack completes his vessel of 165,321 corks and sets sail on a fantastic voyage down the Douro River in Portugal, where the cork boat becomes a national sensation.

In recounting these adventures, Pollack skillfully meanders through fascinating arcana, from the cork wars to the history of rubber bands (some fifteen thousand of which help hold his boat together). He also offers an insider’s look at the White House, where he was a presidential speechwriter and where he enlisted navy stewards to save corks for the boat.

Written with unusual grace and disarming humor, Cork Boat is a buoyant tale of whimsy, adventure, and the power of imagination.

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Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Jeanne | 2/20/2014

    " This is a true story about a young man who literally builds a boat out of corks. It's an interesting story of why he did it and his perserverance to make it happen. I'm not spoiling the story by telling you that it actually does get built as there is a picture of it on the cover of the book. He ends up sailing it down the Duoro River in Portugal. Great descriptions of the Portugese villages and countryside. (Joe, let us know when you will be there again as i'm ready to go back!) It's well-written (the author was a speech-writer for a time for President Clinton) and a nice book to read. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 by Gina | 2/13/2014

    " I'll be quite honest.....I just couldn't get through the darn thing. Try and try as I might I just could no longer endure the continued whining of the author. I can only imagine that building a boat out of wine corks alone must be a difficult task, it was enough to get me to pick up the book, but this might have been better settled in short story form or perhaps a narrative. Sorry Cork Boat but your maiden voyage wasn't enough to keep me sailing. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Vicki | 1/12/2014

    " I liked this book, because it told the story of trying to sail in a boat made of cork - again something I would never attempt to do. The author had numerous obstacles along the way that he had to overcome, and it was interesting to see how he made it happen. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Vicki | 1/12/2014

    " My second "man building boat for a lifelong dream journey" book in a month. I've just picked them up from my library's new books shelf, so I'm not sure why the trend. This book was a decent read. The author was a political speechwriter so it had interesting political bits as well as revealing the whole process of building a four-person Viking long boat entirely out of wine bottle corks and rubber bands and then traveling down the Douro River in Portugal. It was a bit stressful hearing about it all, but a good combination of a project/travel/life memoir. "

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