Shark Gotch of the Islands

Bill Forster
24th April 2008, 22:26
I first read this book by Albert Richard Wetjen whilst a ten year old recovering from chicken pox in an isolation hospital at my school.

I was sent it by my father, a virtual stranger to me and my younger brother since he was always away at sea. We assumed he lived a similar life to Shark Gotch, the fast shooting skipper of a schooner in the Pacific.

It now changes hands on the Internet for as much as 100 but I have just successfully bid for a copy at a much lower price on E-bay (Australia) which I shall give to my brother who leaves for France on Monday aboard his small cabin cruiser.

Does anybody else remember reading about the exploits of Shark Gotch?

I am a retired publisher and would love to publish a new edition so that 'kids' of all ages could rediscover its charms but it is still in copyright despite the British born author, Albert Richard Wetjen, having died in San Francisco in 1948.

The author was himself a sailor though he told a few tall stories about his life at sea to boost sales of his books!


george G
14th November 2012, 23:28
Hi Bill
Have just been going through old threads and came across reference
to Shark Gotch. Great favourite of mine 50 or more years ago (Now79)
Sure more than one of this series. Sailed 12years BP Tankers Engineer,

Regards George

Mike Willcocks
25th June 2015, 15:02
Hi Bill & George

It's nice to see that there are other Shark Gotch fans still around. I first came across these books over 60 years ago, when I was 13 or so. I didn't follow in Gotch's footsteps as I joined the RAF.

As you probably are aware there were 5 books in the series and I managed to acquire 4 of them when I was 13. I never had the first book, 'Shark Gotch Of The Islands'. I looked in many bookshops etc. over the years but never saw it. However I never gave up and about a month ago I saw that first book, available for a giveaway price on the equivalent of ebay in South Africa and bought it. Once I received it the 60 years just melted away as I read it. Of course I had to read the other 4 again too.

Mike Willcocks

Bill Forster
14th February 2016, 11:44
I am glad to see that I am not alone in liking the Shark Gotch novels written by Albert Richard Wetjen (1900-48). They were first published in the "pulps", cheap pulp paper magazines, in the States but still read well.

My wife bought me the lot from a bookseller in New Zealand! But I still hope to republish them for "old boys" like myself who may wish to give them as gifts to grand children.

He romanticised his own life to help sell his books but with the help of distant cousins (he left no children) I now know quite a lot about him.