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UNSINKABLE by Robnoxious



I guess it’s important to enumerate the subtitle of this book since it basically tells you what a wild ride you’re in for: “HOW TO BUILD PLYWOOD PONTOONS & LONGTAIL BOAT MOTORS OUT OF SCRAP” and basically pilot them down the Mississippi River like a modern day gaggle of Huck Finns. Unsinkable is a virtual assault on our adventurous senses, chronicling what feels like a risky but peaceful venture from Kansas City toward the Gulf of Mexico, or “to the edges of madness and death” as the author puts it. Unsinkable functions in a couple of different ways. Ostensibly it’s this sort of “how-to” manual detailing the salvaged materials and supplies used for the journey, or the pros and cons of rocket stoves. With a somewhat technical, but highly conversational tone, Robnoxious’ account of this punk boat flotilla becomes an utterly interesting travelogue about a small sliver of slightly anachronistic Americana that you never really hear about. The ‘zine format is a good choice, I’ve always thought that ‘zines were largely about creative freedom, so what better venue to chart what is decidedly an off-grid tale of freedom? The formatting does jump around a bit, font sizes and paragraph structure ebbing and flowing much like the unpredictable driftwood caches containing old rusted out refrigerators like we see in the book. I enjoyed this tale of self-described river rats who sleep with the sun, getting in sync with the natural cycles of the planet. There’s something primordial we can all be drawn to about “the camaraderie of having put oneself into an irrevocable situation of unknown peril.” This is a unique offering that I won’t soon forget. Grade A.

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