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By Loyal Books
A sailing memoir written by seaman and adventurer Joshua Slocum, who was the first person to sail around the world alone, documents his epic solo circumnavigation. An international best-seller, the book became a great influence and inspiration to travelers from each corner of the globe. Additionally, Slocum is an example that through determination, courage and hard work any dream can easily become a reality.
Written in a modern and conversational tone, the autobiographical account begins with Slocum’s description of his hometown of Nova Scotia and its maritime history. He illustrates the town as a maritime province of Canada, where many vessels have been carved and built from widespread spruce commonly found in the area. The author then goes on to tell of his dedication and hard work invested in rebuilding an old sloop which he subsequently named Spray. It was this tiny boat that accompanied Slocum on his monumental single-man voyage. The journey began in April 1895, when the adventurer set sail from Boston and traveled to various locations around the world, exploring the local nature, culture and meeting many interesting people along the way. The author recounts his experience through a sequence of adventures, most eminent being his encounter with pirates, an attack by indigenous locals and perilous occurrences at sea. Holding most appeal in the book is the fact that the voyage took place in a time without the comfort and security of modern technology, which only intensifies the excitement and emphasizes the true danger faced by Slocum in the many unpredictable situations he finds himself in.
Apart from being an exceptional mariner, Slocum is an equally talented narrator, as he depicts events which are not only entertaining to read, but also hold great historical and cultural significance considering the time of his journey. Well written and engaging to the very last page, Sailing Alone Around the World is one of the finest examples of travel literature ever written.