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A Voyage for Madmen Paperback – June 4, 2002
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
More About the Author
"Not an unswerving literary trajectory. I've wanted to write - and to be a writer - since childhood. In my 20s I worked at writerly jobs in advertising and journalism while I wrote two unpublished novels. Then I stepped aboard a friend's yacht and my life swung away toward boats and the sea for a decade. I became, in turn, a boat bum, a U.S. Coast Guard-licensed commercial captain, and a proficient navigator with sextant. Then the leaky 27-foot, engineless wooden sailboat that had been my home for 5 years, in which I'd twice crossed the Atlantic, sank near the end of my third crossing (I was alone). But I had found a subject.
I was rescued and crawled ashore in Los Angeles where, naturally, I began writing screenplays. I was fatally encouraged: I found agents and made a little money, but never saw my screenplays (they were full of leaky projects and rootless characters) turned into films. Unhappy with my screenwriting career (and my non-writing career of many jobs, including being a 'ship wrangler' in Borneo for a bad pirate movie), I fled LA to a shack in Northern California where I wrote what became a memoir of my years afloat and the twinned sinkings of my boat and first marriage ("Sea Change"). In the next ten years I published a novel and three more books of non-fiction - all about not so much the sea and sailors, but fringe characters who have retreated to the water's edge and have nowhere else to go.
Being published changed everything. I went fairly quickly from being a yachtie, shepherd, carpenter, ship wrangler with literary delusions to a visiting professor of creative writing at some good colleges. I've been fortunate to have wonderful students. I love teaching because I can tell young writers what it took me decades to learn - simply, that yes, you can, if you really believe in yourself and don't give up. I dreamed of becoming a writer and I became one. And if I did it, they can too.
My novel, "The Rocks," (2015) is not about boats and the sea but represents a new direction for me as a writer of fiction. I hope there will be more non-boaty novels."
Top Customer Reviews
But after reading the book, my view of sailing has changed. This book utterly grabbed me. I couldn't put it down and I relished every word.
While the book is a true story, it isn't just a documentary. It is full of stories and portraits of people who are more fantastic than fiction. I think that not knowing anything about the Golden Globe race kept me in greater suspense. This was a page-turner 'til the very end.
I applaud Peter Nichols and his writing style. I read Perfect Storm and found it sterile and unemotional. This book was just the opposite. It was invigorating, enriching and human.
Nichols expertly introduces each of the competetors and describes the unbelievable difficulties they faced. An ardent sailor himself, he writes with much authority, but with also much drama. The only drawback is that at times he is too technical for the non-sailor to follow, but thies hardly dulls the book's excitement. In fact if you go in unfamiliar (as I was) with the actual event, this book reads like a novel with surprise twists and turns along the way. And the eventual winner of the race is the type of hero, though we may question his sanity, that anyone can admire.
Overall, this a great book for sailing enthusiasts that can also be enjoyed by anyone else who like a good nautical story.
Having the perspective of these other books really heightened MY enjoyment, however I'm recommending this book to friends as a "first exposure" to this fascinating story. With the author's own seagoing background (his other non-fiction book, Sea Change, is also excellent) and unbridled love of the sea and things nautical, this story truly comes to life!
I can't say how a non-sailor will take this book, but if you enjoy a good story, and particularly a good sea yarn, you'll love this book! Kudos to Peter Nichols. I want more!!!
The new book, "Voyage for Madmen" is, again, a beautifully and honestly told true story. His knowledge of the sea and boats gives him the proper foundation to tell the harrowing tale of the Golden Globe race, but it's his ability to get inside the people involved that makes this a great read.
Nichols has done it again. Keep up the great work.
But it's a true story, and a well told one at that. Nichols tells enough to make the layman feel at home with the nautical ins and outs of his story, but doesn't dumb it down so much as to exclude experienced sailers.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A wonderfully written account of brave as well as ludicrous aproach to true adventure and a salute to our human spirit. A must read for blue water inspiration. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Jean
I've read this book 3 times since it was published.....and it still thrills me!Published 5 months ago by leah leonhard
This is a wonderful, readable book that fascinated me, a middle aged woman who has a brother and brother-in-law who sail. Read morePublished 5 months ago by C. Campbell
Very interesting book, but difficult to follow if you know nothing about yachts and nautical terms. Learning about the men involved was interesting. Read morePublished 6 months ago by cody
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Since reading it, I have passed it on to numerous friends who have also enjoyed it. Once again, truth is better than fiction. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Trickdog60
If you like true sailing tales and can remember 1968, this book is for you.Published 6 months ago by Caren Minzy
In today's world of professional sports and sponsorship, of satnav and Gps, it's difficult to believe the rudimentary nature of this challenge - to sail around the world without... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Brandon A. Nordin