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on 1 August 1999
Keeping in mind that the author states that writing this book was therapy for him, I have to wonder how he has recovered from such a tragedy. The chapters that detail the storm and the loss of Chaplin's lover are haunting and mesmerizing. I could not put this book down, for some reason, and read the last 150 pages in one sitting. My only remaining thoughts are how did he recover from this disaster and what would I have done is similar circumstances?
There are weak spots, however. I don't understand why he felt it necessary to relive his infidelities. I don't see what this added to the story (other than to cement in our minds one of their many arguments which he usually tended to incite) and what purpose it served other than as a confession for him. I expect that he is living with quite a bit of guilt, that of his lover's death, his infidelities, his frequent denials of the worries of his lover, and the chronic "what ifs" that must now haunt him.
The thoughts and questions that linger upon finishing Dark Wind are many. I recommend this not because it is sterling literature or has a deep plot (because it is not and does not), but it brings up many issues that are worth thinking about.
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on 21 June 1999
I feel very sad for Mr. Chaplin. His is the greatest loss of all; the loss of his life's partner who literally slipped through his fingertips. Had he been alone, he would have been heralded for his bravery and strength in surviving a dreadful storm at sea. Had he and Susan survived, they would have been heroes together. Instead, the reader will always wonder if he had done enough, which is not fair to him in the least. I admire the apparent detachment with which Mr. Chaplin describes the successes as well as the failures of their adventure. I learned, once again, the value of humility from this book, and appreciate the author's willingness to write a "confessional" in the face of so much pain and anguish. Peace and Best wishes to Mr. Chaplin and the many family members who were so affected by Ms. Atkinson's death.
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on 21 June 1999
I liked this book a lot. It's better than the Perfect Storm. The characters are well developed and more interesting and the narrative tighter. The story was told beautifully--so well really that I thought it could've ended 30 pages earlier, with him still in the Pacific.
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on 15 April 1999
To Gordon: Hello from a friend you and Susan met at that island, Green Cay, Bahamas. I hope your book is a success. I would love to read it when it is published.
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on 23 August 1999
Mr. Chaplin has succeeded in pouring salty water into healing wounds.
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on 7 July 1999
Mr. Chaplin clearly thinks far too much of himself. He speaks too often of sexual exploits while married or involved in a long term relationship. How does this apply to a story of a ship wreck?
Throughout the book, this man acknowledged time and time again how he chose not to listen to his partners needs, concerns or fears -- instead pushing further into a situation that ultimately caused a life.
Half way through the strory I found myself exhausted and looking forward to the end.
A positive? Interesting travels to obscure locales.
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on 20 April 1999
To Gordon from the boatyard folks who know you have a rare and powerful story to tell in your experience of human tragedy in the pursuit of our common dreams of travel and freedom on the sometimes unpredictable oceans. With your literary experience and skill and the extraordinary human story you have to share, your book can't help but be a worthwhile read and huge success!
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on 13 July 1999
Shame on Atlantic Montly Press for publishing this clearly self-indulgent memoir. Readers love an adventure story, so it was bound to sell no matter how ugly the tale, how ugly the man and how poorly written the piece. Chaplin suffers from the plague of late 20th century man: self-absorption. It appears at every turn of this story and at every turn in the prose. His utter disregard for his partner is horrifying. His lack of emotion in re-telling the story is unforgivable. His need to write the story is, perhaps, understandable, but his need to publish it is selfish and pathetic. It shows me he didn't learn anything about living from the death of the woman he loved.
As a writer, he barely hits mediocre. I would never seek out any more of his work. As a man he's darn close to unredeemable.
Do not buy this book. If you must read it, check it out from the library or wait for it to show up on the remainder tables as it certainly will.
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on 19 July 1999
This was a go to work tired and finish "just another chapter" book. The pain was palpable. The adventure was true. The end was tragic.
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