Cork Boat Author:John Pollack In the late 1990s John Pollack was working as a Washington speechwriter when, frustrated by the cynicism and hypocrisy on Capitol Hill, he quit his job to pursue a boyhood dream: to build a boat made entirely of wine corks and take it on an epic journey. — Cork Boat tells the story of Pollack’s improbable quest. Overcoming one obstac... more »le after another, he convinces skeptical bartenders to save their corks, corrals a brilliant but disorganized partner, and eventually cajoles more than one hundred volunteers who help build the boat until their fingers bleed. Ultimately, Pollack completes his vessel of 165,321 corks and sets sail on a fantastic voyage down the Douro River in Portugal, where the Cork Boat becomes a national sensation.
In recounting these adventures, Pollack skillfully meanders through fascinating arcana, from the cork wars to the history of rubber bands (some 15,000 of which help hold his boat together). He also offers an insider’s look at the White House, where he was a Presidential speechwriter and enlisted navy stewards to save corks for the boat.
Written with unusual grace and disarming humor, Cork Boat is a buoyant tale of whimsy, adventure, and the power of imagination.« less
This was an interesting concept to build a cork boat and good enough so it actually works. There is a lot of build up to the actual event. I though it interesting how he collected corks! The author does talk about his liberal leanings and his work for the Clinton administration but I just quickly leafed through that section. I thought his observations about the White House and Air Force One interesting. Overall it was a good little read about a unique idea. It is not my favorite book but certainly not my worst.
I was really looking forward to reading this book. What a concept for a book, a guy with a life long desire to collect enough wine corks to build a boat. I overlooked the author's ultra liberal political comments and the self serving comments about all his sacrifices to assemble his cork boat. But even overlooking all this, this is a poorly written book, I was glad when I finished it.
It is wonderful to see someone's obsession play out to a successful end. This book was an easy read, included honest impressions about the difficulties encountered, and introduced a wonderful cast of characters.