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The Last Grain Race Paperback – 6 Nov 2014


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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: William Collins (6 Nov 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007597835
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007597833
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.6 x 19.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 83,753 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description

Review

‘Enthralling – I know of no other book about square-riggers that gives such a lively account of the daily round of men in the fo’c’sle’ Sunday Times

‘Indescribably pungent … impossible to read without laughing’ Observer

‘Mr Newby proves himself to be a first-rate writer … Years have dulled nothing of the spirit of his first voyage; he gives exactly the feel of working a tall ship in hard conditions; he did not just see these things; he felt and can convey them; the crew of “Moshulu” live, move and are real human beings – and go on living when the book is closed’ Times Literary Supplement

About the Author

ERIC NEWBY was born in London in 1919 and was educated at St Paul’s School. In 1938, he joined the four-masted Finnish barque ‘Moshulu’ as an apprentice and sailed in the last Grain Race from Ireland by way of Australia and Cape Horn. During World War II, he served in the Black Watch and the Special Boat Section. In 1942, he was captured and remained a prisoner-of-war until 1945. He subsequently married the girl who helped him escape, and for the next fifty years, his wife Wanda was at his side on many adventures. After the war, his world expanded still further – into the fashion business and book publishing. Whatever else he was doing, Newby always travelled on a grand scale, either under his own steam or as the Travel Editor for the Observer. He was made a CBE in 1994 and was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award of the British Guild of Travel Writers in 2001. Eric Newby died in 2006.


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Reader on 8 Mar 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Eric Newby is a renowned travel writer, and this is one of his first and best books. It tells of how in 1938 he signed on as an apprentice deck hand on a large steel square rigger engaged in the Australia - Europe grain trade. It is a fascinating, moving, exciting, funny account of the round trip with all its highs and lows, written with such skill, and passion I just couldn't put it down. You really don't have to be a sailor to enjoy this book, but if you are it's even better. A collector's item.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 13 Feb 2000
Format: Paperback
This book and 'Learning the ropes' mean so much to me. As you will notice I am no writer or scholar. I read 'A Travellers Life' when I picked up on the story of the 'Last Grain Race'. I am no reader either but I could not put the book down. In fact just before the end I started again beacuse I didnot want to finish it! The romance for land lubbers of ships under sail is enhanced by the hard reality of life aboard. Who could climb the main mast - higher than Nelsons Column?. The only hint of the 'other' romance by the way was conjured up by mentioning his mothers friend - a picture in my mind! Sincere thanks to you Eric Newby. Man has sailed and written of it for centuries but I have only read one like yours. It will always mean a lot to me and if I have children I will read it to them - until they know it!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 18 Jan 2001
Format: Paperback
A stunning tale of adventure. Take a bunch of rough youngsters, an old tall ship, wild weather, and a trip from Ireland to Australia and back, throw in a boys gradual mastery of a dying skill (and of himself) and the early display of fine writing skills of the author, lots of humour, technical detail and an absolutely awesome description of a storm in the south sea, and you have an exceptional book, I read all night!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Kaybee on 9 May 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is a must for anyone interested in the story of sail. Eric Newby describes the hardships of life on a sailng ship, such as the very stern mates and skipper, the troubles with a foreign crew and lack of food and money. And tell's his climbing of the rigging and "learning the rope's" in great detail. He certainly makes you realise it's not such a romantic life as sometimes depicted. The only trouble with it is that it's not long enough. Buy it, you will not be disapointed.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By PatC on 23 Sep 2008
Format: Paperback
I bought this having read a couple of his other books and having read an excerpt of this in 'A Merry Dance Around the World' and it is superb - interesting, enlightening and very funny and I loved it. And I am definitely female and not a sailor and have no desire to, just a love of good writing and also tall ships - read it girls and also his 'Something Wholesale' about the clothing trade it is again 'interesting, enlightening and very funny and I loved it' - give it a try!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Tj Simpson on 11 Jan 2011
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In my opinion one of the most entertaining and inspirational books for a young person to read. Along with Laurie Lee's "I walked out one midsummer's morning" and Paddy Leigh Fermor's "A time of gifts" these books should be compulsory for every youth to read before they leave school.
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 4 Sep 2002
Format: Paperback
Being an avid sailor myself, i approached this book with apprehension. However as soon i had finsihed the first chapter than was i drawn into eric's world. This book is as much a tribute to then endurance of man, as it is to the timeless square rigged tall ships and the crew that bravely man them. So engaging is the narrative that often you can taste the salt air and hear the sails fill with wind and feel the water about your ankles, and once again the crew lives. Finally a book you wish would never finish Hilarious, frightening and saddening in turns it's description of day to day life on the last great sailing ships is over all uplifting; i would recommend this book to both land lubbers and sailors alike.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By dr michael f bamford on 24 July 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A first edition in good condition. I was very pleased with the service from this seller. A replacement volume for a copy lent and not returned.

This is the account of Eric Newby's experiences as an apprentice on one of the last 4 masted sailing barques, on a round trip to Australia just before the 2nd World War. It is very well written, and a foretaste of his illustrious travel writing career. It is a direct and vivid link to the harsh world of life on a large working sailing vessel, manned by very few sailors, and passing through some of the most inhospitable seas of the Southern Ocean. It makes today's gap year experiences rather trivial. It is well illustrated by Newby's own photograph, and as a tailpiece carries a sail and rigging plan of his ship, the Moshulu.

I thoroughly recommend it to anyone interested in the sea, sailing vessels, and/or the work of Eric Newby, one of the finest travel writers of his generation.
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