12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Great story about an incredible kayak expedition and a fascinating kayaker,
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This review is from: Fearless: One Woman, One Kayak, One Continent (Paperback)
I had been waiting excitedly waiting for the release of the book about Freya Hoffmeister's epic sea kayak paddle around Australia, and when I received the book, I devoured it faster than a Great White goes through a breakfast of Amity Island tourists. It's a spectacular read!
There are two main aspects to the book, both of which I found fascinating and well explored by the author: The first - and obvious - aspect is the account of the expedition itself. The author, Glickman, renders the enormous challenges and portrays Freya's hair raising actions and life-or-death decisions with an acuity that is the result of his own impressive ocean kayaking experiences. He has participated in a half dozen ocean kayaking world championships, as well as performed long distance kayaking expeditions. In addition, he has talked extensively to everyone who attempted or completed the trip around Australia and is alive to talk about it.
But the other, equally fascinating aspect, is the psyche of Freya Hoffmeister, the woman whose feats are without equal among current expedition kayakers, male or female.
With men's domination over the kayaking world as absolute as King Luis XIV's reign over 17th century France, Freya's revolutionary feats of skill and endurance, combined with her cockiness, apparently made some male kayakers feel like Marie Antoinette on her way to the Guillotine, and they were not quiet about it. One of the most enjoyable aspects of the book is how you can identify with Freya and hope that she proves her male detractors wrong. She is unbelievably self-possessed and confident, yet equally skilled, competent and determined.
Hoffmeister is intent on breaking the record for the fastest circumnavigation of the continent and this goal drives many of her vital decisions, like the dangerous choice of a fast and tippy kayak and the 380 mile unsupported solo crossing of the Gulf or Carpenteria that most experts considered a recipe for suicide as reliable as cyanide cupcakes.
The author does a spectacular job of hitting the reader with superlatives and metaphors. Especially when gearing up to describe some of Hoffmeister's more incredible feats, I felt as dizzy as a Bantamweight practicing the rope-a-dope with Mike Tyson.
I highly recommend this book. It's a must read if you are a kayaker, and if you're not, it still is.
The only issues I had were the fact that it's not available for the Kindle and that I didn't realize there were maps of the trip in the back of the book until I finished it. I could have saved myself plenty of clicks on Google maps if I had figured that our earlier.
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Initial post: May 17, 2012 11:29:39 AM PDT
Thanks for the tip about the maps! I have just started reading the book and am glad to know they are there!
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