The Bay Men: A Clammer’s Story
Clam digging runs in the family of Evert Bay Scott. His great-grandfather was a clammer too, and as a child Scott was inspired by stories of him. The difference between the two, of course, is that Reggie Steins was an honest man, while Scott unashamedly spent the majority of his career on the darker side. The Bay Men: A Clammer’s Story is a collection of Scott’s memories about his life and livelihood on “the Great South Bay.” Younger audiences will admire the author’s drive and “stick-it-to-the-man” attitude, but others may not find his frequent brushes with the law and the mob scene less than endearing. The book begins with Scott and his buddy Cole getting chased after poaching in illegal waters, and this story is the common narrative that strings the rest of the similarly themed stories together. Scott has spent nearly his entire career dabbling in the illegal side of clamming, and seems to spend a good portion of the book trying to defend his actions both to his readers and himself: “…the rewards of it all were something a young man like me just couldn’t resist.”
The novel does have its positive points, however. Scott has a very conversational style of writing, which makes his stories flow smoothly off the page. Reading this book almost feels like you’re right there listening to the author spin his tales, and the cramped coldness of his boat during the chase narrative add a realism that makes it all seem so much more tangible. His family and friends are all interesting, if not particularly well-developed; some readers might wonder how much Scott’s wife and daughter know about his business dealings, and what their family dynamic is like. The story is interesting, but the nature of it all is not for the faint of heart.
|Page Count||201 pages|
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