I finally finished this book. I stopped a couple years ago because I was enjoying it so much, I didn't want it to end. I know, silly reason not to finish a book, but I do that sometimes. Leave things hanging or unfinished just to sort of preserve that feeling of bliss. Just a quirk of mine, I guess.
But I love this book on every level. I actually can't even find the right words to describe why this book moves me so much. I simply love everything about it. I love his voice and various styles of writing. I love how clearly his love of the sea shines through, how disparaging and bitter and honest he is about his own life, and yet how glorious some moments are despite (or because of) that. I love his writing. I talked about how much I loved his writing back when I was first reading it, and, if anything, my appreciation has only grown. I wouldn't mind owning a second copy, just so I could read it again and highlight all the phrases I liked. (I have issues with writing or marking books, but maybe if I had a specific copy just for that....) There were so many sections I admired that I wanted to write down in my notebook, but I realized if I stopped every few minutes to jot something down, I'd lose the greater flow, and on the first reading, I simply wanted to enjoy the entire story. I've never tried creating a favorite list of books, but this one is right up near the very top of it. It's so much more than just an autobiography.
I'd never seen Sterling Hayden in any films before I originally started reading his book. I knew him as a writer first, actor second. I think he would have liked that.