Growing up in BC during the 1920s, young Fraser Miles never knew anything but poverty. There was no social stigma to being poor - most of his neighbours were not much better off - but in his late teens Miles began to look for a way to finance a career in the growing field of radio electronics.Not long after he was hired as radio operator on the Ruth B, the young man noticed that the alleged fishpacker was packing anything but fish. These were the Prohibition years; there was less money in freezing herring than there was in smuggling liquor to the thirsty multitudes south of the border. Slow Boat on Rum Row begins as a fascinating memoir of Fraser Miles' youth in the fledgling community of Mission on the Fraser River, a rugged milieu where beachcombing and cougar hunting were more important than high school in teaching a boy the hard facts of survival.Miles' account of his years on the rumboats, always one step, ahead of the law, is an exciting story of survival at sea. It is also a valuable addition to an episode of coast history that is little documented. After all, "rum runners, as a group," Miles writes, "made the Sphinx sound like a chatterbox."