The Outlaw Ocean: Journeys Across the Last Untamed Frontier

The Outlaw Ocean: Journeys Across the Last Untamed Frontier

"A riveting, terrifying, thrilling story of a netherworld that few people know about, and fewer will ever see.... The soul of this book is as wild as the ocean itself."--Susan Casey, best-selling author of The Wave: In Pursuit of the Rogues, Freaks, and Giants of the Ocean A riveting, adrenaline-fueled tour of a vast, lawless and rampantly criminal world that few have ever seen: the high seas./>--Susan"A...

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Title:The Outlaw Ocean: Journeys Across the Last Untamed Frontier
Author:Ian Urbina
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The Outlaw Ocean: Journeys Across the Last Untamed Frontier Reviews

  • Jenny Javier

    I have been looking forward to reading this book soon as I saw it announced. I have read several chapters (not necessarily in order) and am so blown away with the scope, the writing, and the whole production that took to get all of these stories written. Why is this topic and this book not a bigger deal? I have been recommending it to friends right and left and hoping that it gets the attention it so rightfully deserves. If you wish to know more about where the fish on your plate comes from, the

    I have been looking forward to reading this book soon as I saw it announced. I have read several chapters (not necessarily in order) and am so blown away with the scope, the writing, and the whole production that took to get all of these stories written. Why is this topic and this book not a bigger deal? I have been recommending it to friends right and left and hoping that it gets the attention it so rightfully deserves. If you wish to know more about where the fish on your plate comes from, the overfishing that happens all over the world, the haplessness against human trafficking/slavery on the high seas (just to list a few), this book is a must-read.

  • KDV

    Wholly absorbing. It's hard to wrap my feeble mind around the years of investigation, miles travelled, and risks taken to write this book. Astounding. Yes, there is an undercurrent of hopelessness and desperation throughout the book that may give you bad dreams. But it is fascinating. And there are some breaks -- I loved the stories about ship repomen, the doctor taking women offshore for abortions, and Sea Shepherd's tireless efforts. Incredible book. I hope it makes a difference.

  • Daniel Thomas

    This is the first nonfiction book I've read in a year. In The Age of Trump, I've wanted to unplug and immerse myself in fiction. Urbina has done a spectacular job of reporting on all the myriad ways that governments and individuals use the international waters to skirt the law; everything from human trafficking, illegal fishing, drugs, financial malfeasance.

    The book isn't a dry recitation of facts, but goes up close and in-depth to report on the human drama at play on the high seas. This book d

    This is the first nonfiction book I've read in a year. In The Age of Trump, I've wanted to unplug and immerse myself in fiction. Urbina has done a spectacular job of reporting on all the myriad ways that governments and individuals use the international waters to skirt the law; everything from human trafficking, illegal fishing, drugs, financial malfeasance.

    The book isn't a dry recitation of facts, but goes up close and in-depth to report on the human drama at play on the high seas. This book deserves the Pullizer Prize.

  • Grace

    Horrifying and awe-inspiring

  • Kelly

    Several years ago I read

    by William Langewiesche (published in 2002), which was a terrific little book. I’ve thought about it ever since. Having worked on a ship for about four months, I had a vague sense of how commercial interests manage the vacuum of accountability in international waters. Ian Urbina’s

    is a much deeper dive into the subject of lawlessness on the high seas—and it’s a fascinating, heartbreaking read as well.

    Urbina strings together several dif

    Several years ago I read

    by William Langewiesche (published in 2002), which was a terrific little book. I’ve thought about it ever since. Having worked on a ship for about four months, I had a vague sense of how commercial interests manage the vacuum of accountability in international waters. Ian Urbina’s

    is a much deeper dive into the subject of lawlessness on the high seas—and it’s a fascinating, heartbreaking read as well.

    Urbina strings together several different stories about the world’s oceans to create a kind of pointillist tableau. It’s a solid approach. The final result is a patchwork of oddities, adventures, living nightmares, systemic abuses, and insane politics. I was enthralled (and appalled) throughout.

  • Onceinabluemoon

    I am giving this 4 stars even though dnf, it’s well written, I just can’t bear the topic... so depressing it’s breakjng my soul... I have been listening all day in the garden, the sun is setting with this warm orange glow and I am listening to another horrendous murder and mutalation... I am out, I read to learn and enjoy, this topic is just too heart breakjng, I Quit 😟

  • Diane S ☔

    An outstanding piece of investigative journalism, describing a world that is mostly unseen but that covers most of our planet. Our oceans and what is happening on them. The author takes us to various places, some quite dangerous. Illegal fishing of Chilean Sea bass where he on a boat chasing a ship fishing illegally. On ships where indentured crewmen from South Korea are literally starved, worked more than human endurance can stand and often sexually abused. When jobs are scarce, men often have

    An outstanding piece of investigative journalism, describing a world that is mostly unseen but that covers most of our planet. Our oceans and what is happening on them. The author takes us to various places, some quite dangerous. Illegal fishing of Chilean Sea bass where he on a boat chasing a ship fishing illegally. On ships where indentured crewmen from South Korea are literally starved, worked more than human endurance can stand and often sexually abused. When jobs are scarce, men often have little choice. Thailand, another place where crews are mistreated, kidnapped and forced to work. Somalia, capturing ships and holding them and their crew for random. The movie with Tom Hanks I an example of this, though Somalian government is working to stop this and it is not as bad as it was once.

