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4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
While the story presented here in 'Adrift' is riveting and exciting, no matter how hard I tried I couldn't find any compassion for the author. It may be that for some people to survive, to not give up, requires an enormous sense of self importance, self involvement, and even arrogance. Regardless, the 'voice' the author wrote in was not sympathetic. Other books of survival, like Joe Simpson's book "Touching the Void" or books about singlehanded sailing like John Beattie's "The Breath of Angels" are written in a voice with some humility; you 'care' about the authors and pull for them to survive and get through their passages and ordeals. At the end of reading those books you feel uplifted, encouraged, enobled even; that the human race can produce such people. But that wasn't the case here. I think this would have been a much better book if it had been written biographically, that is, by someone else, rather than as an autobiography. Having said that, the story is still remarkable and the writing is, from a technical standpoint, very good. You won't be wasting your time or money to get it. Just be prepared if you find yourself occasionally rooting for the shark.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Makes You Thankful Aug. 4 2003
I started reading this book because I wanted a great adventure story. This is not an adventure story. This is on the edge of death pure human suffering. Callahan is a very skilled seaman and very lucky man. His story is riveting and told very well. His story is so interesting, his writing skill, though quite good, really isn't necessary to read the book cover to cover. This book has many places where you want to sit down and cry with the man. I'm really tempted to give five stars, but I really wanted more information about his readjustment when he got back to land, but it ended fairly abruptly. Still, I feel I know Callahan's Dorado fish, his raft, and his feelings pretty well. He did a great job.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 76 days across a "wet desert"... July 15 2004
Superbly written, which is why the book transcends the basic story of survival. Steve Callahan's ample opportunities for introspection weren't wasted, and this makes some of the best reading. In addition, reading this book is like watching a movie where the hero seems most certainly fated to die, buy you know he won't(or "doesn't" in this case). I eventually wanted to just skip to the rescue because I couldn't bear to read of any more disappointment, disillusionment, equipment loss or failures, or physical or mental suffering. Right up there with my favorite true-life read, "Hacksaw".
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't put it down July 28 2005
By A Customer
I read this book in just a couple of sittings. Obviously, you know that somehow he survives, or the book wouldn't have been written- yet you often find yourself thinking "Well, that's it. No one could survive this setback." But somehow he does. And I could relate closely to the way he had the time to look inside, and see his life in a different way, having once spent seventy-nine days immobilized in a cast. An incredible story. Buy the book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great survival story. June 11 2003
This is an excellent,totally engrossing account of the author's quest to survive alone on the open seas for 76 days with a minimum of equipment and supplies. This is a real page-turner and is difficult to put down. Callahan faced his plight with a lot of courage, inventiveness and even humor. The parts dealing with him fighting off his shark companions are often quite funy. An excellent book for any fan of true-life adventures. Highly recommended
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great survival book! Aug. 27 2003
By AceAg82
This book is an excellent ocean survival story that kept me throughly entertained from start to finish. Honestly I couldn't put the book down. This book will change the way you look at your life. After you finish reading it, you won't take the simple things in life for granted anymore. If you enjoy true life adventure and survival books, then I suggest you read this one, it's excellent.
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4.0 out of 5 stars essential reading for survival preparation Dec 25 2001
By A Customer
As a former sailor who also is a wilderness survival buff, I would say that this book is mandatory reading for anyone anticipating a potential survival situation, particularly anyone making an extended yachting voyage. I was immediately struck by how the inclusion of two simple items in his survival gear, the solar stills and the speargun, saved his life. Obviously he asked himself the question when packing his survival kit, "what do I need to get myself out of the worst possible situation?". This question is essential in preparing for any potential survival situation. Even when going on a day hike in the mountains, I carry enough equipment to survive any situation.
I was also struck by the fact that a well equipped yachtsman of today would probably never encounter this situation, now that satellite (406MHz) EPIRBS, once activated, can report your exact position in about 15-20 minutes, and a rescue ship would be underway shortly thereafter. The author had an old, crude type of EPIRB that could only send signals to nearby planes, assuming that there were any. It was also fascinating that although he had flares, the ships he fired them at never saw them, which illustrates the fact that these ships are often on autopilot and no one is watching the water. I would urge anyone taking an extended ocean voyage to have a 406MHz EPIRB (not a 121.5 MHz EPIRB as the primary!), backup communication devices (VHF radio, satellite phone, second EPIRB), as well as one of the small hand-pump desalinators. These items are not cheap, but what is the value of your life?
Regarding the literary value of the book, I was somewhat less than impressed. It was written in a log entry form, probably taken directly from his own survival diary. Also, he apparently never had the spiritual epiphany that would be expected of an individual in that situation.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars great story
Breaks you heart in this gripping tale of being lost at sea. Epic story. Who knew fish could be so...emotional
Published 7 months ago by moe
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read
This is a really good book. I was glued to it from start to finish. I learned a lot too about survival at sea from this author. Well written novel.
Published 11 months ago by author4
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous read
it's the book that made me want to learn about knots (since it saved his life on more than one occasion).
Anyways, the story is gripping and a fabulous read.
Published 19 months ago by A. Marchand
5.0 out of 5 stars Engaging
Steven Callahan write so eloquently and keeps you needing to know his next moves. Just the fact of knowing he went through this and survived is incredible. Read more
Published 20 months ago by My new hero
5.0 out of 5 stars One great adventure
I read this book as a teenager. It captured my imagination and I still think about Steve Callahan's story years later (I'm now in my forties). Read more
Published 22 months ago by More_Cowbell
5.0 out of 5 stars No 'survivor reality show'. This is real!
Solo survival stories are always difficult to tell and especially so, if the canvas on which they are played out is desert, be it water or land. Read more
Published 22 months ago by sedgewick
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous adventure story
This is a fabulously-written first-person account of survival against all odds. I could not put this book down.
Published on April 7 2011 by Dexter
4.0 out of 5 stars Water water everywhere!
I'm an avid sailor, but I've never been out of sight of land. This memoir offers a lucid first hand glimpse of life adrift in the middle of the Atlantic, literally thousands of... Read more
Published on May 19 2004 by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars A Truly Scary Tale At Sea
Steven Callahan is a blessed man. This true story is one of the most harrowing accounts of survival in a truly hopeless situation. Read more
Published on July 14 2003 by Martin A Hogan
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