Sunday, 8 January 2017

The Narrowboat Lad by Daniel Mark Brown

The Narrowboat Lad by Daniel Mark Brown
Self published in 2013

One of my Top Ten Books for Indie Pride Day 2016.

Where to buy this book:
Buy the ebook from

How I got this book:
Bought the ebook from Amazon

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Narrowboat Lad tells the true story of author Daniel Mark Brown's first steps into the world of living on a boat. At the age of 25 during the summer of 2012 Dan found his ideal home, the fact that it was nearly 100 miles of canal away from his workplace, friends and family gave him a rough and ready introduction to what it meant to own a boat as his first task was to travel the slow way home... in his home.
Dan recounts the first trip day by day, the highs of being a homeowner where every room has a view that can change daily, the lows of having steam burst from below deck and an overheating engine and everything in between from the perfect natural surrounds to the long hard days of lock working. After the long trip home we are then given a view of his first year onboard as Tilly the narrowboat is transformed into a full time home and the seasons bring their own tint to boat life, particularly a winter that won't soon be forgotten.
Written with honesty and humour Dan gives readers an insight into living on a boat, his own life and personality and why people in his local area instantly know who someone is referring to when they say "The Narrowboat Lad".

Dave and I toyed with the idea of a narrowboat as a permanent home in the past and even got to the online advert browsing stage, but were never quite tempted enough to splash out (pun intended!). Indeed, I haven't even yet stepped onto one. However I followed narrowboating author @sort_of_dan on twitter which alerted me to a limited time sale on his first book, The Narrowboat Lad. That promotion is no longer running, but this memoir is well worth the £1.99 full price!

A chance comment started Brown on his 'alternative lifestyle' and in The Narrowboat Lad he talks about how it all came about, purchasing his boat called Tilly, and his first year on the water. I liked that he includes the downs as well as the ups of river living. The isolation certainly wouldn't be ideal for everyone, but being so free within nature and already just at the start of a good walk really got my attention. Brown gives a fair amount of information about the boat itself and the intricacies of canal sailing which was interesting to learn.

While wearing my book reviewer hat, perhaps the less polished writing style should have only warranted a three star rating. However, what shines through Brown's writing is his enthusiasm and joy and this so appealed to me that I happily read the whole book in practically a single sitting (it is quite short) and immediately started telling Dave all about it - always the sign of a good book!

Search Lit Flits for more:
Books by Daniel Mark Brown / Biography and memoir / Books from England

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