    One of the most interesting is a man who actually recaptures ships being held in foreign ports. Can you imagine stealing back a huge ship. Unreal. The bribes paid that allow some to look away at abuses taking place. There is so much more, and the author takes us to each one. The author presents, section by section, each episode in a interesting and well written way. I found myself totally engrossed I this immersive read.

    The narrator Jason Full also deserves four stars. He has a terrific, well modulated voice.

  • Robert Sheard

    Representing four years' worth of investigative journalism into "the dark underbelly of this offshore frontier, places where the worst instincts of our human species thrived and flourished," this book is a terrific examination of "the outlaw ocean." It will infuriate you, dishearten you, and make you want to become an activist to fight against the violence, lawlessness, and corruption that allows poaching, labor slavery, human trafficking, toxic dumping, and piracy to continue unchecked around t

    Representing four years' worth of investigative journalism into "the dark underbelly of this offshore frontier, places where the worst instincts of our human species thrived and flourished," this book is a terrific examination of "the outlaw ocean." It will infuriate you, dishearten you, and make you want to become an activist to fight against the violence, lawlessness, and corruption that allows poaching, labor slavery, human trafficking, toxic dumping, and piracy to continue unchecked around the world. Urbina's crazy, putting himself in the tightest of spots again and again, but his writing is engaging, his research is thorough, and his clear-headedness means he's the right guide for this harrowing tour.

  • Mehrsa

    This book is wild!! If you want to know what capitalism unleashed from all regulation or social shame, see the economy of the ocean. Urbina reveals exploitation and corruption and how easy it seems to be to evade all laws out there. Fascinating

  • Jeanette

    It's more than 3 stars to be fair, but not for me. I can't round it up. 3.5 stars for the content. And 5 stars for Ian Urbina's bravery and guile. But to be honest, this was one of the top 10 most gut wrenching tomes I've ever read. And that's saying something.

    So many truly perverted, gross and just plain obscene situations are going on within the lawless seas that I find myself just not able to take the last 70 pages without an anti-nausea medication. And it isn't structured well as

    It's more than 3 stars to be fair, but not for me. I can't round it up. 3.5 stars for the content. And 5 stars for Ian Urbina's bravery and guile. But to be honest, this was one of the top 10 most gut wrenching tomes I've ever read. And that's saying something.

    So many truly perverted, gross and just plain obscene situations are going on within the lawless seas that I find myself just not able to take the last 70 pages without an anti-nausea medication. And it isn't structured well as a book at all. It has points that were slogs to get through- and logistics asides of such length that continuity/ tangent was basically, IMHO, lost. Too many diverse ploys to not organize this better. Either by world locales or subject matter or some other less wide overreach. Human trafficking slides into all aspects on top of it.

    Everything down near Antarctica is "we can do it before you catch us". And they seldom get caught. (The Thunder chase seems a prime example.) And if they do- they still go "free" to do it again. Or at least the perpetrators themselves have no consequence near to the acts that they have committed. Multiple, multiple murders only being the human loss side of it. And the pirates, slavery, sex used abused and shackled (traded like foodstuffs) while down to 100 lbs and then thrown overboard! Especially from Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia (South China Seas) area. And the various crew tales alone for various "cheat" practices, I'll never take a cruise ship again. Never.

    I knew about Somalia, but they actually seem like the chump change crew. And to say that this is a function of Capitalism? Nope, anarchy and chaos. Most of the double faced corrupt countries seating the "home" harbors are not so. Some are far, far into the take as much as the ships, captains, crews for the worst acts. Not only against conservatism either.

    Read this one if you truly want a oversized chunk of reality that is a gross parcel to swallow. And I can't believe the infections and filth than Ian subdued himself to on dozens of occasions for weeks and weeks. UGH! Beyond horrid human treatments, worse than in the Middle Ages (being pulled apart by 4 horses almost seems kind) for comparisons as habits in former 1400 AD Europe or Asia.

    He also is taking a lot of whole cloth belief and covering himself with it while swallowing all of his own highly slanted to theory "eyes". Definitely a NY Times think personna. My strong opinion is that the people who work for policing (illegal too what they do) stalking the nasty fishing and whaling meanies (despicable ALL is WAY too mild a word for them) also hold this "quest" and whole belief system just exactly like a religion or a cult of any other age. They remind me of the early martyrs but within an entirely different direction of faith. The fanaticism is EXTREMELY similar and that's why they put their lives at risk. And they sure do.

    This is a far, far harder read than I thought it would be. I'll never eat Chilean Sea Bass again. Or be able to listen to anyone's Thailand vacation tale. Kantang! That has got to be one of the worst places I've ever read about in the modern age since about 1975. Maybe worst than what used to be called the Belgian Congo as it exists today. NO respect for life, let alone suffering.

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