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52 of 57 people found the following review helpful
on April 16, 2011
I was familiar with the story because I was told it in person around the campfire years ago. It was a great feat of strength and survival with a bit of humour thrown in.

To read Mishka's story not only put it in colour but in High Definition.

I downloaded it at work just before lunch hour and even though people were waiting on me for lunch break, I had to keep reading and couldn't wait to get back to the story.

One thing that I don't care for is when writers write for the sake of writing. I like a good story told by a great story teller. If the author can write a great story without pissing around all day, then I can stick around to the end. I think that Mishka took a great story, a true story, and added the colour and surround sound to turn it into a great 3D experience for the reader.

Good job, I want to say now go out and produce more of these great stories but I am afraid that you may not always survive the research part.

Normy Iguana
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on April 17, 2011
This was an incredible true story. The part where Mishka offered to be the one to venture out for help, the negotiations, were an extreme act of heroism. Also, the reality of the "vitamin enriched" urine...this is so indicative of the conciousness of a higher thinker and the reality that a situation could occur with even the finest of sailors.

If there would be a way to improve on this story, I feel Mishka underplayed his own act of heroism. I would like that part to bleed on the page a little more. I cannot even imagine what in the world may have been going through his mind as he reached yet another one of the never ending bays that form the Caribbean islands.

This author is destined for greatness which is clearly exhibited not only in his writing but in the display of character and perseverence in his own life as an extraordinary person.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on April 25, 2011
Mishka Shubaly's short ebook, Shipwrecked, is hilarious, insightful, a little worrisome, and filled with empathy.

Shubaly is in a state of despair. His best friend died of a heroin overdose, while he was indulging in drinking too much. Blaming himself in a rather difficult situation, he decides to deal with the situation by drinking more and serving as a low-level member of a sailing trip. He messes up (He's not the strongest member of the crew.), almost dies (It's the 'Year of the Shark,'), continues to inebriate himself - but ultimately redeems himself.

After the boat runs aground, Mishka convinces the captain (whose responsibility it should be) that he should go for help. He argues he's younger, stronger, doesn't have Parkinson's (the captain does) or a family, but most memorable - that he's expendable.

Realizing that you're expendable is a mature thing to realize. Most people think they're so important, that they're going to live forever, that their invincible. They deny their very mortality, the very fact that they don't impact the universe very much, the very fact that they're just not that important. This is a huge turning point for Mishka.

Survival is what comes next...one might argue, "It's merely a day," and as I'm currently reading Endurance about Shackleton's journey across Antarctica, and that is months, our world, our society is all about the now, the instant. For example, not having my phone on me for mere hours - chaos. We need everything now. So I think this is HUGE.

Great changes happen, but he ultimately remains the same - because you are always the same inside.
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40 of 51 people found the following review helpful
Considering the glowing reviews, I was astounded by the clunky writing and disjointed storytelling from Page 1 on. I plugged on, finishing a boring, self-serving tale that wasn't worth writing, assuming it had to get better. It didn't...

Five people, whose characters aren't even vaguely described, wreck their sailboat on an island one night, but easily get to shore. They spend an uneventful night on the beach, except for all getting drunk on wine they've salvaged. The next morning the self-described alcoholic writer "heroically" insists on going for rescue to town, believed to be about 25 miles away.

He walks the coast without major incident for less than a day, and gets help. Period. No real challenges except that he manages to finish off his ample supply of water in just a few hours, and then weirdly feels the need to drink his own urine. Oh, and the poor guy keeps being plagued by fears of sharks, which has no relevance, since there are no sharks in the story.

The account offers no epiphanies either, other than noting that the incident did nothing to change the writer's alcoholism. So what?

