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Joshua Slocum
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Sailing Alone Around the World

4.1 of 5 stars 4.10  ·  rating details  ·  4,518 ratings  ·  330 reviews
Sailing Alone around the World is the true story of the first man ever to circle the globe alone entirely by sea. In a little over three years, Captain Joshua Slocum completed the feat many experts believed couldn't be done - and he had the stories to prove it. During his historic voyage, Slocum was chased by pirates in Gibraltar, soaked by a "rain of blood" in Australia, ...more
Audio Cassette
Published February 1st 1989 by Recorded Books (first published 1900)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Christopher


Check out how awesome this Joshua Slocum dude is. He's old, he's on a boat, he's got a badass straw hat. He doesn't care that he looks like a doofus with it on, which makes him that much cooler. He was the first person to circumnavigate the world alone (and that means to sail all the way around it, for you greenhorn scallawags out there).

When he was nearly a few scores old, he shoved off from Newport, Rhode Island (without his wife/cousin Henrietta or his many children) in his trusty Spray to re
...more
GoldGato
This is the type of book that reaches out to you. I am not a sailor and much as I love and respect the sea, I usually get sea-sick. But it was an adventure to read this book, which is written with a precision and candidness that draws one to the tale.

Slocum didn't just accomplish an incredible feat, he left a written record of an age long gone. He writes of cultures that have now disappeared amidst the wave of consumerism. When he is at sea, I swear you can smell the salt air and hear the ocean.
...more
Michael
Sep 06, 2007 Michael rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: sailors
This used to be required reading for Massachusetts high school students. Joshua Slocum was the first to sail solo around the world. Still crazy to this day. The story was great in detail and local interest for the places it dealt with. I love Slocum's writing at points, but like Moby Dick, at other times I feel I'm just pushing through to get to the good parts again. His historical detail and places he visits is not only a good story worth reading, but if you think about it for a moment, the tim ...more
James Elliot Leighton
This was one of the most influential books that I have ever read. I read it while still in my teens. Growing up in a seafaring (Naval) family I was able to sail from age eight. At eighteen, when other teens were looking for their first car, I bought (from an eighty-two year old widow) my first yacht, a 1928, wooden hulled A Class gaff rigged sloop that had sunk at its moorings during a storm. With a lot of help, I raised it, refurbished it, and lived on it for the next eighteen months. I then jo ...more
Joshua Rigsby
In a word, this book is delightful.

The author, Joshua Slocum, did something truly remarkable. He was the first human being to ever sail alone around the world. Yet, perhaps the best part of this story is his style of presentation. Slocum is laid back, self-effacing, and actually quite funny.

Some of the great lines were, "My singing has never inspired envy in others." and "He was a bearish man, and I've met a bear before." Upon coming across an uncharted island, Slocum promptly named it after a
...more
Tim
Joshua Slocum, a New England sea captain, in his retirement built a sloop that he named the Spray. In it he set out in 1895 on a solo journey around the world. Three years later he again landed in New England having traveled some 46,000 miles circumnavigating the globe. This little book is his account of the journey. The style of the man and his writing is direct, humble, educated and thoughtful, the account of a man with oceans of schooling but little of the carefully prescribed learning prized ...more
Alan
One of the great maritime autobiographies, beginning in New Bedford--well, across the harbor in Fairhaven where Slocum reworked an unpromising vessel for a year or slightly more. An old oyster sloop, it had been out of commission since 1885 when seven years later Slocum was offered it for free, moving it from Poverty Point up to his house on the Acushnet River.
I taught Sailing Alone a couple times to my Freshman Comp class at a local community college, the last in a five book course that would
...more
Judy
Mar 21, 2012 Judy rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Judy by: Adventure Group
I'm not going to say much about this book because I don't have enough superlatives. Simply said, if you want to read (or listen, in my case) to an adventure memoir that takes you around the world, is narrated by a grandfather-like character and has dry wit, this is your book. I loved it! I would not be surprised if I picked it up again.
Sylvester
What an undertaking this was! While reading this book I was continually amazed at the understated courage of Capt. Slocum and his thorough knowledge of the sea. He has this way of making it sound almost every-day, or, at least not nearly the astounding endeavor that it really was. I remember reading “Dove” by Robin Lee Graham when I was a teen, and loving it to bits – but this journey by Slocum has a whole different flavour. (I picked it up because Jack London referred to it several times in “Th ...more
Ach
If I was the first person to sail round the globe solo - in a wooden boat I designed and built - I'd think I was awesome.

