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4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (2,268 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Joshua Slocum Narrator: Bernard Mayes Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: August 2012 ISBN: 9781470823740
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Challenged by an expert who said it couldn’t be done, Joshua Slocum, a fearless New England sea captain, set out in April 1895 to prove that a man could sail alone around the world. A little over three years and forty-six thousand miles later, the proof was complete. This is Slocum’s own account of his remarkable adventures during the historic voyage of the Spray.

Whether Slocum was more accomplished as a writer or sailor is hard to say. His writing style is fast paced, witty, and exhilarating, an absorbing match to his harrowing adventures—adventures that included being chased by Moorish pirates off Gibraltar; escaping a fleet of hostile canoes; being submerged by a great wave off the Patagonian coast; an encounter with Black Pedro, “the worst murderer in Tierra del Fuego”; and foiling a nocturnal attack by savages by strewing carpet tacks on the Spray’s deck.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “[A] literate and absorbing yarn…A convincing tale of the intelligence, skill, and fortitude that drove a master navigator.”

    New York Times

  • “One of the most readable books in the whole library of adventure.”

    Sports Illustrated

  • “A classic book…Slocum’s writing is as elegant as his thirty-seven-foot sloop, Spray, whose crossing of the Atlantic he describes vividly.”

    New Yorker

  • “No better voice than that of Bernard Mayes could have been picked for this voyage filled with adventures ranging from the total loneliness of the solo voyage to the tense fear of attack by Tierra del Fuego pirates…Bernard makes [the adventures] as exciting as they must have been to Slocum; his voice is the voice of a sailing gentleman.”

    AudioFile

  • “Surely one of the all-time classic sailing narratives, this is more than just an account of a fascinating and often arduous journey, it has also given rise to a mythology all its own.”

    Classic Boat

  • Sailing Alone around the World could have been written yesterday. It flows free and easy and is filled with amusing anecdotes…Any sailor who loves the sea will be brought up short from time to time by the quiet eloquence of Slocum's writing.”

    Small Boat Journal

  • “The finest single-handed adventure story yet written.”

    Seafarer

  • “The classic of its kind.”

    Travel World

  • “This audio presentation sparkles with the author’s wit and the reader’s calm, light English accent…Mayes’ voice is perfect for a man in his sixties, spinning the adventures of his sailing around the world.” 

    Kliatt

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jenny | 2/20/2014

    " This book is one reason why I love accounts of travel and adventure! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Doug | 2/18/2014

    " The story of my Great Grandfather, a family favorite. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kathy | 2/13/2014

    " Wonderful book. This is the second time I've read it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Roy | 2/8/2014

    " Incredible story of a mid-life crisis taken to extremes. A captain of commercial sailing vessels, Joshua Slocum found himself out of work at 50 when steamships were replacing sailing vessels for trade. Slocum pokes fun at steamships, new-fangled navigational conveniences such as clocks and shows the world that sailing ships can still do a thing or two that steamships can't. A voyage taken at a time when many places around the world were barely touched by civilization and when ships as largely commercial vessels was giving way to ships as recreational vehicles. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Scott | 2/7/2014

    " Of course you're going to get some sailing books here from me. This one may appeal to non sailors as well. Josh Slocum sailed around the world alone in a small boat of his own modifications around the turn of the last century. Good narative and a uniquie look at the world from one lonely sailors perspective. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jms | 2/3/2014

    " Joshua Slocum salied alone around the world on a sloop named Spray... it took him three years (1895-1898) and an imponderable reserve of skill, determination, good fortune, and insanity. Fascinating glimpse at sailing, world culture in the late 19th century, and the art of travel writing. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Samantha | 1/22/2014

    " interesting subject, but a little boring. i enjoyed reading about the sailing adventures slocum had. but it was written by a sailor, not an author and it reads like it. a little too dry to be really interesting. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Don | 1/17/2014

    " I really enjoyed this journal of a solo trip around the world in the late 1800's. Filled with engaging, vivid recolection of his experiences along the way. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Gwyneth | 1/13/2014

    " I liked this book about the first solo sailing trip around the world. It would be even more appreciated by people who love all things nautical, which I do not. The technical language made it a harder read for me. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nostromo | 1/10/2014

    " The best non-fiction adventure story I have ever read. Joshua can sail and write - its an amazing story. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Justin Bell | 1/4/2014

    " Made me want to sail around the world, with other people, NOT alone. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Daniel Petrosini | 12/4/2013

    " remarkable achievement but book needed condensing "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lake Lady | 11/28/2013

    " actually not quite finished but close enough to meet my goal. Quite enjoyable reading with a quirky sense of humor in unexpected places "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Steve | 11/20/2013

    " A man who used to be a tall ship captain sails his own boat around the world before there were yachts. And he could write "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Amy | 9/17/2013

    " If you love to sail, you'll like this book. Keep in mind it was written in the 19th century. All considered it is a great memoir, especially if you'd like to have sailed around the world in the 19th century. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Heather Roberts | 8/27/2013

    " An interesting cultural anthro read, cool insights into sailing. Not my favorite. Dry writing. Reads more like a well written "how to" manual around the world instead of great literature. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Roger | 7/21/2013

    " Definitely not for everyone. Love it or hate it, it won't take you long to figure out. I found it charmingly unaffected with a generousnous of spirit. Not a cynical line in the book. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Debra | 4/5/2013

    " Although this is an amazing feat and very interesting in all, I couldn't get into the book. I would like to learn more about it, but for only a 7 hour audiobook it seemed to last forever. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ashley | 3/31/2013

    " 4.5 stars. very enjoyable. capt. slocum has a very understated humor that is a delight to read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 John | 2/9/2013

    " Great book! Lots of detail concerning the adventures of the first man to sail around the world solo. I enjoyed the descriptions of the places he visited and learning how the places were in the late 1800s before mass tourism. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Byron | 11/17/2012

    " A literate and humorous glimpse into the disappearing world of sail-only ships at the close of the nineteenth century. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 JC | 11/5/2012

    " This was one of my motivating factors to buying and living on a sailboat. "

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About the Author
Author Joshua Slocum

Captain Joshua Slocum (1844–1909) was the first person to circle the globe alone entirely by sea. This remarkable achievement made Slocum the most famous North American sailor of all time.

About the Narrator

Bernard Mayes is a teacher, administrator, corporate executive, broadcaster, actor, dramatist, and former international commentator on US culture. He is best known for his readings of historical classics.