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.
‘Geoff Dyer observes the privations and discipline of US warship life with a sharp eye…no writer has more fun with his own awkwardness, and in this respect you can’t help feeling he has come to exactly the right place.'
‘Dyer fans will warm to his comic digressions on moustaches, deliriously sentimental reveries about what it might have been like to be a Battle of Britain pilot, semi-embarrassing stories about jokingly asking the carrier’s gym boss where he might score steroids, and meditations on the similarities between writing and piloting a plane.'
‘Another Great Day at Sea is a perfect beach read, wherever your boots happen to be on the ground this summer.’
‘Dyer succeeds in rendering a very vivid impression of what life is like on an aircraft carrier. He is more assiduous than he lets on, providing the reader with all the most astounding statistics from each department…quite unexpectedly from such a very teasing, very English writer, the book quickly transforms into a love-letter to the can-do optimism of America.'
‘One of the myriad joys of reading Dyer is his frankness about aspects of life that many writers don’t share…The book is stuffed with wonderful anecdotes. And, of course, it wouldn’t be Dyer if there wasn’t the sharp self-awareness…A total delight.'
‘Written in Dyer’s elegant, playful style…Another Great Day at Sea has… a thin membrane between life and art, a staging area for an investigation of self, an impish poetry of its own. If this is the new reality, I hunger for more.’
‘Another Great Day at Sea illustrates perfectly how a gifted writer functions as a barometer, not only for our shared humanity, but of his or her own inner reverberations.’
‘This is an extremely funny book….A veteran of launches and landings in obscure places, [Dyer] brings this delightful journey to an end smoothly. But, never one to be predictable, it’s a smooth landing in a surprise location.’
‘One of the funniest writers working today.’
‘[Dyer] excels at evoking life on ship, the smells and sounds and personalities.’
‘A brilliant, funny, sober insightful, educational, pyrotechnic read.’