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4.6 out of 5 stars
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4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 4 September 2001
This was the first book I read by Tristan Jones, and I was instantly captivated by the incredible adventures he undertook. Not only that, but his wit, tenacity, general philosophy of life and his excellent writing style make it an enthralling read and gave me many many sleepless nights! It really is extremely hard to put this down, to decide to take your boat across the war-torn middle east to sail on the lowest sea in the world, then to sail across the other side of the world and have it transported to the highest lake in the world is an unbelievably ridiculous notion. But he does it, and like so many of his other 'ridiculous' plans which form his other books, it is the strength of his character, his determination and his sheer STUBBORNESS which helps him succeed. A visionary man, who has become my personal hero, this book (and all his others) provide not just a ripping yarn but incredible inspiration to go and fulfill your dreams.
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What an unexpected delight of a book!
Apparently, Tristan Jones is legendary in sailing circles. Not being a sailor, I'd never heard of him until I bought this book.
The premise is quite simple. It's simply the tale of Tristan's attempt to set an unbeatable sailing altitude record, by taking his yacht to Israel and having it taken overland and plonked in the Dead Sea - the lowest body of water in the world. Then taking it back to the ocean and sailing it to South America, there to figure out a way of having it taken up to Lake Titicaca, the highest lake in the world.
What unfolds, however, is an astonishing account of his six year (!) odyssey. Boy, is this guy stubborn! Despite numerous minor (and several major) mishaps, he remains determined to reach his objective.
Although I have nothing more than a passing interest in sailing, I found this book absolutely gripping. More than a dull account of the long voyage, Tristan tells the tale with wit, humour and is clearly gifted at conveying the atmosphere and mood in any situation.
Essentially, against a large field of other extremely enjoyable and enlightening books, I can honestly say that this now takes its place as the best book I have ever read (supplanting the superb 'Between Silk & Cyanide' in the process). It has something for everyone, and several long passages that deserve to be remembered in years to come as outstanding pieces of writing.
I'm now rapidly working my way through most of his other books.
If you want humour, buy it. If you want to learn a bit about life at sea, buy it. If you want to know about just about anywhere in Europe, the Middle East, Africa or South America, buy it. If you want to learn some facts about South American native Indians that you probably won't find anywhere else, buy it.
Most of all, if you want an entertaining, educational, enlightening, inspiring book that is also so gripping you won't want to put it down, just buy it. You definitely won't regret it.
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on 1 September 2004
Tristan Jones spins a yarn so captivating that one should be forgiven for shunning all contact with the outside world until the very last word has been savoured. He is a true sailor and adventurer who lets nothing get in the way of his ultimate goal of sailing on the highest and lowest waters on earth. This is a tale which shows where tenacity and not a hint of madness can get you so you'll find it cautionary or inspirational. Jones is physically and mentally as tough as they get, which is lucky, because he needs every ounce of his power and knowledge on this journey. If I have just one criticism it's that he can perhaps seem egocentric at times sometimes referring to the reader's assumed view of him. Part of the pleasure of this tale is marvelling at the mind that conceived such a journey and had strength to carry it through; his comments on what we think can make him seem conceited. Perhaps, however, this is good enough to permit his occasional gasconism. Tristan Jones' tome has a firm place on my "Favourite books" shelf.
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on 6 August 2015
I ordered this book for a friend who left in April to sail to Stornaway. He asked could I get some books on sailing stories for him when he gets back in October. The book arrived on time and was in very good condition. Although I'm not into sailing he asked me to read some of it to see what it was like. The first two chapters were really interesting and I shall be looking for other books in a similar vein.
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on 19 July 2016
The Incredible Voyage is an incredible read. The story of the voyage from the Dead Sea to Lake Titicata is one of supreme courage and is all the more remarkable in that it was financed by the author writing magazine articles during the voyage. For example, he found himself a thousand miles up the Amazon with $200 to his name.
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on 22 August 2013
As a fellow yachting sailor, albeit a modern day one and in relative comfort, I appreciated Tristan Jones' intrepid and adventurous spirit and loved his "there is a way around everything" attitude to making his dream come true. How many people can say at the end of their lives - "I did what I wanted to do and what a life it was"!? A fascinating story and one I can only begin to emulate, but it inspires me to keep trying.
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on 25 January 2009
An extra ordinary tale - a boys own adventure of a man who just does. I suspect if he could have written slightly better or had a wish to self promte he would be one of the well known British adventures.
He only gives less than a page of description to a spider that burrowed into his arm and could have killed him!!
The story of a man whos life was a one long adventure
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on 9 July 2010
Exactly what it says on the book, 'The Incredible Voyage' one of those 'can't put down' books, a tale of a mans need to sail on the lowest and highest waters in the world and the trials and tribulations of everything in between, including a riveting account of the first and probably only ever crossing from west to east of a sea worthy boat across the south american continent ! A must have read !
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on 5 March 2013
Incredible just does go far enough to describe this voyage. Never been a sailor nor interested in sailing but this book had me gripped. Well written tale of sailing adventures.
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on 17 January 2014
Was not for myself, a christmas present for a brother in law, can confirm arrived within a couple of days - I had read before and it is a good read for sailors or non.
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