Dripping with a panache that can turn in a comic instant to the most conciliatory humility, Josep Pla’s foray into the land and sea most familiar to him will plunge readers headfirst into its mysterious (and often tasty!) depths. Here are adventures and shipwrecks, raspy storytellers and the fishy meals that sustain them. After describing the process of beating an octopus with branches to soften up its flesh, Pla writes, “These are dishes that must be seen as a last resort.” Ever the authority on flavor and the brisk etiquette of sailing, eating, scheming, and smuggling, Pla is our stalwart captain through each windy, sun-soaked tale. A lifetime of reporting on current events gave Pla the necessary skills to describe the world in all its gritty, funny, invigorating detail.