If Joshua Slocum felt that way he doesn't show it, and that's what I really like about this book. There's lots of description of amazing stuff, but mostly it's about things he saw, rather than the stuff he did. For example:

"On the tenth day from Cape Pillar a shark came along, the first of its kind on this part of the voyage to get into trouble. I harpooned him and took out hi
...more
Laura
I picked this book off the shelf a few years back, because I realized it was the story behind a song that loved.

This book really didn't do anything for me. There was enough technical jargon to be confusing to a newbie like me to the sailing world, but not enough to give any real information on how he sailed. In fact, I'm not fully sure how he filled so many pages, because it felt like he hadn't said anything by the time I reached the end. It seemed to mostly be a story of hopping from port to p
...more
Ned
After hearing about this book many times (in the NYT Book Review, various online publications), I finally decided to sit down and read it. A man, all alone, sailing around the world with his tiller lashed and reading belowdecks, what's not to love? Quite a lot, actually.

Slocum glosses over the parts that would interest modern readers (storms at sea, exotic islands) and belabors his meetings with now insignificant historical figures, e.g. ships' captains, colonial governors, and Mrs. Robert Loui
...more
Wdayne
I finished this book a couple of weeks ago, and I still think about it daily. That is the mark of a great book to me. Josh Slocum was not afraid of the ocean, he understood it's every breath. When you read this tale you feel like you can do it too, and I rank this with one of the most impressive feats that a person could accomplish even today. This is basically the old man's diary. He tells the state of the world from a worldly perspective, in other words he's seen both sides of the globe and he ...more
Bill Rogers
Note: The edition I read was the free Gutenberg Project electronic text, an edition not listed here. The text was adequate, but like many free ebooks it had been made by optical character recognition from an old library book and had many typographic errors.

Sailing anywhere alone is dangerous enough to be exciting, even if you don't leave sight of land. Sailing alone around the world is a tremendous accomplishment even today. Imagine, then, what it would have been like to do it in the late 19th C
...more
Tracy
I gave this book 4 stars because I LOVE real-life adventure of any kind. To a fellow lover of this kind of book, I would actually say it is a 5 star book, but to those not equally inclined, it may be a 2 or 3 star. Hope that makes sense. All about Cape Horn and its extremely difficult currents that have sunk multitudes of ships. The Straits of Magellan, Tierra del Fuego, the fascinating and gruelling life of the indigenous Indians.
Austin
This is a glorious recounting of Captain Joshua Slocum's lone voyage around the world in the sloop Spray, which he built with his own hands. His was the first voyage of its kind, and the tale told with a Twain-like dry humor and frankness make it a true pleasure to read. It's a glorious tale not so much for its literary craft as for the authenticity of a glorious lived experience that's well worth telling. It made me want to sail a long distance in a yacht.

Like my last reviewed book, this one t
...more
William
Despite the recommendation from a fellow member of the Adventure Reading Group I was a little leery going in as I thought that due to 1899 copyright date the writing style might be a little too old school and bland. But reminding myself how much I’ve enjoyed Melville and Thoreau encouraged me to go for it.
The writing style is surprisingly smooth and light (although I wouldn’t quite call it a page-turner, it requires focus). Captain Slocum had a lot of machismo but he also didn’t seem to take hi
...more
Ryan Miller
I loved this book. Slocum's circumnavigation of the world was an incredible feat, but the greatness of the story is the way he went about it. He came across an old clam boat sitting in the middle of a field in New England and fixed it up - the boat was about a hundred years old already! He fixed the boat up and set off. He wasn't motivated to set the record of the first solo circumnavigator, but just loved the adventure. He was self deprecating throughout the book - he always gave credit to the ...more
Kathryn
I picked up Sailing Alone Around the World in the same Nook sale where I got Two Years Before the Mast. The connection is obvious - they're both nonfiction books about long sailing voyages, and very famous books too. Other than that, though, the books aren't really comparable, and I think Two Years Before the Mast is superior.

Joshua Slocum, the author of Sailing Alone Around the World, was the first man to circumnavigate the globe, and he did it in a small wooden sloop. He tells the story of tra
...more
George
The title says it all. This is the true story of the American who decided to sail around the world by himself in a boat that he built. It takes place during the late 1800's, when steam was taking over commercial freight.

