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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 29 June 2000
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
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
on 14 September 1998
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
on 29 January 2003
...[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
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
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 8 January 2015
I found Steven Callahan to be courageous because he kept his head in the most scary of situations , he knew he was in the middle of the Atlantic in a storm at night alone with just a small life raft between him and the elements ,but he did not panic and kept control , also when the bottom tube went he found a way to get out of a potential life threatening situation by staying in control , I also liked his writing style , which was sometimes amusing as well as descriptive,I hope other people enjoy this book as much as I have.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 2 December 1998
Although it doesn't fully involved the reader emotionally, this book is still well worth-while. Surprisingly, it's not monotonous despite the limited setting and only one character, so conversation is limited. Would have liked a drawing of exactly where to strike a shark, in case I'm ever in that situation. Am wondering what the author has done since this adventure--please post a message for us! Thanks for sharing your story, Steve!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 15 July 1998
I was awed by this tale of survival. The ingenuity Steve Callahan displayed in order to live through his harrowing ordeal was incredible. I am grateful to a friend who told me of this book because it is one of the most memorable I have read in recent years. I was particularly happy to read this story while lying in my warm, dry, comfortable bed!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 3 December 1997
While the story presented here in 'Adrift' is riveting and exciting, no matter how hard I tried I couldn't find any compassion for the author. It may be that for some people to survive, to not give up, requires an enormous sense of self importance, self involvement, and even arrogance. Regardless, the 'voice' the author wrote in was not sympathetic. Other books of survival, like Joe Simpson's book "Touching the Void" or books about singlehanded sailing like John Beattie's "The Breath of Angels" are written in a voice with some humility; you 'care' about the authors and pull for them to survive and get through their passages and ordeals. At the end of reading those books you feel uplifted, encouraged, enobled even; that the human race can produce such people. But that wasn't the case here. I think this would have been a much better book if it had been written biographically, that is, by someone else, rather than as an autobiography. Having said that, the story is still remarkable and the writing is, from a technical standpoint, very good. You won't be wasting your time or money to get it. Just be prepared if you find yourself occasionally rooting for the shark.
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