A Voyage For Madmen

A Voyage For Madmen : Nine men set out to race each other around the world. Only one made it back ...

4.24 (2,546 ratings by Goodreads)
  • Hardback
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Nine people comprised of two Frenchmen, an Italian and six Englishmen, began the 1967 Golden Globe around the world yacht race. Only one completed the journey. This is the story of this endeavour. The goal was to sail around the world solo, a feat no one had yet achieved; to make matters just that extra bit tricky some of the sailors were total novices. The book analyses the fate of each sailor in turn. Nichols describes how the nine fought through storms and collisions, through the roaring 40s and the furious 50s, and how each man experienced those moments of solitary despair, lonely disappointment and occasional mystical elation that are unique to long-haul solo sailing. The technical side of yachtsmanship also comes under scrutiny while still aiming to prove accessible to those with little understanding of actual sailing methods.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 336 pages
  • 167 x 242 x 31mm | 640g
  • Profile Books Ltd
  • London, United Kingdom
  • Main
  • 1861972369
  • 9781861972361

Review quote

The voyage in question was one that by 1968 had not been achieved: a single-handed, non-stop circumnavigation of the world. Sir Francis Chichester had made the voyage a year earlier but had stopped once in Australia. Nevertheless, his effort had captured the imagination. Three sailors had been tempted and were well into their preparations before the Sunday Times offered up substantial prize money to the first one home and to the person with the fastest time. We are immediately ensnared by the character and backgrounds of the nine competitors who emerge over a matter of months. Reactions of their loved ones, reasons for entering, sailing experience, choices of boat and even their dietary preferences provide the details that hook us in. Once underway, these men faced incredible danger as the sea threatened to rip their little boats apart. They also faced discomfort and loneliness and, on another level, A Voyage for Madmen is like a whodunit thriller. Nichols cleverly lets us know at the outset that one man will cheat, one will go mad and one will lose his life. Finding out who adds to the appeal of a superb book which deserves to be a huge seller.
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About Peter Nichols

Peter Nichols is the author of the bestselling novel The Rocks, and the international bestsellers A Voyage for Madmen(finalist for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year), Evolution's Captain, and three other books of fiction, memoir, and non-fiction. His novel Lodestar was nominated for the Dublin IMPAC literary award. He has taught creative writing at a number of universities, including Georgetown University, Bowdoin College, New York University in Paris, and Antioch University Los Angeles. Before turning to writing full time, he held a 100 ton USCG Ocean Operator's licence and was a professional yacht delivery skipper for 10 years. He has also worked in advertising in London, as a screenwriter in Los Angeles, been a shepherd in Wales, and sailed alone in a small boat across the Atlantic.
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Rating details

2,546 ratings
4.24 out of 5 stars
5 45% (1,142)
4 38% (979)
3 14% (354)
2 2% (48)
1 1% (23)
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