- File Size: 4634 KB
- Print Length: 336 pages
- Publisher: Lume Books (January 22, 2013)
- Publication Date: January 22, 2013
- Sold by: Amazon.com Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00B4XLT4I
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #102,209 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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The Brendan Voyage Kindle Edition
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About the Author
Jon Krakauer is the author of Into Thin Air, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, and Into the Wild. His work has appeared in many magazines, including Outside, Smithsonian, and National Geographic. He chose the books in the Modern Library Exploration series for their literary merit and historical significance--and because he found them such a pleasure to read. --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
"An extraordinary explorer." --The Independent
From the Trade Paperback edition. --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
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Perhaps the most important difference, between the two trips is the tremendous amount of research involved in the voyage of the Brendan. To be fair, there wasn't that much written. information available to Thor Heyerdahl. He was researching Inca and Easter Island legends, and neither culture was very literate to start with and zealous missionaries had wiped out much previous culture in both places, especially in Peru. On the other hand, the priesthood of the Celtic church was highly literate and made records of everything they did and saw. Of course, being Celts, there was a wee tendency to exaggerate. (Having sighted a whale, they had to have mistaken him for an island, go ashore, and build a campfire on his back.) As a result, there was quite a lot of information available about St. Brendan's voyages, which turned out to be surprisingly accurate.
In addition, although a curragh looks like a simple structure, building one with sails and capable of long sea voyages is quite another matter. What kind of leather, how to tan it, what kind of wood, what kind of thread to sew it together with, what kind of thongs to lash it, and even the ropes had to be right or disaster would result.
The outstanding thing about the book is how thoroughly the author explains the problems he encounters and the people he finds to help him solve them.
Perhaps more than anything else, this book is a tribute to the many Irish people willing to go out of their way to help the author explore and display what was,after all, a minute and obscure part of their history.
Finally, with the boat built, we embark with the crew on a voyage as hazardous as any in history. The North Atlantic is a very dangerous place. At the same year as this story happened a thoroughly modern, and much larger, icebreaker was lost in the same area that the Brendan crossed. tremendous credit has to be given to the men who stayed with the project under terrible conditions.
This book is worth reading, just for the knowledge that the spirit of exploration is still alive in the modern world, and that are still men who are willing to undergo extreme hardship to prove a scientific or historical theory.
I first read this in paperback when it was selected by my book club. Later gave it to a friend who loves tales of the high seas, and then regretted letting go of it, so when BookBub advertised a sale on the Kindle version, I bought it again. Now I'll never have to let go of it.
And I love all I learned about whales & sea life.
Top international reviews
The reason for this particular voyage being planned and followed through is quite simple. There is a book, the Navigatio that tells of the story of Saint Brendan travelling to the Promised Land, which we can see would have been somewhere on the North American continent. Although with any stories recorded in writing in Medieval times there is much embellishment and traditions, there have been elements of the Brendan voyage though that have struck a cord, as to being feasible. Thus the idea for the Brendan voyage came about.
This book is about this new voyage, to see if it was possible for St Brendan to carry out such a voyage, by using a boat built like the ones used at the time. Going into the difficulties of building such a boat, finding out particulars and sourcing the correct materials this shows just many people have a part to play in such an endeavour, not just those who actually crew the boat. We follow the new vessel, Brendan, on her voyage. In the end this voyage took place over two seasons, but it is worth noticing that St Brendan did his over seven seasons (seven years), sailing in the summer periods only, and also scientists think that the world was in a warmer climactic condition at that period. Along with this you can also see thoughts on where the Navigatio has been embellished, and what probably was originally recorded.
This makes a fascinating read, and I must admit that I was just as enthralled reading this as I was so many years ago. What is so remarkable about this book and this voyage is that it would definitely seem that the Irish had discovered, and indeed inhabited to a very minor extent places on the continent of North America, a few centuries before the Vikings did so, and way longer ago than Columbus supposedly discovering the 'New World'. Indeed a more comprehensive look at Medieval records seems to indicate that when the Vikings reached North America they were not surprised to hear of Irishmen being there already. Also it should be pointed out that St Brendan himself was not the first person to make this voyage, as the Navigatio indicates that he was guided there by another person, and had first heard about the land from another Saint.
Although if you look at the 'Go To menu' in this kindle version no table of contents is shown there is in fact one. All you need do is to click back one page from the Foreword, and there it is. There are three appendices to this, as well as a section of photos of the voyage. All in all this is still a great read, that is thought provoking as well as an entertaining read.
The book goes further than that, describing every stage of Tim Severin's reconstruction of the voyage of St Brendan. (If you didn't know already, this Irish monk discovered North America long before the vile Columbus.)
If you like maximum excitement, get both the book and the CD. I did.
discovery of the truth behind an early medieval legend - written of by others as fable
intrepid and dangerous adventure by a small group trying to prove a point
account of an exciting sailing voyage with gripping tales of hazards met and overcome
tale of a project that seemed blessed by good fortune and unexpected help from many strangers
one of the most gripping sailing stories I have ever read
I was looking for a book about Brendan the Navigator but think I have done better with this story of Tim and his crew setting out in the 1970's to see if it was really possible to sail to America in a leather boat! The courage of those men in the face of danger, and therefore of St Brendan himself, fills me with awe. I heartily recommend this to any one with an adventurous streak in them.