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Download 438 Days: An Extraordinary True Story of Survival at Sea Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample 438 Days: An Extraordinary True Story of Survival at Sea Audiobook, by Jonathan Franklin Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Jonathan Franklin Narrator: George Newbern Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: November 2015 ISBN: 9781442396029
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As told to journalist Jonathan Franklin in dozens of exclusive interviews, 438 Days is the miraculous account of the man who survived alone and adrift at sea longer than anyone in recorded history.

On November 17, 2012, Salvador Alvarenga left the coast of Mexico for a two-day fishing trip. A vicious storm killed his engine and the current dragged his boat out to sea. The storm picked up and blasted him west. When he washed ashore on January 29, 2014, he had arrived in the Marshall Islands, nine thousand miles away—equivalent to traveling from New York to Moscow round trip.

For fourteen months, Alvarenga survived constant shark attacks. He learned to catch fish with his bare hands. He built a fish net from a pair of empty plastic bottles. Taking apart the outboard motor, he fashioned a huge fishhook. Using fish vertebrae as needles, he stitched together his own clothes.

He considered suicide on multiple occasions—including offering himself up to a pack of sharks. But Alvarenga never failed to invent an alternative reality. He imagined a method of survival that kept his body and mind intact long enough for the Pacific Ocean to toss him up on a remote palm-studded island, where he was saved by a local couple living alone in their own Pacific Island paradise.

Based on dozens of hours of interviews with Alvarenga and interviews with his colleagues, search and rescue officials, the medical team that saved his life and the remote islanders who nursed him back to health, 438 Days is an epic tale of survival, an all-true version of the fictional Life of Pi, a study of the resilience, will, ingenuity, and determination required for one man to survive fourteen months lost at sea.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “The best survival book in a decade.”

    Outside magazine

  • “This gripping saga…unfolds like a rollicking adventure story…remarkable…A tale that is nothing if not astoundingly, engrossingly singular.”

    Daily Mail (London)

  • "[A] harrowing tale.”

    New York Daily News

  • “Many are the tales of death and disaster on the high seas. Few indeed are those that tell of near-miraculous survival, fed by human courage, faith, strength, and intelligence. This is one such.”

    Roanoke Times

  • “Narrator George Newbern does an excellent job delivering the story of Alvarenga’s struggle to survive at sea…Newbern’s consistent pace and varied tone keep the compelling story going, communicating the harrowing aspects of the journey as well as Alvarenga’s inspirational will to survive…Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award.”


  • “An amazing story of endurance, ingenuity, and pure tenacity…This book will thrill readers of true-life adventures and survival.”

    Library Journal

  • “A spectacular triumph of grit over adversity, 438 Days is an intense, immensely absorbing read.”


  • “Survival stories don’t get any more amazing than this…An unforgettable true-life adventure.”


  • “A fascinating, action-packed account.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • A BookPage Top Pick for December 2015
  • Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award
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About the Author

Jonathan Franklin regularly reports for the Guardian, Vice, and Esquire. He also works with the team at Retro Report producing documentaries broadcast by the New York Times. Based in Santiago, Chile, and Manhattan, Franklin reports on Latin America. Franklin’s previous book 33 Men, the exclusive account of Chilean miners trapped nearly a kilometer underground, became a national bestseller in the US and UK and was translated into nineteen languages.

About the Narrator

George Newbern is an Earphones Award–winning narrator and a television and film actor best known for his roles as Brian MacKenzie in Father of the Bride and Father of the Bride Part II, as well as Danny in Friends. As a voice actor, he is notable for his role as Superman on the Cartoon Newtork series Static Shock, Justice League, and Justice League Unlimited. He has guest starred on many television series, including Scandal, The Mentalist, Private Practice, CSI: Miami, and Numb3rs. He holds a BA in theater arts from Northwestern University.