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Gib's Odyssey: A Tale Of Faith And Hope On The Intracoastal Waterway Hardcover – May 3, 2011


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Globe Pequot Press; 1 edition (May 3, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0762764163
  • ISBN-13: 978-0762764167
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 5.5 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #257,386 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Travel often inspires deep reflection on themes like resilience, familiarity, and resolve. All three of those threads are artfully explored in Gib's Odyssey...

From the Inside Flap

Gib’s Odyssey is the true story of an extraordinary man, Gib Peters, and his solo journey along the Intracoastal Waterway from Key West to New York and back while suffering the ravages of Lou Gehrig’s disease.

During his six-month voyage aboard his boat, Ka-Ching, Gib encounters numerous obstacles. He meets an incompetent sailor who wraps his tow rope around Ka-Ching’s propellers and accidentally stabs himself as he tries to cut it loose. Navy and Coast Guard Zodiacs rush to stop Gib from entering a naval bombardment zone. He searches for his two kittens, brought along as companions on his trip, when they go AWOL. All the while he is forced to cope with increasing levels of paralysis, steering the boat home with his feet and unable to speak.

Authored by the neurologist who treated him, this remarkable book is told in Gib’s own voice through a series of e-mails to family and friends and articles he wrote for the Key West Citizen. Part travelogue, part soul-searching meditation, it is an uplifting and sometimes hilarious story of one man’s conquest of death and his profound insights into life.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Bill Schwessinger on June 29, 2011
Format: Hardcover
As one of Gib's best friends and someone who is mentioned in the book many times, I can honestly say Dr. Bradley told the story of this brave man, Gib Peters, extremely well. I have traveled the same waterway several times and I discussed it often with Gib.I was not surprised when he told me, "I'm going to do it Bill",though I advised him against doing it single-handed. Knowing him so well, I knew no one,including Dr. Bradley and Gib's wife Marcia, could talk him out of it. As all skippers know there are mechical breakdowns, weather and shallow water obstacles involved in cruising.Gib overcame all of them even though physically handicaped. In writing this epic, the author was able to inform the reader about this terrible disease,ALS, while Gib's emails brought out Gib's fighting spirit, his way of fighting the dire diagnosis, and Gib's amazing insights into life and death and how to live with a terminal illness. The book highlights Gib's tremendous sense of humor. This is a must-read of courage.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Kip on June 10, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Solid, inspirational, delightful. Men and women first experiencing the increasing physical limitations brought on by aging will find Gib's adaption to those limitations inspirational. Boaters, especially, will identify with the practical challenges this man faces in his solo journey roundtrip from Key West to New York and return. Gib's feat is a wonderful example of a man using his resources of mind and spirit to overcome decreasing physical abilities.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Pat on June 11, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I can't begin to express how much Gib Peters' life in his death touched my heart. His remarkable courage, determination, and sheer will made it possible for him to go to his grave just as he intended "with a twenty-four inch hurdle step to the end of the board, a full weight press with every ounce of my being, and a toes-together launch toward the ceiling for a full-twisting forward two-and-a-half on the way down to a perfect, no-splash entry, yelling TEN! TEN! TEN!" I have so much respect for this man and appreciate his legacy to those of us who are privileged to meet him through his Odyssey which Dr. Bradley has so lovingly recorded. The insights found among its pages are much like the buried treasures he left for his grandchildren. My admiration extends to his wife and family, knowing full well how difficult it had to be for them to let him go to live out his journey.

To Gib Peters, his wife Marcia and the rest of his family, Dr. Bradley, and to Faith and Hope (so appropriately named) and all the Charity Gib encountered along his voyage, "Up-end the glass! New life is on the way."
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Louise Scheib on July 29, 2011
Format: Hardcover
That this is an incredible story of determination, grit, courage and humor is a given. Gib's odyssey, so beautiful told by Dr. Bradley, makes us all admire such a remarkable human being. But equally as compelling is the book's ability to force us to take a look deep inside ourselves and consider who we are and how we might anticipate our own behavior if suddenly faced with such a formidable foe. This is not always a comfortable experience, but one that I think useful, whatever our natural instinct to deny and bury our heads. Thank you Dr. Bradley for finding a way to tell the extraordinary epic of Gib Peters while at the same time ponder our own potential odyssey.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Margaret T. Buchholz on July 16, 2012
Format: Hardcover
If your doctor told you had ALS, which will within two to three years paralyze and then kill you, would you plan a one-man cruise through the inland waterway from Key West to New York City - which your neurologist strongly recommends you do not undertake? That's what 67-year-old Gib Peters did, even though his doctor, Walter Bradley, told him, "As it [the disease] spreads downwards, the arms, legs and lungs stop working ... it leaves the mind sound and the senses alert ... in the end you'll be `locked in'." (Gib had bulbar ALS, in which the paralysis starts with the tongue.)
Gib's Odyssey (Pequot Press, 2012) is the story of that iconic journey, written by Dr. Bradley after his patient and friend died. The majority of the book and the best stories, however, are the emails that Gib sent to family and friends as he headed north in his 29-ft. motor cruiser, KaChing. They are a record of his adventures along the way, but even more, of his journey inward as his health deteriorates and he faces the inevitable end in this personal race with death. Early on he says, "I'm determined to fight ALS every step of the way, but intellectually I know that I will lose the war."
By the time he fits out the twin-engine Wellcraft and reaches Georgia, 16 months after the diagnosis, he notices weakness in his neck muscles and devises a neck brace to support the weight of his head. At that time he writes home: "Why do I take the risk? I certainly don't have a death wish, I am not an Evel Knievel nut. But I do, I admit, love risk and the thrill of measuring the odds and validating my judgment. Acting on calculated risk has added zest to my life and coin to my treasure. This cruise is the ultimate test and perhaps the last chance to spice what for me continues to be an adventurous life.
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