Sailing to Purgatory Paperback – 23 Feb 2017
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About the Author
Sailing around the world alone encouraged Paul Rodgers, former Fleet Street journalist, to study at nautical college where he graduated as a commercial yachtmaster. He sailed solo extensivley through his professional seagoing years. Sailing to Purgatory follows his adventure story Loner, a novel To Kill a God, and an astro-navigation tutorial, Sailing by the Stars. Paul lives in London.
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However the story is obscured by the most dreadful prose such as" something solid gains a greyish shape.A column of sea squirts up from an obstruction. ......Great Bob! Well spotted! Ready to go about? Lee ho!.....The leeward sheet leaps clear,the sail cracks as the tension goes.." etc etc.
There is just too much description .
Read MIng MIng for restrained but fascinating sailing literature.
I’m not even remotely interested in sailing; however, Paul has managed to keep even my interest and curiosity alive while describing the storms that he encountered, the winds that blew him off course, the people he met and even a late-blooming romance with almost poetic descriptions. Some of my favourite parts of the book are his descriptions of the bird life that seem to drop in from nowhere to share his journey. It’s these passages of beautiful text that deserve the four stars. Possibly, if I enjoyed sailing, the descriptions of the storms, struggling to keep the boat upright and his attitude to “carry on regardless” would have stirred something inside me. Instead, being a “landlubber” and only keen to get into the sea to waist height, I’m afraid that all this did was convince me that staying on land or only going to the sea in a huge ship, would get me to venture further than the edge of a beach.
The book’s final chapter only vaguely deals with the fact that on his return to the UK he was arrested and sent to prison along with several other members of the gang he was supposedly part of (he says he was completely innocent) bringing drugs into the country via small vessels. The drug bust which led to his arrest is still one of the biggest hauls of drugs ever seized in the UK with a street value of millions of pounds. This final chapter had my eyes coming out on stalks while asking myself, “Was there something I missed while reading this book?” Because what I saw through his creative and descriptive writing were the storms lashing the boat with waves so high that they seem to blot out the sun. With winds so strong that it felt as if they could lift the boat and chuck it into the air, why, therefore, would you risk all this in the latter stages of your life to lose your freedom?
Breakaway Reviewers received a copy of the book to review.