Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category

“A novelized yarn describing the adventures of an Irish/American teenager who ran away to sea in the mid-1950s.

The author David Paul Collins was, indeed, shanghaied from the American port of Mobile, Alabama. It is later revealed that he was sold aboard ship by a gang for $100.
He was lucky. He landed on a ship crewed by a great bunch of West Indian and Filipino sailors. They looked after him, protected him from the first mate and educated him in a way that no school ever could.

His few months aboard taught him invaluable lessons about the world, about people, about racism and, even, about the sea and ships. It prepared him well for his formal education and, later, for the real world.

A very good read from a very perceptive writer.”

Excerpted from a review published by Baird Publications Ltd, Hong Kong

Shanghaied is one of those fun reads that reminds you why you don’t need a TV. I completely enjoyed the tale and Mr. Collins’ prose made me wish to be young again and to be able to chase a dream and live a life of adventure.”  Michael G

Looking back at the IPPY awards from previous years, the growth of the independent publishing community is evident. For the 5th annual IPPY Awards in 2001, there were David Collins Bio photo770 publishers who participated in only 49 categories. This year, 2,400 independent authors and publishers entered the awards. With 72 national categories, 22 regional categories, and the chance to be an Outstanding Book of the Year, the IPPY awards continue to capture the diversity of the creative work of independent authors and publishers.

This year marked the first time that e-Books were acknowledged in the IPPY Awards with five diverse categories that recognized fiction, non-fiction, juvenile fiction, and children’s illustrated eBooks. Since the 2003 IPPYs, the number of winners using e-Books has been on the rise.

Author David Collins, who won the silver medal in Best Juvenile Fiction e-Book for Shanghaied, explained, “E-Books boost sales in ways that paper cannot. Writers want to be published by mainstream houses and readership numbers help a great deal. Winning in the e-Book category could not be better.” With the new categories recognizing eBooks, the IPPY Awards have been able to adapt so the awards reflect the ever-changing environment of the independent publishing community.

By Nicolette Amstutz, author of article “Seven iUniverse Authors Win 2012 IPPY Awards”

“Just the thoughts of a fifteen year old boy waking up on an African ship with no idea how he got there give me chills, but that is what happens to Jack Sligo in this story. And it is what happened to David Paul Collins in real life. Spellbound by his Irish grandfather’s tales of adventure, Jack Sligo had dreams of traveling around the world as part of the crew on a cruise ship. But did he dream of starting out this way? “Shanghaied” is a novel based on the author’s own true story as a merchant seaman, making this not just a fictional story, but a story told with realistic accounts of what actually happens in the life of a merchant seaman.

I was hooked from the beginning of this story because I wanted to see what happened to Jack Sligo. I can only imagine the shock this guy felt waking up on that ship of strangers! In this well-written story, David Collins takes you to the sea with him as he starts his sea journey at a very early age. I have never been at sea, but it felt almost as if I was there, smelling the sea, feeling the spray of salt water, and as a merchant, taking in everything on the entire ship from top to bottom. I always enjoy reading a book by an author writing from personal experiences, and this is truly one of my favorites. I enjoyed the writing style of Collins, and felt I could laugh and cry with him throughout his journey. I highly recommend this book as a fantastic read for anyone, and especially for those looking for a great adventure. This book will take your adventurous juices and take them to a level you never knew you had. After reading “Shanghaied”, you will want to take those adventures with a stronger determination.”  Reviewed by Joy H. for Readers Favorite

"Shanghaied" has been named Finalist in ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year Award.

Shanghaied by David Paul Collins named Finalsit in ForeWord Book of the Year.

“ForeWord‘s Book of the Year Awards program was designed for bookseller and librarians to share in the process of discovering distinctive books across a number of genres with judgments based on their own authority and on patron interests. After months of winnowing down the award finalists’ list, the editors at ForeWord are confident in their selections, and our judges agree, saying this year’s titles are the best they’ve seen!”

Please visit Shanghaied page on ForeWord Reviews.

Winners will be announced Saturday, June 23, 2012 at
The American Library Association Conference and Exhibition
in Anaheim, CA.

