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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.

Published: HarperCollins on Oct 13, 2009
ISBN: 9780061868405
List price: $10.99
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 I had seen the documentary of the first Golden Globe race in 1968 (Deep Water), a couple of years before reading Nichols' book. The documentary centred on the story of Donald Crowhurst. At the time, I didn't understand how compelling the stories of the other participants were. I recommend Nichols' book to anyone who is unaware of the race. Be warned, at times there is some heavy technical commentary on yachting strategies. I would've also enjoyed the book to go for a little longer. For what it's worth, Deep Water is also worth watching.read more
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A tremendous account of the first round the world yacht race, that gripped like an anchor thrown into the Amazon jungle. All the main characters were clearly drawn, and objectively assessed for their strengths and failings.read more
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Outstanding. Nichols' command of language is amazing.read more
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Reviews

 I had seen the documentary of the first Golden Globe race in 1968 (Deep Water), a couple of years before reading Nichols' book. The documentary centred on the story of Donald Crowhurst. At the time, I didn't understand how compelling the stories of the other participants were. I recommend Nichols' book to anyone who is unaware of the race. Be warned, at times there is some heavy technical commentary on yachting strategies. I would've also enjoyed the book to go for a little longer. For what it's worth, Deep Water is also worth watching.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
A tremendous account of the first round the world yacht race, that gripped like an anchor thrown into the Amazon jungle. All the main characters were clearly drawn, and objectively assessed for their strengths and failings.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Outstanding. Nichols' command of language is amazing.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
A tremendous account of the first round the world yacht race, that gripped like an anchor thrown into the Amazon jungle. All the main characters were clearly drawn, and objectively assessed for their strengths and failings.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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.
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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.
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