Life shaping book - I need a copy!

When I was about 10, I read a book that my Dad had fro the library and it set my life’s course. All I wanted to do was travel ad see the world which I did, living and working in the Middle East and the Far East working in oil exploration. Later I emigrated from UK to USA and found jobs in technical marketing that took me to China, Papa New Guinea. Australia, South America, etc. Then retired and lived in Costa Rica for many years. Unfortuately I cannot remember the name of the book or the author, but it was probably written in the early 1930s? and was about a US Merchant seaman who jumped ship in Beirut and worked his way through southern Asia to Singapore where the book ended. The descriptions were incredible and I saw exactly what the author described. However, about 40 years ago I heard on TV the author had died, but had never left SAN FRANCISCO IN HIS ENTIRE LIFE! If anyone knows of that book, I want it to accompany me to the next world. So let me know, please!
Mike

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Not a perfect fit, but could it be The Asiatics by Frederic Prokosch?

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Many thanks, my friend! This might well be the book and I will definitely get a copy to confirm. I am indebted to you regardless,and would like to know more about you if that is possible?

Thanks you again, sincerely
Mike Walter

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You’re very welcome. I am just enthusiastic about book searches. :grinning: I had never heard of this story before. The author you described sounds more like Howard Pease, who lived in San Francisco and wrote children’s stories about “a young merchant mariner” character named Tod Moran. But he doesn’t sound like a perfect fit, either.

Either way, I hope you rediscover this book!

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I was also going to suggest Howard Pease and his Tod Moran series of seafaring adventures. I only know Pease because he was born in Stockton, CA where my family has roots. He did serve on a the crew of a freighter early in life, but he spent most of his years in the Bay Area as a teacher and school principal. I rarely see his books on library shelves or bookstores, I’m guessing because the writing is not only dated, but grossly stereotypes Asians, Latinos, and other people of color. That said, an older neighbor gave me their collection of Tod Moran books when I was in elementary school, and I spent a whole summer entranced by his adventures. They were a fun read for an imaginative shut-in. (I suffered from asthma throughout most of my childhood; books were my one way of getting out of the house.)

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Good morning Onoma;
I read several pages of The Asiatics on-line and realized it was not the right book. I could never have read that prose at the age of 10 and been excited by it! Just not my cuppa tea. But I thank you for the suggestion and will look into the Ted Moran books to see if one of those is a fit, but I doubt my Dad would have pulled a children’s book from the library to read, unless he pulled it for me? We’ll see, and thanks again.
Best
Mike

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Thanks Laughingdog! The Asiatics was not the correct book I discovered after reading several pages on line, so I’ll take a look through the Howard Pease offerings to see if anything fits. I really appreciate your help!
Mike

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You’re welcome. I actually think I may know the book you’re looking for: “Bound for Singapore,” which is a memoir of Pease’s early days on a freighter.

Maybe you’ll recognize the cover illustration? Quite often, I can’t remember a book’s title, but I’ll vividly remember the art on a jacket. Anyway, happy hunting! I’m a retired teacher and currently have been searching for old books I read as a child. Etsy has several good shops that carry vintage books, though their stocks can be erratic. Estate sales can also yield some treasures, though the books, if they’re well-loved, are often in bad shape.

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This is an interesting biography of Pease. The writer’s take on his books are different from mine, but I’m thinking now of re-reading them.

http://www.oldchildrensbooks.com/collectors-corner/authors/howard-pease

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I grew up in UK so was not familiar with Pease as an author. In fact, this is the first time I heard of him. But I know what you mean - we had a similar writer named Arthur Ransome who wrote about kids and their sailboats, and also 2 0r 3 boks written by two 14 year old schoolgirls about themselves, their friends and their ponies. One book in particular, was called “The Far Distant Oxus”. I still have a copy, and for a 14 year old boy, it was a heart-breaker!

Thanks again for the tips - I’ll keep searching!
Best
Mike

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FYI, I posted your question on a librarians’ listserv, just in case that isn’t it. I also suggest you ask a librarian.

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Or All the Brothers Were Valiant by Ben Ames Williams? Read it here: