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A Voyage for Madmen by Peter Nichols

A Voyage for Madmen (original 2001; edition 2002)

by Peter Nichols

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2751041,194 (4)10
Title:A Voyage for Madmen
Authors:Peter Nichols
Info:Harper Perennial (2002), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 336 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

A Voyage for Madmen by Peter Nichols (2001)

  1. 10
    Gypsy Moth Circles the World by Sir Francis Chichester (John_Vaughan)
  2. 10
    The strange last voyage of Donald Crowhurst by Nicholas Tomalin (nandadevi, bluepiano)
  3. 00
    The Long Way by Bernard Moitessier (bluepiano)
    bluepiano: Moitessier, who to me was the hero of the race, writes about his own voyage--'his own voyage' rather than 'about his part in the race' because the contest is in his book almost incidental.

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Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
Riveting. A window onto another world. A bunch of people with great contrasts of experience and character, doing something extraordinary in what is nearly, though not quite, the modern world. The author did a great job keeping a balance with the thrills and spills and the repeating monotony of life at sea on your own. ( )
  Ma_Washigeri | Jun 17, 2014 |
This is an essential companion to Tomalin and Hall's 'The Strange Voyage of Donald Crowhurst' which is one of the finest - and most disturbing - accounts ever written of a man's descent into madness. Nichols tells the story of the other boats in this race around the world from which only one returned, the others succumbing the harshness of a race never attempted before, or their own versions of madness. Perhaps the most troubled story was that of Nigel Tetley, who destroyed his own yacht trying to keep up with the false progress being reported by Crowhurst, and then destroyed himself even more dramatically than Crowhurst. Often there's an element of madness in long distance sailors, like the mountaineers who go back to the high peaks where sooner or later nearly all meet their deaths, but their is also an exceptionalism. Nichols explores the thin line between greatness and madness and the circumstances in which men and women cross that line and some never come back. ( )
  nandadevi | Apr 14, 2014 |
  amelish | Sep 12, 2013 |
Peter Nichols has put together a great little book on the 1969 Golden Globe race to be the first man to single-handedly circumnavigate the globe without stopping in any ports along the way. "A Voyage for Madmen" gives a great overview of the race and varying personalities involved -- from professional maritime men to vagabond sailors to one contestant who didn't even learn to sail until he was on his way. Only one person completed the race.

I've read other accounts of the race (including the excellent "The Strange Last Voyage of Donald Crowhurst" and Moitessier's "The Long Way") which are fantastic accounts themselves and perhaps slightly more enjoyable.

Nichols' book excels in by providing a good description of everyone in the race. He is more interested in the technical differences between the competitors' boats and their tactics for dealing with the Roaring Forties than providing particularly deep character studies. However, it's a nice overview of the race and the people involved and makes for a compelling read. ( )
  amerynth | Apr 8, 2012 |
Very, very good book. At times a bit too technical for me, and I would have liked to know more about the men themselves and their daily lives at sea, not simply their reactions to crises. ( )
  Eliz12 | Nov 2, 2011 |
Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
A Voyage for Madmen is a book about boats and the sea, about wind and waves and frightening, lonely places. But more than that, it is about sad, heroic characters, and Nichols does characters like a novelist does.
added by nandadevi | editThe Guardian, Sam Wollaston (May 26, 2001)
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Everything can be found at sea,
according to the spirit of your quest.
To the memory of my father, Brayton C Nichols
For his sister, Cynthia Hartshorn
For my cousin, Matt deGarmo
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In 1966-1967, A 65-Year-Old Englishman, Francis Chichester, sailed alone around the world.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0060957034, Paperback)

In 1968, nine sailors set off on the most daring race ever held: to single-handedly circumnavigate the globe nonstop. It was a feat that had never been accomplished and one that would forever change the face of sailing. Ten months later, only one of the nine men would cross the finish line and earn fame, wealth, and glory. For the others, the reward was madness, failure, and death.

In this extraordinary book, Peter Nichols chronicles a contest of the individual against the sea, waged at a time before cell phones, satellite dishes, and electronic positioning systems. A Voyage for Madmen is a tale of sailors driven by their own dreams and demons, of horrific storms in the Southern Ocean, and of those riveting moments when a split-second decision means the difference between life and death.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:45:39 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

"On April 22, 1969 the world watched as a small sailboat came ashore at Falmouth, England, completing a voyage of astonishing courage and endurance that would forever alter our ongoing adventure with the sea. Ten months earlier, nine very different men had set off in small and ill-equipped boats, determined to do the impossible, sail around the world alone and without stopping, to win the race dubbed the Golden Globe." -- Jacket.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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