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Dark Wind: A Survivor's Tale of Love and Loss Paperback – 25 Aug 2000

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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Pan Books (25 Aug. 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330481665
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330481663
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.6 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,147,792 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 1 Aug. 1999
Format: Hardcover
Keeping in mind that the author states that writing this book was therapy for him, I have to wonder how he has recovered from such a tragedy. The chapters that detail the storm and the loss of Chaplin's lover are haunting and mesmerizing. I could not put this book down, for some reason, and read the last 150 pages in one sitting. My only remaining thoughts are how did he recover from this disaster and what would I have done is similar circumstances?
There are weak spots, however. I don't understand why he felt it necessary to relive his infidelities. I don't see what this added to the story (other than to cement in our minds one of their many arguments which he usually tended to incite) and what purpose it served other than as a confession for him. I expect that he is living with quite a bit of guilt, that of his lover's death, his infidelities, his frequent denials of the worries of his lover, and the chronic "what ifs" that must now haunt him.
The thoughts and questions that linger upon finishing Dark Wind are many. I recommend this not because it is sterling literature or has a deep plot (because it is not and does not), but it brings up many issues that are worth thinking about.
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By Ian Millard on 8 Dec. 2009
Format: Hardcover
For me, the problem with this book is that you expect it to be an adventure story, mainly at least, but find that it is a kind of mea culpa and psycho-sexual angst-trip. Well-written on the whole (it should be, from a former journalist), it falters badly in places. The author leaves wife and children to set up home with a lady in a similar position, whom he has known for decades. They sail, mostly in US waters and south into the Gulf waters of Belize and elsewhere. Money is not a problem because there is a family trust (maybe two). The author is able to follow his dream, or should that be his whim? I have to say that even on his own admission he seems utterly self-absorbed. We learn little of his family, the places he goes to, even his own history. The whole book is a stream of consciousness looking into a mirror of the soul. The author has been a journalist in Indo-China long ago and trained for the Peace Corps (dustbin of the gap-year-affluent American middles classes and rich) but never served. He has learned to fly, dive and parachute but, like many of us perhaps, does all equally badly, never following through much. He is honest about that, though.

The book works and is compelling in places, but is equally dreadfully boring in others. In the end, the yacht founders in the Pacific, by reason, partly, of the author's own bad decisions, which he freely confesses.

In the end, I have to say that I have rarely seen a book so very self-obsessed. I should not want to read it a second time.
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By A Customer on 21 Jun. 1999
Format: Hardcover
I feel very sad for Mr. Chaplin. His is the greatest loss of all; the loss of his life's partner who literally slipped through his fingertips. Had he been alone, he would have been heralded for his bravery and strength in surviving a dreadful storm at sea. Had he and Susan survived, they would have been heroes together. Instead, the reader will always wonder if he had done enough, which is not fair to him in the least. I admire the apparent detachment with which Mr. Chaplin describes the successes as well as the failures of their adventure. I learned, once again, the value of humility from this book, and appreciate the author's willingness to write a "confessional" in the face of so much pain and anguish. Peace and Best wishes to Mr. Chaplin and the many family members who were so affected by Ms. Atkinson's death.
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Format: Hardcover
Mr. Chaplin clearly thinks far too much of himself. He speaks too often of sexual exploits while married or involved in a long term relationship. How does this apply to a story of a ship wreck?
Throughout the book, this man acknowledged time and time again how he chose not to listen to his partners needs, concerns or fears -- instead pushing further into a situation that ultimately caused a life.
Half way through the strory I found myself exhausted and looking forward to the end.
A positive? Interesting travels to obscure locales.
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By A Customer on 20 April 1999
Format: Hardcover
To Gordon from the boatyard folks who know you have a rare and powerful story to tell in your experience of human tragedy in the pursuit of our common dreams of travel and freedom on the sometimes unpredictable oceans. With your literary experience and skill and the extraordinary human story you have to share, your book can't help but be a worthwhile read and huge success!
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