Colin Thiele D. L. Rees - Essay

D. L. Rees

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

The reader becomes very much involved in [Blue Fin, a] finely written account of the tuna fishermen. Snook, fourteen and gawky, is teased by most and held in open contempt by his unsympathetic father…. The outcome is a shock.

The absorbing descriptions of the tuna industry (particularly the scenes in the canning factory), the strong characterization, [and] the moving central theme all combine to produce a book of substance and of merit.

D. L. Rees, "Fiction: 'Blue Fin'," in Children's Book News (copyright © 1970 by Children's Book Centre Ltd.), Vol. 5, No. 1, January-February, 1970, p. 28.

No-one thinks of deep sea fishing as being an easy job, but it might be natural to gravitate towards this sort of work if a boy had enjoyed fishing along river banks. [In Blue Fin] Colin Thiele makes boys realize that there is no comparison. This is not a story which has been soft-pedalled for children, it is about the dangers deep sea fishermen meet, the fierce competition, the difficulty in making money, and the dangers which have to be faced. It is a tale of courage and heroism and yet the chief character is nobody's idea of a teenage fictional hero, he is quite the reverse until the end of the story. This is a book which will be enjoyed by any boy who finds ordinary living a bit dull and uneventful.

"For Children from Ten to Fourteen: 'Blue Fin'," in The Junior Bookshelf, Vol. 34, No. 1, February, 1970, p. 43.