The Tenth Anniversary edition of Out of the Channel (Eastern Washington University Press) adds to its evocative, original text a new and full assessment of the permutations and twists of big money, big litigation, and “petroleum speak” from the vantage point of several years' remove, as well as an account of the 1991, $1 billion civil settlement between Exxon, the U.S. Justice Department, and the State of Alaska. In this now definitive book on the oil spill, all the primary concerns of the first edition are updated with new material, including a discussion of the possible cause of the ship's grounding on Bligh Reef, the fate of Captain Joseph Hazelwood, the long lasting effects of the spill, the projected death toll among animals, the little-known 1993 fishermen's tanker blockade, late-developing evidence about the true quantity of oil spilled, and the benefits and abuses of professional science.
"Keeble . . . excels at describing the physics of oil interfacing with frigid water and at skewering Exxon for its grandstanding approach to cleanup. After an initial period of dithering, during which opportunities for containing the spill were irretrievably lost, in Keeble's assesment the giant corporation simply threw money at the problem and preferred remedies that made the oil look as if it were going away. . . . He is surely right, though, in lamenting the public's failure to heed the spill as a call to reexamine our national oil addicition."
Dennis Drabell, Washington Post.
"As John Keeble shows in Out of the Channel, the spill was all the more dramatic because it was a clash of two extremes: the industrial world, in the form of the Texas-based Exxon Corporation, versus primordial nature, Prince William Sound with its sea otters and its villages inhabited by people who live off whatever they bring in from the sea. . . . Mr. Keeble, the author of four books of fiction, tells the story of the great spill in a style and tone that is more impressionistic than the scolding narrative it could have been. His approach . . . serves him well, because nothing about the saga of the Exxon Valdez was ever as black-and-white as it appeared."
Timothy Egan, New York Times