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The Crossing: Conquering the Atlantic in the World's Toughest Rowing Race [Abridged, Audiobook, CD] [Audio CD]

James Cracknell , Ben Fogle
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (80 customer reviews)

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Book Description

11 Jun 2007
When James Cracknell and Ben Fogle decided to compete in the Atlantic Rowing Race, they thought they knew what awaited them: nearly three thousand miles of empty ocean, stormy weather and colossal physical stress. But their epic journey would become at times, a living hell that tested the strength of every fibre of their being. Yet, forty-seven days later, James and Ben were the first pair to cross the finishing line - overtaking one of the four-man teams in the process - becoming the first British pair ever to win the race. They pushed themselves physically, psychologically and emotionally to the limit. They survived without water rations for two days, lost the few clothes they had in a freak wave, capsized, hallucinated, wept, fought, played games, grew beards, nursed blisters and rowed 2,930 miles. They will never be the same again.

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Product details

  • Audio CD: 1 pages
  • Publisher: Hachette Digital; Abridged edition edition (11 Jun 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1405503238
  • ISBN-13: 978-1405503235
  • Product Dimensions: 12.4 x 14.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (80 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 344,518 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Book Description

I'm not sure if these guys are insanely brave or just insane . . . An epic adventure and a gripping read' Andy McNab

About the Author

BEN FOGLE is a television presenter whose programmes include COUNTRY FILE and ANIMAL PARK. JAMES CRACKNELL won gold medals for rowing at the 2000 and 2004 Olympics, and writes regularly for the Daily Telegraph.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
33 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping account of Atlantic rowing race 14 Oct 2006
This is the autobiographical account of James Cracknell and Ben Fogle's crossing in the Atlantic Rowing Race 2005/06 from the Canary Islands to Antigua. Both of them alternate in telling the story and sometimes recount the same incidents from their own very different perspectives. They seemed to enter the race in a fit of absent mindedness and their preparations were truly shambolic to the extent that the organisers came within a hair's breadth of refusing them permission to participate. Ben Fogle hadn't even properly learnt to row beforehand! Oh yes, and in addition to rowing 3,000 miles they also had to endure the worst weather that the bi-annual race had ever experienced. However, this amateurishness greatly improves the story. What prevents it falling into a story of public school derring do is that gradually you see the strengths and transferable skills that both characters have developed in other spheres coming very much to the fore and pulling them through to become the first pair to cross the finishing line. So James Cracknell's intense competitiveness provides immense drive and motivation whilst Ben Fogle's good natured doggedness offers a striking contract to Cracknell. Despite great stretches when not a lot happens other than lots and lots of rowing (interspersed with a few brief moments of dangerous high drama) the book never fails to engage. There was a surprising twist before the end when the motivation of both characters changed. Both frankly, but kindly, relate the tensions that invariably arose on board. I think this is one of the book's strengths - the way they honestly project both their personalities, warts and all, to the extent that you feel you know and like them both by the time they reach Antigua. Read more ›
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly inspiring, couldn't put it down 3 Feb 2007
This is the first book for a while that's kept me completely gripped..finished it in a couple of evenings and was kind of disappointed when it was over! A must read for anyone with a curiosity of the human nature under extreme pressure (in some very adverse circumstances)

It is written honestly and candidly by both men and makes you feel like you are living the ups and downs with them!
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best book I've read all year 4 Oct 2006
I started reading this book not really knowing how good it would be and ended up finishing it in 6 hours - I just couldn't put it down. The book is so well written, it's hilarious to see the differences in mentality between James and Ben and because it's written by both of them, you get both perspectives. But it's also an incredible account of perseverence and bravery coping with terrible loneliness, hunger, thirst and sheer terror. I haven't been able to stop thinking about it since I finished the book. Amazing...
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Two naked men in a boat.... 1 July 2007
By Read Me
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you missed this when it was shown on tv (briefly in a one off show) then this is the story of Ben (TV host, bit posh) and James (Olympic rower, v competitive) and their race to row across the Atlantic. Its all fairly self explanatory - find a rowing partner, buy a boat, row in straight line, meet friends and family on other side of ocean. But things are never that easy.

