Tom Fort

What Goes Out Must Come In

The Swordfish and the Star: Life on Cornwall’s Most Treacherous Stretch of Coast

By

Chatto & Windus 244pp £16.99) order from our bookshop

Tide: The Science and Lore of the Greatest Force on Earth

By

Viking 464pp £18.99 order from our bookshop

Sooner or later everyone who writes about fishermen refers to them as ‘a breed apart’. I’ve probably done it myself – certainly Gavin Knight does it a few pages into his exploration of a part of Cornwall that is sometimes regarded as the ‘most treacherous stretch of coast’ in the country.

But what does ‘a breed apart’ usefully mean? Unlike, say, monks or Catholic priests, fishermen have wives and children, homes and mortgages, and bills to pay, however patchy their performance in fulfilling these duties may be. Their alleged apartness actually lies in their doing work that takes them away from home for extended periods and is extremely arduous and unsocial – but which they much prefer to any other kind of work.

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • 'Peters was unashamed and evidently unshamable, an impostor who wholly inhabited his fabrications and who indignant… ,
    • ‘At every waking moment Barbara Hepworth was aware of herself as a woman paving the way in a man’s world’ From the… ,
    • The entertaining Howard Jacobson is in conversation with Prof John Mullan at the Queen’s Park Book Festival on Sund… ,
    • 'A modest and retiring man, Thompson spent his life describing apple varieties and recommending the best – Ribston… ,
    • 'Macfarlane is a poet with the instincts of a thriller writer, an autodidact in botany, mycology, geology and palae… ,
    • 'Some scholars attribute Shakespeare’s pre-eminence to four centuries of propaganda and not to the fact that Hamlet… ,
    • RT : We would appreciate any retweets ,