Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Staying Alive” as Want to Read:
Staying Alive
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Staying Alive

3.90  ·  Rating Details  ·  123 Ratings  ·  20 Reviews
The Bailey's is a fantastic human story of adaptaion to totally alien conditions. It is a story of amazing courage, resolution and endurance. Essential reading for all who enjoy a gripping true story, 117 Days Adrift is an inspiring tale that has become one of the classics of the sea.
Published 1974 by David McKay Company
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Staying Alive, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Staying Alive

My First Travel Angelic Airline Adventures by Anna OthitisInto Thin Air by Jon KrakauerInto the Wild by Jon KrakauerAlive by Piers Paul ReadTouching the Void by Joe Simpson
True Life Adventure
73rd out of 176 books — 144 voters
Hatchet by Gary PaulsenMy Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead GeorgeDown The Path by Travis MohrmanLost Under Two Moons by Lindsay SchopferFurther by Travis Mohrman
Best Wilderness Survival Books
83rd out of 84 books — 105 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 254)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Feb 26, 2012 Ryan rated it it was ok
I feel like a jerk for saying that I was a bit bored by this story. I feel like a jerk because this story is true, and the minutiae of how a husband and wife organized their raft so they could survive for 117 days at sea were obviously very important to said husband and wife, as were which days they caught turtles and the days they saw sharks, etc.

I also feel like a jerk because out of this amazing story about human will and ingenuity in the face of horrific conditions, this is what stood out to
Aug 18, 2014 ievabach rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
How can I not give a high score? It's a great thriller and I almost cried when Maurice and Maralyn were saved...Of course, these are pretty simple notes and descriptions of what happened, but somehow they worked - it just all seemed really real. It was great to see the photos, too, although these days (I was lucky to learn a bit about Maurice through my work) Maurice has lost most of the items after exhibiting them all over the world and Maralyn has already passed away.

I just hope nobody ever g
Susan Bybee
May 15, 2013 Susan Bybee rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the best survival stories I've ever read. When their yacht sank after being damaged by an injured whale, Maurice and Maralyn Bailey salvaged as many supplies as they could from the yacht and loaded them in a raft with a dinghy attached.

Maurice became pessimistic about their chances almost immediately, but Maralyn instead found ways to occupy their time and minds, always trying to stay focused on plans for the future. She was cool and inventive, making fishing hooks by removing the clip e
Dec 25, 2008 Goat rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
An old seventies edition had been sitting on my shelves for ages; finally got round to it after it was name-dropped (and obviously used as reference material for)'Life of Pi'. This is obviously where Pi's author got his info about the killing of sea turtles for meat, fishing ephemera, water-collection techniques etc. And while it does serve as a true-life survival manual (I now know what to do to stay alive when next cast adrift in a life raft), it's written, as you might expect given its origin ...more
Ian Chapman
Feb 26, 2015 Ian Chapman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting story of how a very amateur yachting couple made a very long survival voyage after their yacht was sunk by a probably wounded whale in the Pacific. From a diary, and not very stylish in literary terms yet wiih much observation of the oceanic environment. An inspiration to others also. They were rescued by a South Korean deep sea fishing boat, and there are pleasing photos of them shortly after the rescue, eating a meal and on deck with the crew.
Amos Shirreff
Mar 08, 2014 Amos Shirreff rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is my all time favourite book, I've read it several times now and each time I get something more out of it. It is an inspirational tale that I feel inspires one to go on an amazing sailing adventure and live life to its fullest rather than scaring people away from the ocean. I have bought countless copies of this book as presents over the years and everyone I have given it to has said how much they truly enjoyed it. I highly recommend.
Ben B.
Mar 06, 2014 Ben B. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book a lot. It shows all the problems and solutions the two survivors faced. The scariest part, this whole story is true. I loved reading of the creative and interesting solutions the people came up with to survive until someone could save them. I would recommend this book to a peer that enjoys survival tales but not to the average reader. Great book! This book is only really good for a specific audience, but if you happen to be in that particular crowd, you will love this book!
May 17, 2014 Tracyrayn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Jul 22, 2008 Sheena rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A true story of a married couple who were trying to sail around the world. An injured whale sunk their boat and they had to go to their life raft. They were stranded in the life boat for 118 days (the initial news articles said 117 but it was actually 118). They survived by eating turtles, fish, and sharks. They made little playing cards out of paper and designed their future boat to keep their minds busy. It's a really amazing story written from both of their perspectives about how they survive ...more
Nov 07, 2009 Sandy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: nature lovers
Recommended to Sandy by: Normandie
true story about a couple from England who plan to sail from the Panama Canal to the Gallapegos Islands, but are struck by a sperm whale, which ends up sinking their ship. They survive for 117 days by catching rain water and fishing for turtles and fish in a small raft and dinghy. It really is amazing to imagine how hopeless everything seemed to them, especially after they watched 7 ships pass them. Survival stories always amaze me and inspire too.
Apr 15, 2016 Erika rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I can see why Steve Callahan used this book as his how-to guide when he was adrift in a raft in the ocean. You get a sense of their depression in this book, but it reads more like a survival guide than an adventure story. I liked the journal entries scattered in the book, and it read very well.
Nov 12, 2011 Beth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book. It's an old school survival story. The Bailey's are truly fantastic. They decided upon the life they wanted to live and they went for it and even while they were adrift in the ocean, they planned their next boat and trip. Heroic.
Michelle O'flynn
The Bailey's experience of their yacht being attacked by a whale and sunk has some circumstances that are similar to Dougal Roberston and his family in "Survive the Savage Sea" in that they were sunk in similar waters at about the same year.
Chris Pimlott
Mar 05, 2011 Chris Pimlott rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Refreshing and intriguing for how well-prepared, resourceful and resilient the surviving authors were throughout their ordeals.
Aug 06, 2008 Susie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic true tale of learning to live with less and still finding beauty in your world, no matter how small it becomes.
Feb 02, 2009 Scuppers rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: re-read
A young couple shipwrecks and has to live in a liferaft for 117 days. They survive off of turtle blood and fish.

