Top critical review
Not in the same league as Shrimpy
18 August 2017
As soon as I heard about this book I sent for it and eagerly awaited getting stuck into it. I have read "Shrimpy" many times and thoroughly enjoyed it every time, the writing wasn't brilliant but Acton really told a good story that made you want to keep reading. "An Ocean Away" was not in this category as the actual tale of preparing the boat and sailing it was almost minimal. I feel that he is very lucky that his friend Chris still talks to him after his lambasting for not being as skilled at sailing as Clarke and for being unwell for a lot of the time. Too much of the book is waffle and I wonder if this is really Clarke's words or those of the ghost writer. At times I got very frustrated as the story took a long time to move on and it took some will power to persevere and not skip large chunks. Having single handed my Achilles 24 from UK to the Caribbean I do have experience of being out in the big blue and so went through some of the experiences which Clarke went through and know that at times things seem to going against you. However, I did not dwell on these times with self analysis and the meaning of life. I fail to see, having finished the crossing, why he spent 6 weeks in Barbados when the other islands are only an overnight sail away. I Despite this Clarke's achievement is not to be underestimated and I have admiration for him. Do read the book but not when you are feeling depressed.