”I sailed these same seas, visited the same ports and can report that the writer knows his stuff. Shanghaied is a wonderful book, well written and a great description of a life that few would ever know. I  know because I sailed as Captain on these ships and am happy to relive the memories in this wonderful story.” Captain Walter Mergenthaler, Mexico City

Walter Mergenthaler and David Collins, Mexico City

Walter Mergenthaler and David Collins, Mexico City

“Read Shanghaied! Its well worth your time!  I enjoyed it.  I loved the style in which it was written.  It held my interest from the first page to the last.  I’d give it a 10+.”  Robert D. Milliken

“None of the numerous coming-of-age memoirs, fictionalized accounts, or nonfiction historical books of sea-going adventures have captured my imagination as magically as David Paul Collins’ novel “Shanghaied,” based on his own true story as a merchant seaman.

Collins conveys an amazing depth of feeling in his portrayal of protagonist Jack Sligo. Written as a first person narrative, Jack relates the story of his brutal initiation into survival at sea. Spellbound by his Irish grandfather’s tales of adventure, Joseph Conrad’s “Lord Jim,” C. S. Forester’s “Horatio Hornblower,” and Richard Henry Dana’s “Two Years Before the Mast,” fifteen-year-old Jack Sligo dreams of traveling around the world as a part of the crew on a cruise ship.

Within days of the end of his sophomore year in high school, Jack quietly slips out of his bedroom to begin a summer adventure that changes his life. The first step in his plan was to register with the International Maritime Union in New York City to get a job on a US cruise ship. Because of Jack’s obvious youth, slight build, lack of experience and the necessary paperwork, he is escorted out (thrown) by the union’s representatives.

Persistent, Jack returned the next day, quietly found his way to the office of Bernie Callahan, the chief port agent who sent him on a wild goose chase to see a buddy in Mobile. Jack experienced another rejection. His first night in Mobile he found his way to Nellies Bar where two strangers buy him a powerful drink. Jack’s next memory is waking up on the on a 60,000 ton Liberian merchant ship, the SS Iron Prince, bound for South America.

Jack weaves in stories of real or imagined cannibal Indians along the banks of the Orinoco River in Venezuela, dozens of seas stories revealing the circumstances that led to how members of the ship’s crew ended up aboard the SS Iron Prince. He tells of his fear when caught in the eye of a ferocious storm at sea, facing hurricane force winds, as the ship and crew sails between Haiti and Cuba. He describes the panic, dangers, and rescue when the ship runs aground in the Orinoco River.

Jack tells of his homesickness, and of the important life lessons learns through his experiences; of how he learns the reality of hate and intolerance and the importance of courage, honesty, and patriotism.

Jack also relates lessons he learns from crew members concerned for his safety:

• Lessons in self-respect
• Lessons about judging others
• Lessons about accepting the will of God
• The call of the sea is never held back by fear.
• No man cheats another more than he cheats himself.

He learns to appreciate more fully the benefits of his personal opportunities, of parents, family, economic benefits, and education. He adjusts to the company of tough sailors left with insecurities as a result of never having the chance to go to school. Collins skillfully introduces broken English, with nuances of German, Tagalog, Norwegian, African, and Cayman Islanders into his dialog.

The inclusion of black and white photos and maps throughout the text and a comprehensive glossary of nautical terms add to the interest level and informative value of the book as a whole.

“Shanghaied” captured my imagination from the very first page – entertaining and informative – destined to become a classic in the genre of Adventures on the High Seas.” Richard R. Blake for Reader Views

Article first published as Book Review: Shanghaied by David Paul Collins on Blogcritics.

Kirkus Review

Posted: February 17, 2012 in David Paul Collins, Reviews, Shanghaied

Read the review of Shanghaied on 

David Collins and his book Shanghaied are currently being featured on “So Many Precious Book, So Little Time” TeddyRose blogspot.

Thanks to Lauren Taylor of Authoright PR, they are giving away one copy of Shanghaied.  To read the article and to enter the give-away visit here: