Magazine article Geographical

Another Great Day at Sea: Life aboard the USS George H.W. Bush

Magazine article Geographical

Another Great Day at Sea: Life aboard the USS George H.W. Bush

Article excerpt

ANOTHER GREAT DAY AT SEA: Life Aboard the USS George H.W. Bush by Geoff Dyer, Visual Editions, sb, 25 [pounds sterling]

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Out in the Persian Gulf there is a floating nuclear-powered city. This is the USS George H.W. Bush, an aircraft carrier and author Geoff Dyer is a cavilling landlubber, a Woody Allen-type thrown into an ultra-muscular carrier world. Crew members sleep six to a cabin, as a writer Dyer pushes the Navy bureaucrats for his own quarters. He's self-aware enough to poke fun at his writerly neuroses, though. From his quarters, Dyer makes self-conscious forays calling on everyone from the fighter pilot elite to the empty brig. Dyer is locked in a cell long enough to play captured pirate, al-Qaeda operative and mutinous sailor.

On his hunched travels (tall writer meet cramped carrier), Dyer sees the carrier as an American microcosm; Main Street, USA off the Iranian coast. In a sexless, contactless world, there's boredom below decks, but terror above as pilots hunt the carrier's thin, grey airfield swaying in the ocean and rogue components turn technicians to human sashimi. …

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