Book Review: Karachi Backwaters by Wayne Crowning


Karachi Backwaters,My Love Affair with Boats and Other Adventures”

– Wayne Crowning

Karachi Backwaters is the story of a young boy and his love affair with boats, it is a story of hope and failures, of his adventures, it is a story about dreams and their realization, of friendships and parting of friends, of adolescent infatuations, it is a story about the city of Karachi, of boating, fishing and crabbing, of sweet memories, dinners, outings and good food, of stolen cigarettes and veiled puffs amid laughter and fun, it is a story that leaves the reader mesmerized, while in between the lines one can read the nostalgia the author has experienced while writing this book.


Karachi Backwaters is a true story, written in a very informal manner. The author describes how he and David’s (his best friend) families used to go for fishing and crabbing trips around Karachi. During these outing Wayne developed an interest in boats and this resulted in him and David building a boat. The story is simple yet very interesting, as each boat they build gets better and bigger. With failures they gain knowledge and build better boats. There’s the very first Dreamboat One, then Dreamboat Two, the Pillow Boat and the Flat-bottomed one. In between, there’s talk of stealing cigarettes from their parents and taking puffs in hidden places. Then there’s love, as is wont to happen to a teen ager. There’s jealousy and fun, and adventures in between. Wayne Croning has dedicated this book to his best buddy David who passed away some years back.

The Karachi described in the book is the city which people once knew as a  modern, progressive and peaceful city. A city where life existed without malice towards others, a city that was  model for all cities of Pakistan. Though the author does not write about this, but this is something which is evident in between the lines. Adolescents nowadays cannot imagine going out late at night, whether attended or unattended.

I think it is a very good book which deals about the little things in life that matter to us. It is the story of a small boy, etched in his memory which he decides to pen down after many years. It is about one’s passions and dreams and about turning those dreams in to reality. It is a small book that tells of big things

About the Author. Wayne Croning was born in Karachi in the 1960’s. He developed an interest in boats at a very young age. With the sea nearby, his family would go for long fishing and crabbing trips, during which he got infatuated with building a boat and in fact falling in love (with Katie and boats) at the tender age of thirteen. He lived in Karachi till late 1990’s working for a living and building boats for fun. Later he migrated to Canada where he now resides with his family. The motivation behind this book was his children Marjorie and Aaron who he hopes will get a peek in to his childhood when no Internet, PS2 and iPads existed. Wayne Croning has written many (unpublished) short stories. This is his first book and he is presently working on another one. I am grateful to Wayne for sending me a copy of his book and letting me review it.


The author at his book launch ceremony.

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50 plus….loner……foodie….day dreamer….bibliophile…..gun freak….peace loving….smitten by wanderlust….happy go lucky….tea junkie….coffee lover….once in a while movie goer….laid-back blogger with no interest in politics….Happy reading! :-)

16 thoughts on “Book Review: Karachi Backwaters by Wayne Crowning”

  1. Hi there…I think that I Know this ‘Wayne Croning’ He used to stay at P.E.C.H society…..son of Stella croning & young brother of Ralph……
    please to get to know that he’s written a book…about VENTURA his boat…. sounds great….wish the huge successes in the befall…..sorry about David brother of Robert…..May the Holy Lord bless him with the best of His blessings…Amen
    sajid khan


  2. Hello Sajid old friend. Thanks very much for your messasge. I remember you helped assemble Ventura at Boat Basin all those years ago. Still have pics. Yes , it is sad about David. Take care and Blessings on you as well. all the best, Wayne


  3. I am impressed wayne ..and i have’nt even read the book yet , I just know its going to be an interesting read , as my husband and I are old karachites!!! well done keep going , never give up if this is what your put on earth for , then go for it ..good luck for your future…god bless merlyn demonte


    1. Thanks Merlyn,
      would you be kind enough to share some thoughts on the “Old Karachi”. I remember coming to this city when I just 7 but that’s all very hazy.
      Best regards


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