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Home » Books » Travel » Special Interest » Adventure

Little Ship of Fools

Sixteen Rowers, One Improbable Boat, Seven Tumultuous Weeks on the Atlantic

By Charles Wilkins

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Format: Paperback, 320 pages
Other Information: B&W photos, Maps
Published In: Canada, 01 November 2013
Longlisted for the 2013 Charles Taylor Prize The dramatic and hilarious story of risk and survival, as well as the importance of our connections to the planet, on a human-powered journey across the ocean. It was to be an expedition like no other--a run across the Atlantic from Morocco to Barbados aboard an experimental rowboat. There would be no support vessel, no stored water, no sails or motor. The boat's crew of sixteen included several veterans of U.S. college rowing, a number of triathletes, a woman who had rowed both the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, and a scrawny sexagenarian looking for a last great challenge--our chronicler, Charles Wilkins. When he joined the expedition, Wilkins had never swung an oar in earnest. Accompanied by a devoted crew of misadventurers, Wilkins takes the reader along for seven weeks of rationed food, extreme sleep deprivation, and life-threatening seas--as well as sharks, whales, and an ever-disintegrating boat. Little Ship of Fools is a rich and fascinating story of courage, community, the importance of risk in our lives, and the resilience and depth of the human spirit.

About the Author

Charles Wilkins wrestled Don Starkell's mountainous diary into the classic work of adventure travel Paddle to the Amazon, praised by the New York Times Book Review as "a model expeditionary journal." He is the winner of three National Magazine Awards and has been a finalist for the Writers' Trust Non-Fiction Prize, among other awards. His acclaimed nonfiction includes The Circus at the Edge of the Earth and Walk to New York, and he is the co-author, with Gordie Howe, of the bestseller After the Applause. He divides his time between Thunder Bay and Muskoka, ON.


"Rarely have I been so drop-jaw riveted by a book, so won over by a writer's chops and heart, so happy to be dry."--Mary Roach, author of Stiff "An inspiring read and a great adventure tale"--Library Journal "A thrilling adventure on the high seas... deftly narrated with Wilkins' trademark humor and guile. Infused with a wit, charm, and sense of wonder akin to Bill Bryson's travelogues, the playful but epic tale stands as a testament to the human spirit stripped bare by the power of nature." --Booklist "[Wilkins] is starkly--though still poetically--honest ...The magic of Wilkins' storytelling is in the fact that none of the misery makes the journey seem any less enticing."-- Kirkus Reviews

EAN: 9781553658788
ISBN: 1553658787
Publisher: Greystone Books,Canada
Dimensions: 14 x 21.6 centimetres (0.41 kg)
Age Range: 15+ years
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