The Strange Last Voyage of Donald Crowhurst
The classic bestseller, the great sailing adventure story of Donald Crowhurst.
Now a major motion picture starring Colin Firth and Rachel Weisz, directed by James Marsh (The Theory of Everything).
In 1968, Donald Crowhurst was trying to market a nautical navigation device he had developed, and saw the Sunday Times Golden Globe round the world sailing race as the perfect opportunity to showcase his product.
Few people knew that he wasn't an experienced deep-water sailor. His progress was so slow that he decided to short-cut the journey, while falsifying his location through radio messages from his supposed course.
Everyone following the race thought that he was winning, and a hero's welcome awaited him at home in Britain. But on 10 July 1968, eight months after he set off, his wife was told that his boat had been discovered drifting in mid-Atlantic. Crowhurst was missing, assumed drowned, and there was much speculation that this was one of the great mysteries of the sea.
In this masterpiece of investigative journalism, Nicholas Tomalin and Ron Hall reconstruct one of the greatest hoaxes of our time. From in-depth interviews with Crowhurst's family and friends and telling excerpts from his logbooks, Tomalin and Hall develop a tale of tragic self-delusion and public deception, a haunting portrait of a complex, deeply troubled man and his journey into the heart of darkness.
Nicholas Tomalin (Author)
Nicholas Tomalin studied English literature at Trinity Hall, Cambridge. He was a featured columnist for the Daily Express, the Sunday Times, and the Evening Standard, before becoming literary editor of the New Statesman. He was nominated for Reporter of the Year for his coverage of the war in Vietnam. Tomalin was killed in Israel in 1973 while reporting on the Yom Kippur War.
Ron Hall (Author)
Ron Hall studied mathematics and statistics at Pembroke College, Cambridge. He was co-founder of the Sunday Times' investigative unit 'Insight', where he was editor from 1964-66, and became managing editor of the Sunday Times in 1969. He died aged 79 in 2014.
Arthur Beale says:
"The best book to be written about the 1968-69 Golden Globe race. Tomalin and Hall's account of Crowhurst's attempt to be the first sailor to circumnavigate the globe alone, and without stopping, begins with the discovery of Teignmouth Electron, Crowhurst's yacht, adrift in the mid-Atlantic with Crowhurst nowhere to be found. The book uses logbook extracts and radio transmissions to recount the voyage as it, and Crowhurst himself, unravels. A must read for everyone interested in the pressures of ocean sailing. Apparently was adapted into a Hollywood film a couple of years ago but as the book is unimprovable (as is the older film documentary) I haven't bothered to watch it."