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Publisher's Summary

The Vendée Globe, a grueling four-month sail around the world, traveling through the wild waters of the Southern Ocean, is the most demanding and dangerous sailing race on the planet. In November 1996, 14 men and 2 women competitors set out on this ultimate human endeavor. Godforsaken Sea chronicles their solitary battles to stay alive against 6-story waves, bone-chilling cold, ice-laden seas, and their own physical and mental limitations. Listen to electrifying accounts of human courage and endurance that will take you into the sailors' spirits.
Original material ©1998 Derek Lundy; Published by arrangement with Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill.; © and (P)1999 HighBridge Company; Cover Photo by Warren Bolster/Tony Stone Images

Critic Reviews

"Incomparable...a profound and brilliantly executed book featuring the sea and human nature." (William F. Buckley, Jr.)

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Average Customer Ratings

Overall

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  • Overall

Race or survival

As a lifelong sailor, I thoroughly enjoyed this account of an incredible ocean race. I love the idea that it isn't man that conquers the sea but the sea that allows man passage through its domain.

While chronicling a real event, portions of this book read like a thriller. Additionally there are good insights into the perils faced through history by those men in ships going 'round the horn'.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • David
  • Birmingham, AL, USA
  • 10-14-04

Worth Reading

This book is unique in its style, like a mildly disturbing dream. The book starts and flows well; then, finishes on a mournful note. The narration is very good. The story is well told. The race upon which the book is based is well researched. Lots of French names. Lots of catastrophe and the human hardship that follows. The middle portion of the book is so descriptive of wind, rain, waves, sails, broken things, cracked things, beacons, highs, lows, bows, masts, halyards, etc., that it is hard to tell one chapter from the next. I think I accidently listened to chapters 10 & 12 several times, only realizing this well into each chapter. Don't be mistaken; this is not a bad thing. This book is not like others you've read where the author sends you on a sleigh ride connecting chapters like train cars. No. It's more like he put you in a Martini shaker and shook for 3 days. Every account of single handed passage making I've read has a certain "trial by fire" flavor about it. This book is no exception. If you are inclined to like such reading, this book will not disappoint.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Riviting

This is an outstanding book for those with any intrest in sailing at all. And if you have experienced single handing a sail boat, you won't be able to stop reading (listening). Enjoy

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Different People

Amazing humans challenging our seas and themselves.
Well written and narrated.
I will listen to this often.
If you love books about extreme people....those who must go further, dive in....

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My only complaint

My only complaint is that they should put out the unabridged version of this excellent book.

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  • Performance
  • Story
  • Tom
  • NJ, USA
  • 07-30-14

Thrilling Tale of the Sea

This was a fantastic book. It transports you from boat to boat, describing the trials that these solo sailors face in this great race. When the author opens a window to a particular incident, he does well to close it out. You really get a feel for the race and what drives these sailors to make the toughest passage around the world.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Human competition and the edge of sanity.

Where does Godforsaken Sea rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This high action, high risk narrative is among the best audio books I've listened to.

What did you like best about this story?

The profiles and personal interviews with the participants as it painted the picture of who these people are and what motivates them to race the Vendee Globe, unquestionably the most difficult sailboat race in the world.

Have you listened to any of Michael Tezla’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The account of how difficult a rescue was in the Southern Ocean and how fellow racers would not question their obligation to help a fellow sailor in distress.