The journey is full of adventure and altruism. He runs from and shoots pirates, battles storms, avoids warships in hostile waters, dines with noblemen and women stationed or vacationing around the globe, and mixes with the locals in the south pacific. And he is usually welcomed
...more
Leif
More than a century lies between Slocum's voyage and my reading of it, but I finished the book wanting more details. The sea is an endless fountain of tales of human folly and wit, but Slocum's rendering of his voyage sticks to just the facts. Here and there a rare window opens onto the soul of this remarkable tale from the sea, but more often than not I wanted to hear more about the sailing, about the storms, about the island paradises, and about the dolphins ! Slocum's brevity did make the boo ...more
John
Public domain recording by Alan Chant. Slocum is a fine writer and storyteller (with the proviso that some of his attitudes toward native populations are pretty parochial), and Chant is a fine reader. I wanted to have a map in front of me to trace the author's course...but since I listened to this recording while taking long walks that proved impracticable. Listeners, get ready for a grand sea voyage!
Tuck
first person to solo sail around earth. good writer, funny, salty, not too misanthropic, and incredible navigator. this edition has very nice intro by thomas philbrick, and is illustrated, maps, nice bibliography.
since then, a biography has shaken the slocum-lovers world and turns out he was yes, a circumnavigator, but also sailed the last sail powered commercial ship, and almost sunk it and fought off mutiny (a black black mark on any captain, no matter how justified), got busted for playing a
...more
Robert Delikat
A knowledge of sailing and and a map at hand might be helpful but not essential. While the author is a sailor by profession, the book is well written by any standard. The book moves along much faster than one might expect for a boat that only makes about 7 knots. While a journey around the world alone might not seem such a trivial matter, the author makes it almost seem so. The author must have had a great deal more to write than what is contained in this book. One has to wonder if the author ab ...more
Natashajay Caribe
The most epic book written by the first person to sail solo around the world, in a time when people still believed the earth was flat.
Bob
My awesome family bought me a Nook e-book reader from B&N. This is one of the books they offer, and it looks to be interesting. I am going to never be without a book now! Stores tons of them...
This was a fascinating story, written by a life-long sailor with little schooling. Really interesting to hear his experiences. What most amazed me was his report from South Africa where a number of people, including a prominent politician, were ardent flat earth believers. They absolutely did not belie
...more
Rozzer
Why? Because this is the ultimate travel book. This is the relation of a one-man journey literally around the world on the surface of the ocean before the existence of radios and other nice, self-preserving gadgets. In the very late 1800's, this man, a professional sailor, took his final voyages by himself in a tiny though well constructed sloop. Without big bucks. Facing the travails of the sea alone. I don't think any of us today can really appreciate what he faced. And no one hereafter ever w ...more
Tom Johnson
incredible book - a joyous read - the writing seems so modern, even more so when compared to other writers of that time - just read the Wikipedia article on the author, Joshua Slocum. I did not know that along with his sloop, Spray, Captain Slocum disappeared sometime during or after November, 1909. Disappeared without a trace. Leads to two more books, Alone at Sea: The Adventures of Joshua Slocum by Ann Spencer (ordered Like New HC $12.50) and Uttermost Part of the Earth (on life on Tierra del ...more
Randy
In most sea voyage books there is at least one scene where the author/sailor is at the end of his or her rope, or line as one might say at sea. Not Joshua Slocum who was the first sailor to solo the world which he did back in '96-'99 (that's 1896-1899). This book, published in 1900 is as fresh as a book can be, full of good writing and good cheer. For if one can believe his eyes (or ears since I listened to this one), Slocum enjoyed virtually every minute of his voyage. His writing is crisp and ...more
Peter Goodman
“Sailing Alone Around the World,” by Captain Joshua Slocum (original, 1900; Dover reprint). Notice how this book does not need a subtitle? Anyway, I am glad I finally got around to reading this marvelous story. Slocum was essentially a self-educated sailor who decided, sort of for the heck of it, to rebuild a derelict vessel called Spray into a tidy, tight, perfectly designed 36’9’’ sloop (later, with a little jigger mounted above the transom, a yawl) and sailed her alone around the world, from ...more
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Sailing alone 6 46 Jan 11, 2015 01:36AM  
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“I had already found that it was not good to be alone, and so made companionship with what there was around me, sometimes with the universe and sometimes with my own insignificant self; but my books were always my friends, let fail all else.” 2748 likes
“Now, it it well known that one cannot step on a tack without saying something about it.” 12 likes
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