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Adrift: Seventy-Six Days Lost at Sea Paperback – Aug 1996

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books Inc. (Aug. 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345410157
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345410153
  • Product Dimensions: 21 x 14 x 1.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 111,710 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

From the Author

Alone & adrift, I came to terms with nature and my humanity.
For 2.5 months, I drifted about 2,000 miles across the Atlantic, learning to become an aquatic caveman. For many, Adrift is strictly an "adventure" survival story in which I starve and dehydrate, battle sharks and slowly adapt to the ocean wilderness in which anything that floats slowly develops an island-like ecology. While writing Adrift, I struggled to keep the pace without losing readers in sailor's jargon. However, deeper themes swim throughout the story, particularly with a school of fish that follow the raft. Although I experience a sort of living death, I am awakened to new sensitivities about my place in the universe and society, which infuses the experience with a sense of awe and wonder as much as pain and desperation. The fish, representatives of the sea's majesty and mystery, become my friends, test me and almost kill me, yet bring about my salvation. Alone, I learn to face my substantial failures, accept myself as a part of humanity, and find a balance between the rational, physical an

About the Author

Steven Callahan lives in the United States. He still sails. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 29 Jun. 2000
Format: Paperback
A word of caution-- this is not an accurate review. I'm going back now years ago to a time when I lived in a village in Mexico. We're talking pre-Internet as we know it today. The available reading material in this village consisted of donated books at a so called lending library at a bar that catered to foreign tourists. Anyway, there happened to be Steve Callahan's book there. It was such a powerful reading experience that over the next fifteen years I would sometimes mention it to people: "I read this book once, seventy something days adrift...by....". And I couldn't remember-- I'd only read the book once -- until tonight, thanks to....well, you know. But, whatever, it taught me some other things to remember. One profoundly philosophical message I got from the book was how every action undertaken by the author negated an alternative action (although both were of critical necessity)-- a sort of opportunity cost lesson: bailing water out of the raft meant not gathering drinking water or catching fish for food, etc. I'm now an English teacher in Turkey, and I'm about to introduce this book to my reading class. I'm very glad that I've finally found it again. Keep adrifting!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Martin A Hogan HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 15 July 2003
Format: Paperback
Steven Callahan is a blessed man. This true story is one of the most harrowing accounts of survival in a truly hopeless situation. He capsizes in minutes in the middle of the night with a raft and not much more. Nobody knows he's missing. No one is looking for him.
Told with desperation and some much needed occasional humor, Callahan paints a story so real and frought with fear that you can read it in one sitting. It is difficult to imagine what one would do in a similiar situation and the very thought of it is spine tingling.
This is a tale for every person who ever took to the water and every adventurer who feels safe in thier environment. You will never take the ocean for granted again after reading this book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 14 Sept. 1998
Format: Paperback
I've always been an avid reader of tales of true adventure and survival, many on the high seas. Rickenbacher's survival in a raft and Shackleton's disastrous expedition to the Antarctic have been two of my favorites--man being pushed to the very edge of the void. But this book, "Adrift", dwarfs and transcends them all. This hearty soul (the survivor/author) has taught me what it means to be a member of the most determined and successful species of life on earth. My god, the cunning perseverance and tenacity of this fella must be legendary by now. He manages his time and meager resources in preparing for the worse, even in the face of awesome physical and mental discomfort for an incredible length of time. His genuine emotional connection with the ocean and its creatures is unique and very moving, which has tended to quiet many fears which I (and I'm sure many others) have had about the deep blue. The author's intricate and logical details--and his somewhat understated style--are what make his account so extremely powerful and believable. I've read this book several times during the past decade--it is the most triumphant and inspirational reading experience of my life, to date. It's one of those few that will remain 'alive' within me, always there in case I should ever find myself in a grave predicament--don't panic, calm down, think, don't rely on others, take thoughtful steps and plan ahead knowing that your life is in your own hands, be inventive and persistent, and never ever give up.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By J ROSENTHAL on 29 Jan. 2003
Format: Paperback
...[this]... should easily be considered the bible of offshore sailors who wish to prepare themselves for the possibility of having to abondon ship and take to the liferaft.
Callahan's book provides a blow by blow account of the trials and tribulations of living in a small rubber life raft, collecting water and living off the sea. He also draws the lessons he learned from his experiences and provides useful lists of emergency equipment that should be carried as well as instructions on liferaft repair and fishing.
His experience and a lively intellect have made Callahan one of the world's experts in survival at sea. He has contributed to a redesign of liferafts and this book has caused hundreds of sailors to repack their emergency kits.
If you are ever thinking of voyaging offshore, or simply want a gripping yarn, this book is a must read.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Martin A Hogan HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 15 July 2003
Format: Turtleback
Steven Callahan is a blessed man. This true story is one of the most harrowing accounts of survival in a truly hopeless situation. He capsizes in minutes in the middle of the night with a raft and not much more. Nobody knows he's missing. No one is looking for him.
Told with desperation and some much needed occasional humor, Callahan paints a story so real and frought with fear that you can read it in one sitting. It is difficult to imagine what one would do in a similiar situation and the very thought of it is spine tingling.
This is a tale for every person who ever took to the water and every adventurer who feels safe in thier environment. You will never take the ocean for granted again after reading this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Martin A Hogan HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 15 July 2003
Format: School & Library Binding
Steven Callahan is a blessed man. This true story is one of the most harrowing accounts of survival in a truly hopeless situation. He capsizes in minutes in the middle of the night with a raft and not much more. Nobody knows he's missing. No one is looking for him.
Told with desperation and some much needed occasional humor, Callahan paints a story so real and frought with fear that you can read it in one sitting. It is difficult to imagine what one would do in a similiar situation and the very thought of it is spine tingling.
This is a tale for every person who ever took to the water and every adventurer who feels safe in thier environment. You will never take the ocean for granted again after reading this book.
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