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The Strange Last Voyage of Donald Crowhurst - Nicholas Tomalin and Ron Hall

The Strange Last Voyage of Donald Crowhurst - Nicholas Tomalin and Ron Hall

Tomalin, Nicholas & Hall, Ron

Synopsis: 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).

Price: 18.00