This book gives you both sides of the story, and makes it very clear that Ben and James didn't always get on. The arguments, tantrums, bickering and resentments all make this a more honest account of their journey. I like the format of this book, in the sense that you get one account first, then followed on by the others, leading you to draw your own conclusions when sometimes they don't add up.

The actual race itself sounds amazing. The team were very underprepared and no-one thought they stood a chance of even starting, but somehow they made it. Then its all about the hard slog across the Atlantic including highlights of rowing with dolphins and the low points of capsizing in the night.

This is a great book, thoroughly recommended for anyone who is an armchair adventurer.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A journey you will read over and over again 20 Mar 2007
Gripping, terrifying, heartbreaking, amazing, emotional, courageous. Just a few of the words describing the race whilst reading this book. They start as ill-equipped outsiders and finish as the first pair to cross the Atlantic in one of the greatest races since records began.

I was never popular of Ben Fogle from Castaway 2000, however since reading this book in just a few days my assumptions of him were changed dramatically. A must read for anyone who doubts the book will not be as good as this review makes out!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hats off 10 Oct 2006
By Pinto
Having seen the BBC documentary, I kinda knew that what James Cracknell and Ben Fogle had done was tough; but what comes through brilliantly in the book is the real sense of a race (they were up against lots of other similar rowing boats) and the crackling,tetchy tension between the two of them - it's clear that Fogle was initially just along for the fun of the experience, while Cracknell wanted to win at all costs. There's a brilliant bit where Cracknell powers them away at the start for an hour, and they're clearly buzzing at beating everyone else... only for a vital bit of equipment to break. All the other boats bob merrily past them, and the realization sets in that this isn't a 2,000m Olympic race; it's 3,000 miles, rowing 12 hours a day for fifty days. Great stuff.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I was with them all the way
This has to be one of the best booked I have ever read. It felt as if I was in the boat with them, going through the pain and joy. Read more
Published 5 days ago by Vincent Bernardo
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating true story.
I had known about this crossing form the press (who hasn't) but found this "warts and all" account in their own words a fascinating read. Read more
Published 8 days ago by Vera Hopkinson
4.0 out of 5 stars Good to read
surprisingly interesting to read about two men doing such a ridiculous thing as rowing the Atlantic. Definitely a four star read and recommended.
Published 16 days ago by G Swaine
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read
Fascinating read, both sides of the story told side by side on a really honest style, thoroughly enjoyed it. Recommended.
Published 19 days ago by Quality Guy
4.0 out of 5 stars Great read
Very enjoyable account of an incredibly difficult and ambitious undertaking, particularly as Ben had never rowed before. Kept me gripped until the end.
Published 21 days ago by Alison Julio
5.0 out of 5 stars Great inspiring read.
I really enjoyed this honestly well written book by two very determined likeable personalities. I have since purchased more books written by them which have also been really good.
Published 25 days ago by Mrs Susanne C Wood
1.0 out of 5 stars NOT READ
Some times reading time eludes me b ut I am still looking forward to read this story which i am sure
will be exillerating!!!
Published 25 days ago by anne
5.0 out of 5 stars GRIPPING!
This book kept me from doing little else until I had finished it! It was totally absorbing from start to finish. Fantastic. Can thoroughly recommend.
Published 27 days ago by MARJORIE NEWBY
5.0 out of 5 stars Epic. Amazing.
This is a brilliant tale. Why they did not do more planning, training,thinking. The hardships . Near disasters, The highs (a few). How they managed to survive . Just amazing.
Published 27 days ago by Mr N.J.Stanton
5.0 out of 5 stars A absolute must read
I do not read very many books, but I just could not leave this book for long before picking it up again to see what was going to happen next to these two amazing men during their... Read more
Published 27 days ago by Terry P
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