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The Strange Last Voyage of Donald Crowhurst
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The Strange Last Voyage of Donald Crowhurst (Paperback)

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In the autumn of 1968, Donald Crowhurst set out from England in his untested trimaran, a competitor in the first singlehanded nonstop around-the-world sailboat race. Eight months later, the boat was found in a calm mid-Atlantic, structurally intact with no one on board. Through Crowhurst's logs and diaries the world learned that, although he had radioed messages from his supposed round-the-world course, he had in fact never left the Atlantic. In this journalistic masterpiece, Nicholas Tomalin and Ron Hall reconstruct what happened: Crowhurst's growing distrust of his boat; his decision to attempt one of the greatest hoaxes of our time; his eleven-week radio silence; the secret visit to Argentina for repairs; the lying radio transmissions; the "triumphal" return up the Atlantic as the elapsed-time race leader; the increasing isolation wrought by his deception; and the fantastic ending. The Strange Last Voyage of Donald Crowhurst is both a suspenseful narrative and a psychological casebook of human zeal and anguish. Finally, it takes us to the heart of darkness. This book was originally published in 1970. Heavily publicized in major media (including The New York Times and two U.S. television networks), it was a bestseller, and it left a lasting impression.

International Marine issued a trade paperback edition in 1995. The Sailor's Classics would be incomplete without it. Raban's introduction to our Sailor's Classics edition offers an alternative interpretation of Crowhurst's demise. Tomalin and Hall thought that Crowhurst's madness was one of despair. Raban suggests that it might have been the dizzy elation of the manic. Drifting around in the South Atlantic, Crowhurst, a failed businessman, saw himself as Einstein's equal - a man who'd found the Truth at sea. When he stepped off his boat, carrying the ship's clock and his faked logbooks, he may actually have expected to walk on water. The Crowhurst story has a haunting life of its own, and Crowhurst lives on, perversely, as a mythic hero, inspiring the Robert Stone bestseller Outerbridge Reach, a one-man opera called "Ravenshead," a string of radio and TV programs, a rumored film in the making, and a new nonfiction account of that long-ago race, A Voyage for Madmen, written by Peter Nichols (author of Sea Change).

BiographyBiography: generalBiography: historical, political & militaryScience & MathematicsGeographyGeographical discovery & explorationSport & HobbiesSports & outdoor recreationBoatingSailing Publisher: McGraw-Hill Education - Europe Publication Date: 30/04/2003 ISBN-13: 9780071414296  Details: Type: Paperback Format: Books
Availability: To Order. Estimated despatch in 1-3 weeks.  

Nicholas Tomalin, in his thirties when he wrote this book, had already been featured columnist for the Daily Express, the Sunday Times and the Evening Standard of London. He then became literary editor of the New Statesman. In 1967 he was nominated "Reporter of the Year" for his coverage of the Vietnam War. He was killed in 1973 while covering the Yom Kippur war in the Middle East. Ron Hall was joint managing editor of the Sunday Times, which had sponsored the race in which Crowhurst apparently committed suicide. His partnership with Tomalin produced a journalistic masterpiece. Born in England in 1942, Jonathan Raban taught English literature before becoming a full-time writer in 1969. He first lived in America as a visiting professor at Smith College in 1972. A full-time writer since 1969, his books include Soft City (1973), Arabia Through the Looking Glass (1979), Old Glory: A Voyage Down the Mississippi (1981 - winner of the W.H. Heinemann Award for Literature and the Thomas Cook Award), Foreign Land (1985), Coasting: A Private Voyage (1986), For Love and Money (1987), Hunting Mister Heartbreak: A Discovery of America (1990 - winner of the Thomas Cook Award), and Bad Land: An American Romance (1996 - a New York Times Editors' Choice for Book of the Year; winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award; winner of the PEN West Creative Nonfiction Award; winner of the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Award). Paul Theroux called Bad Land "a masterpiece," and a recent Kirkus review of Raban's newest book, Passage to Juneau: A Sea and Its Meanings (November 1999), calls him "one of the English-speaking world's great travelers and travel writers." Raban began sailing in the early 1980s. He has sailed alone around Britain and has spent much time afloat on the coastal seas of Europe. Since moving to Seattle in 1990, he sails a twenty-year-old Swedish ketch on the rim of the North Pacific. He edited The Oxford Book of the Sea in 1992. The Guardian has called him "the finest writer afloat since Conrad."

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