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Unsinkable: A Young Woman's Courageous Battle on the High Seas Hardcover – April 11, 2011
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About the Author
Lynn Vincent is the New York Times best-selling writer ofHeaven Is for Real and Same Kind of Different As Me. The author or coauthor of ten books, Lynn has sold 12 million copies since 2006. She worked for eleven years as a writer and editor at the national news biweekly WORLD magazine and is a U.S. Navy veteran.
Top Customer Reviews
The sailing jargon would make this a better read for seasoned sailors however. The writers often make an attempt to explain the terminology but using other sailing lingo making it not as enjoyable of a read for a layperson. I think other similar genre books have done a better job at allowing the reader to experience the intensity and the situations.
It's written from 3 different perspectives which was an interesting choice. One was Abby's voice and it reflects the language of a teenager with it's "likes", "kind ofs" and "whatevers" but it does have an earnestness to it. The narrator's perspective, Lynn Vincent, is not very well-written with a lot of areas that read like a book report on historical subjects. The third is from the rescuer participants' perspective.
The biggest message that comes across in the book is that the family was heavily critiqued for allowing their daughter to make the trip and the book seems to be written in a very defensive mode to explain their side of the story. They repeatedly and blatantly cover several points - teenagers should experience life vs watching it on TV, that some teenagers are mature and that they were never interested in making money off of these adventures (both Abby and their son Zac's solo circumnavigation). It is so often repeated messaging that it leads one to think "thou does protest too much." The other message of the book is that they wrote the book as a thank you to all of those who helped Abby and in that it was a nice tribute to her extensive team of people who helped her along the way.
What Abby did was nothing short of incredible and she seems like a very capable and interesting teenager but I wish they had chosen a better writer to help her capture the journey as there was a lot to physical, emotional and psychologically interesting aspects to her 12,000 mile journey that could have been relayed better with a stronger writer - perhaps one that written for publications like Outside magazine, for example. It feels like they chose a writer, based on their conflict with the media and journalists, that reflected their belief system, and in that, didn't do justice to capturing her story.
If one were interested in a similar type of book, I would choose Maiden Voyage by Tania Aebi.
Its only 199 pages so its a quick read.
To understand this book, you really need to be a sailor,
otherwise you will be in the glossary for definitions and
information on what is being talked about all the time.
Background - I am an experienced sailor of about 30 years,
and also an electrical engineer with a good amount of experience
in marine electronics. I was an outside observer during the voyage
described in this book, and contacted the Sunderland family when it
became evident that they had serious technical problems.
Suggestions made for safety were ignored and the outcome
of systems failing (as described in the book) was the result.
I was NOT part of "Team Abby" as described in the book.
Lynn Vincent did the writing, she's a ghost writer
who is best known for writing Sarah Palin's books.
Ms. Vincent is actually a good writer and knows how
to put a story together. Factuality and accuracy
are another question. However, she can only write
about what she's told.
In quick summary:
The book is a mixture of fiction, fact and selective
storytelling. When I say "selective" a lot of
things that were "conveniently ignored" made the
story slanted away from all the dangerous stupidity
that occurred along the way.
This is not surprising, considering Facebook postings
and the blog associated with the voyage were rigidly censored
to remove the commentary coming from knowledgable sailors
who warned of issues that threatened
the safety of Abby Sunderland.
Considering members of the Sunderland family have been
called out on national television for being deceptive.
you can't really take anything for granted here.
Some interesting observations from my read:
Laurence Sunderland's ego is painted all over
the book. A number of places he is descrbed
as a "Veteran Shipwright" (P109 et. al.)
and lengthy descriptions of what magical
and wonderful things he did are included.
Most people in the sailing community would
consider a "shipwright" someone who designs and builds
boats. Not the case here.
Dangerous use of fuel - from the book
"putting several additional jury cans of fuel
aboard Wild Eyes as insurance" (p69) Pictures in the media
showed it was 19 or 22 Jerry cans in all the photos out there.
"Several" is ambiguous, "many" would be a lot
more accurate. This was considered to be a very dangerous act,
showing poor planning and preparation.
A half a page was given to quoting something
I wrote on a discussion forum on sailing
([...] anarchy.com) about the total dependence on
electronics and power consumption. (p80) The
book then states that I was wrong about this,
and that what they did fixed the problem. Not true.
The boat was running the alternator on a very regular
basis to recharge batteries: "this alternator belt
needed to be tightened about once a week" (p92)
So, P80, and P92 contradict each other, and present an
In the book, the cinematographer, Ted Caloroso gets thrown
under the bus (p51, p93-94) with
claims that he wanted Abby Sunderland to die so he could
do a story on it and make money off of it. Interesting lie.
I still have records from the time period showing that
Ted Caloroso, other members of Magnetic Entertainment, and
myself were trying to get them to shut the trip down
because the stopover in Cabo showed how poorly prepared
There are many other places where the accuracy of the story
is questionable or deceptive. The factual content
won't stand up if it gets closely analyzed.
Lynn Vincent did a good writing job. Abby Sunderland survived
even though she had not been properly trained, the boat was
inappropriate, and not properly prepared.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
ABBY SUNDERLAND &
I followed the voyage of Zac Sunderland in National Geographic magazine when he, at 17, became the youngest...Read more