Review – Adrift: The Curious Tale of the Lego Lost At Sea

Posted December 6, 2023 by Nicky in Reviews / 0 Comments

Review – Adrift: The Curious Tale of the Lego Lost At Sea

Adrift: The Curious Tale of the Lego Lost at Sea

by Tracey Williams

Pages: 183
Rating: three-stars

In 1997 sixty-two containers fell off the cargo ship Tokio Express after it was hit by a rogue wave off the coast of Cornwall, including one container filled with nearly five million pieces of Lego, much of it sea themed. In the months that followed, beachcombers started to find Lego washed up on beaches across the south west coast. Among the pieces they discovered were octopuses, sea grass, spear guns, life rafts, scuba tanks, cutlasses, flippers and dragons. The pieces are still washing up today.

Tracey Williams’ Adrift piqued my interest because I remembered reading an article about the container ship spill that led to a lot of Lego in the ocean, and also I’d been reading recently about Lego’s various sustainability/environmental plans (such as the hope to use different sorts of plastic, which doesn’t seem to have worked out so far). It has something of the air of a treasure hunt, with Williams displaying her finds and discussing the excitement of finding one of the black octopodes from the spill, or the green and black dragons.

That’s not to say that she thinks the Lego spill was good in any way at all; as she notes another beachcomber saying, the stuff you can find is really interesting, but the best thing to see is a clean beach. Instead, Williams is using her excitement and interest in the treasure hunt to illuminate the problem.

The book is full of pictures, quotes some famous poems about the ocean, and is generally beautifully presented. In the end, there’s not a lot of surprising information, but Williams manages to share a little of both her concern and her excitement, and I enjoyed it.

Rating: 3/5

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