Jul 10, 2009 Mark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The real story here is not surving the elements but spending 117 days with the same person in a tiny rubber dingy.
Sep 08, 2013 Kathy rated it liked it
I love real life adventure survival stories. I feel I learn so much from their stories. Very interesting.
Carolyn Mcroberts
Sep 02, 2015 Carolyn Mcroberts rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Couldn't put this down. The wife in this book was amazingly strong and is the reason they survived. Awesome.
Oct 30, 2009 Phyllis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Amazing true story of survival
Diane rated it it was amazing
Apr 26, 2016
George marked it as to-read
Apr 07, 2016
Tim marked it as to-read
Mar 28, 2016
David added it
Mar 13, 2016
Kim rated it really liked it
Feb 23, 2016
Tara rated it really liked it
Apr 25, 2016
Fishnut rated it it was amazing
Feb 12, 2016
Jennifer Long
Jennifer Long marked it as to-read
Feb 08, 2016
Ms K Coles
Ms K Coles rated it it was amazing
Feb 06, 2016
Hanna rated it it was amazing
Feb 03, 2016
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Survive the Savage Sea
  • Sufferings in Africa: The Incredible True Story of a Shipwreck, Enslavement, and Survival on the Sahara
  • Four Against the Wilderness: The True Story of a Father & His Three Teenage Children Shipwrecked Off the Coast of Alaska in Winter
  • The Wreck of the Whaleship Essex
  • Albatross: The True Story of a Woman's Survival at Sea
  • Great Mythconceptions - Cellulite, Camel Humps and Chocolate Zits
  • Fillets Of Plaice
  • 2:46: Aftershocks: Stories from the Japan Earthquake
  • Overboard!: A True Blue-Water Odyssey of Disaster and Survival
  • Lost At Sea
  • Am I the Only Sane One Working Here?: 101 Solutions for Surviving Office Insanity
  • The Road Past Mandalay: A Personal Narrative
  • Sole Survivor: A Story of Record Endurance at Sea
  • The Viking World
  • At the Sharp End: Canadians Fighting the Great War, 1914-1916, Volume 1
  • 100 Great Businesses and the Minds Behind Them
  • Moise and the World of Reason
  • Page-a-Minute Memory Book

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »