Let me say at the outset, this is a very good book for those interested in both adventure traveling and tracing out ancient myths or historical events. Tim Severin is one of the best at recreating these activities and narrating them. "The Quest for the Golden Fleece" is no exception.
Having said that, this Kindle edition is pathetic.
We already own the printed copy of this book (and all of Severin's other books) and bought the Kindle version simply for convenience. The differences are immense: - all drawings by Trondur Patturson are missing from the book. Followers of Severin's journey's will recognise Patturson (and his drawings) from other Severin voyages and books. - of 76 pictures in the printed version, only 12 are included in the Kindle version. - and the crowning glory is that the 5 maps in the printed version are missing from the Kindle version.
Omitting the photographs is very annoying but dropping the maps is inexcusable. Surely the whole point of retracing an ancient voyage and narrating the differences in the crossing of that territory is to generate a map? Which person in the publishing team decided that the 5 maps were superfluous to the recreation of an ancient voyage? Presumably it was not the author as he describes the research of the ancient maps and how important that was during the preparatory stages of the voyage.
And if the above is not enough, the text is littered with typos. Like the description of entering the Bosphorus where the word "cargo" (as in "the ship was waiting to offload its cargo") was substituted with the word "Argo" (as in the name of Jason's vessel). Then some person in the publishing process edited the text and italicized each occurrence of the vessel name "Argo" - including the instances where it erroneously replaced the word "cargo". The result being text such as "…line upon line of anchored ships … waiting to load Argo … riding high after discharging Argo…". This is confusing to say the least.
Then there are the completely incorrect passages such as "This part of the Bosphorus, its southern entrance, is some 2112 miles wide" or "On the surface the Bosphorus flows steadily north".
The correct text from the printed book is: "This part of the Bosphorus, its southern entrance, is some 2 1/2 miles wide" and "On the surface the Bosphorus flows steadily south".
This is a good book but for accuracy and completeness of reading it is probably better to stay with the printed version.
But then the marketing arm of the publishers did remember to include an excerpt from another of Severin's books, "The Brendan Voyages" in the Kindle version. Shame they forgot the maps, the drawings and 64 of the pictures. Also a shame they made so many factual typesetting errors.
This book is worth 4 or 5 stars but the publishing effort is only worth 2 or 3.
They built the boat (the Argo) and sailed the route of Jason, to porve it could be done. They found that the old story of Jason and the Argonauts referres in the right order, with teh right timing, to the same features they encountered (nasty cross-currents, for example, or zig-zagging up the Bospherous, which they found was necessary due to the effects of wind and current). I enjoyed the book, partly for the insight into why people in such boats - with a lot of rowing, day in and day out - might end up composing verse (keeps the rhythm of rowing and kills the boredom) - and lo! the Vikings did just that, complaining about cold feet for the most part.
The narrative takes you on Jason's journey again with a modern crew, and offers many insights into the culture of the places visited, and above all of the skill and dedication of the boat builders and crew. A mammoth journey,a Herculaean effort, and some gripping moments in rough seas. A fabulous story well told.
Im probably a bit biased here as I am a fan of all of Tim Severin's books. This one was a very enjoyable mix of the physical effort and adventure with a good grounding in the actual history of the story of Jason. Very enjoyable.