Seagulls in My Soup

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

Tristan Jones has made a reputation for himself as a sailor who knows how to tell marvelous tales. He has mastered the fine art of blurring the lines between fiction and fact in order to enhance his adventures. Jones has spent most of his life sailing from one port to another. He has lived the adventures about which he writes. But as he states in the foreword to SEAGULLS IN MY SOUP: “all the main facts of these tales are true, but the tales (as all life is a dream) are ’fiction.’” During several months in 1965, Jones found himself sharing his wooden ketch, CRESSWELL, with Cecilia (Sissie) Saint John—the sister of the bishop of Southchester—in the Mediterranean. The time spent in the Mediterranean became the inspiration for the vivid tales of SEAGULLS IN MY SOUP.

The wild and crusty characters whom Jones and Saint John encounter throughout these tales definitely add spice to the mix of ingredients. Jones has a wonderful way with salty dialogue and an affinity for the sea that adds authenticity to the fictionalized nature of these stories. Descriptions of the Mediterranean docks, bars, and small villages immerse the reader in Jones’s exotic world. Life in these tales is not organized or predictable. Jones must live by his wits. Many times, he must either get himself or someone else out of a difficult situation, which makes for nerve-racking tension and excitement. Through it all, Jones always seems to find a way to add a humorous twist.

SEAGULLS IN MY SOUP is never dull, and those who love adventure as well as sailing will be thoroughly entertained by the adventures contained in this collection.