Ed Renehan's Desperate Voyage, the retelling of Donald Crowhurst's tragic voyage during the 1968/69 Golden Globe Race, is a finely honed account of what has become offshore sailing's most enduring story. Drawing on an array of sources, Renehan's Crowhurst is Shakespearean: narcissistic and reviled but also sympathetic, a flawed human consumed by ambition. Although I've known this story forever, Renehan's fresh, haunting narrative had me hoping for a new ending, a better outcome this time around. Alas, it's not to be, you just keep reading until it breaks your heart.
- John Kretschmer, author of Sailing a Serious Ocean, At the Mercy of the Sea, Flirting with Mermaids, and Cape Horn to Starboard
The first non-stop single-handed race around the world in 1968 was a cauldron of huge personalities and epic sea tales. Ironically, it was the complete failure of Donald Crowhurst that has garnered the most passion and interest. Few stories equal the modern Greek tragedy that is Crowhurst's, exposed like a raw nerve to those who loved and supported him when his Teignmouth Electronwas found abandoned in the Atlantic, along with dual logbooks that revealed Crowhurst's spectacular hoax and probable suicide. Edward Renehan's able and concise recounting of the story is not the first, nor will it be the last because the tale is the quintessential cautionary tale filled with characters, dreams, and dilemmas with which we are all familiar. Desperate Voyage provides readers precious insights through concentration on the backstory and how Crowhurst's basic personality drove him inexorably towards disaster, and like a dangerous vortex, dragged his family, friends, and supporters into his sphere. Throughout Renehan's clever telling, and because I have spent some time alone and tested at sea myself, I could not help but recognize the conditions that try sailors' souls, but also people I know from every walk of life and the troubles into which they have gotten themselves. For the first time, I even could see my relationship to Crowhurst, how I, too, have shaped and been shaped by the strains of life and thwarted goals. Simply fascinating.
- Steven Callahan, New York Times bestselling author of Adrift
Edward Renehan's Desperate Voyage is incisive, haunting, and absorbing. For those, like me, initially unfamiliar with this great sea drama, it is a perfect introduction to the story of Donald Crowhurst and the Golden Globe Race of 1968. Crowhurst is flawed and complicated, a tragic and captivating figure, and Renehan's retelling, Shakespearean in scope, is wonderfully crafted and endlessly fascinating.
- William Boyle, author of the critically-acclaimed Gravesend and Death Don't Have No Mercy
On a dismal day at the end of October, 1968, a weekend sailor by the name of Donald Crowhurst set out from England in a flimsy trimaran, hoping to win the LondonSunday Times "Golden Globe" race and become the first solo sailor to circumnavigate the world non-stop. His was an exercise in over-arching ambition, delusion, and tragedy such as the world has seldom seen. Before it was over, the world media would be subject to a fraud of enormous proportions, and Crowhurst would die a madman in the middle of the Atlantic. What he left behind was a shattered boat, a shattered family, and this incredible story.
Edward Renehan is the author of more than twenty books published by Doubleday, Oxford University Press, Crown, and many other imprints. He and his wife live in Wickford, Rhode Island - near Newport.