Hopefully, this novella is not representative of the quality of Kindle Singles. Even at $1.99, I feel cheated.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on April 19, 2011
Shubaly is a masterful storyteller and in "Shipwrecked" it shows. Years of honing his craft as a an ink-stained wretch for some of New York's finest publications have served him well in this gut-wrenching tale of survival. The story unfolds as the author tries to escape his debauched lifestyle with a sea-faring adventure in the Bahamas, only to find himself at the mercy of mother nature. Shubaly deftly weaves the narrative of the capsizing vessel and his subsequent trek to find help with recollections and observations of his life back home. There are moments of tenderness, gorgeous renderings of life at sea, queasy shocks of terror and a stomach-turning surprise all packed into this powerful tale. Imbued with the spirit of "The Year of the Shark," you'll devour it in one sitting before it promises to devour you.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on April 21, 2011
This is one of those pieces that when you first get into it, you are pretty sure you know where everything is going... But once you dig in you start to notice that there are some really deep down questions about what it means to even be here. He could have made himself out to be a hero here. He didn't. it really became for me more about what it means to be alive at all... And what it means to inhabit the same space as other people when confronted with base survival. Which I guess is the best way to find out what you are made of. An amazing life experience viewed as a way to ask some bigger questions instead of just saying "look what i lived through".
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on April 16, 2011
I made the mistake of starting to read this story just before bed, thinking I would read a few pages and finish it in the morning. Wrong! I could not stop turning the page. I was led along like a fish on a hook, reeled right in! And then when I finished the story, I was too excited to fall asleep.

The pace of the story is perfect. There is no stopping point until the end. Just when you think you can stop and take a breather a new element is introduced. And knowing that this is a true story makes it all the more exciting.

I loved the descriptive passages of the water in different lights. For anyone who has been sailing they will be able to relate to that, and the motion of the boat that is created by such skillful descriptions.

Without giving the end away, I would say that the author underplays the arduousness and the danger of his walk to find help. If anyone knows the sun in the Caribbean in July, it's a killer.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on April 22, 2012
I love the Kindle Singles. I don't have a lot of time to read and the short stories are perfect for someone who doesn't have much free time. I love Mishka Shubaly's writing style. It is funny and sad. I have read all three Kindle Singles by Mishka; The Long Run, Are You Lonesome Tonight & Shipwrecked and enjoyed them all. I would definitely read more by this author if there are more books available!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 4, 2012
There is a lot to like in Shubaly's story. The premise is interesting and the plotline has a lot of potential. Some reviewers are bothered by the fact that the protagonist didn't appear to learn anything from the whole experience, but that's life, isn't it? It's usually only in works of fiction that a person experiences an epiphany and changes their life, even when events make it painfully clear to everyone else what is needed.

Unfortunately, the writing doesn't quite keep up with the story, which would have benefitted greatly from a good editor. The phrasing is frequently sloppy, the chronology jumps are in places clunky and distracting, and there is so little character development that it is difficult to feel invested in any of the actors.

I hope someday the author will rework the story. It is worth telling, but this reads more like a first draft than a finished, published work.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on April 25, 2011
OK. I guess I have to start with full disclosure. With the exception of the old man in the story, every one mentioned, including the boat, is a good friend of mine. I even get a cameo mention as the mom's boyfriend who gave him the ultra nerdy sandals. This is a true story and I knew most of the details shortly after they happened.

That said, it caught my rapt attention anyway. It was totally suspenseful despite knowing the ending. The characters were drawn in depth and exactly to life, and Mishka paints the joys, fears, and dangers of sailing on the Caribbean beautifully. I also had taken the helm of Breath during the wee hours of the morning while everyone else was asleep below decks. Once I saw a huge cruising ship appear above the horizon like a humungous Christmas tree headed right at us at 25 knots. I imagined the Captain at the wheel with his fifth Piña Colada in his hand, recently retired from the Exon Valdez, chatting up some buxom, bikini clad beauty, while our fate was to be as a small, splintered toothpick in its maw. I once surfaced after SCUBA diving for lobsters only to have my buddy scream at me, "Didn't you see that shark? He practically had his snout up your butt." Mishka captures all these joys and more, so I strongly recommend that you read the story - you will not be disappointed. And then hop a plane and go swim with the sharks.
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