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Left for Dead

3.88 of 5 stars 3.88  ·  rating details  ·  192 ratings  ·  24 reviews
In August of 1979, Nick Ward began the six-hundred-mile course of the UK's Fastnet Race with perfect weather. Within forty-eight hours, the deadliest storm in the history of modern sailing had blasted through the Irish Sea, throwing one of the world's most prestigious races into bedlam and taking the lives of fifteen sailors. Ward's boat, "Grimalkin," was capsized again an ...more
ebook, 192 pages
Published December 10th 2008 by Bloomsbury Publishing PLC (first published 2007)
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Larry Jacobson
There are only two ways I know of to actually feel what it’s like to be in a force 10+ storm with 30-foot + seas: experience it for yourself like I have, or read Nick Ward’s most incredible account in Left for Dead. I know his account is accurate because I’ve experienced it. Nick’s descriptions of the waves, winds, and noises are brilliantly recalled and put into words in a way that places you right there on his boat in the middle of one of the most violent storms ever to be encountered on a sma ...more
Jerry Smith
I am reluctant to award 5 stars here on Goodreads. I was uncertain whether to do so here, but the fact is, this book was, to me at least, a page turner that I couldn't put down. I have seen some critiques of the writing style here, and I guess you can tell that Ward is not a writer by trade. However this is totally rendered moot in my view.

This is a realtively short book, but one that I read in a couple of sittings. There is a limited preamble where we learn about NW and the development of his l
...more
Ken
Sep 11, 2007 Ken added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Sailors
Just read the first couple of chapters. Ward was a lifelong sailor, from age 7 or so he was racing dinghies and keelboats. The sea and her traditions were are like blood and breathing to him.

The most telling parts of the book are when he brushes up against his dismay and amazement that his crewmates left him, never visited him in the hospital, never spoke with him after his recovery.

It's not great writing. You can see that his co-author's heavy editing is necessary to keep him on track and in re
...more
Ngaio
When a massive storm hit during the 1979 Fastnet yachting race a crisis resulted. Boats small and large were caught in the open and many were unable to escape. Nick Ward was on a relatively small yacht in the Irish Sea when the storm swept in, a dangerous situation which was compounded by the actions of his fellow crew and led to a lengthy ordeal. He was the last person to be rescued from a race which claimed fifteen lives and sank a number of vessels. The refusal of his surviving shipmates to d ...more
Christopher
The first book in a long time that I simply couldn't put down.

The descriptions of wild seas are better than accurate - they actually take you there.

If you have been out to sea, it will take you right back there. It describes perfectly the way it can change in the course of minutes and how stomach clenchingly terrifying it can be.

Of course, Mr Ward has been in a situation that, thankfully, few of us have ever - or ever will be - in.

This, however, is more than simply a description of scary seas an
...more
Jim
I must have a thing for yachting disaster stories. This was another goody, with the added twist that a feud still goes on between the almost drowned and the saved. The bloke who wrote it is clear about his interpretation of events, and says it all in the title. Himself and a colleague were abondoned during the Fastnet race when it looked as if their yacht was sinking and a life-raft was launched without two of the crew in it – left for dead, except they weren’t, they were just both knocked uncon ...more
Maria
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jensen
Well, I had to read this for school and I was not a big fan. Too slow at some parts.
Diane
Ward, author of numerous children's books, goes back in time to the beautiful day when, as a teen, Ward set off on a 600 mile sailboat race. With little forewarning, the racing sailboats found themselves in the midst of a terrible storm. Through some combination of self-preservation and misunderstanding, three of the crew members left on the lifeboat, leaving Ward and another crew member behind. It's an incredible survival story that demonstrates Ward's invincible spirit, and is a much better ta ...more
Michelle
Jun 16, 2013 Michelle rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who like adventure/suspense
Recommended to Michelle by: myhoney
Reading this book was enthralling and quite a journey. Nick Ward put his and the crew's experience as best as he could and I believe it to have been successful in its fairness. The story leaves you wanting to find out the reasons the three crew-members had to leave Nick and Gerry. It also takes you on a roller coaster of emotions once the storm hits. If ever a reader wants to get away from the day to day life, give this book a chance to take you on a journey you'll find hard to forget.

Couldn't p
...more
Dijon
Absolutely terrible writing, impressive story.
Monica
This is not as well-written as the Fastnet, Force 10 book, but I just had to know what had happened to Nick Ward, who was left on the boat Grimalkin after he and his crewmate, Gerry Winks, were knocked unconscious during the storm. He definitely gave a clear sense of what it would be like to be on a boat in those conditions.
Alison Loughran-fowlds
Harrowing and amazing account of one man left for dead on a sinking yacht in the middle of the Fastnet 1979 yachting disaster. Enthralling read, and well written. He not only writes from his point of view but tries to see the other side from his crewmates' perspective, finally finding peace at the end.
Tom
I heard about this book through somebody I met who had sailed in the Fastnet '79. It was great to read it and although not incredibly well written, I felt very well connected with the emotions portrayed. I found it very difficult to find a copy of this but would recommend it to a lot of people.
Anik
It's about the will the live...the survival instinct in all of us. And it was from the help of a dead man, that Nick Ward was able to overcome the lonliness and find strength out at sea.

Favorite quote: "If you don't care where you are, then you're not lost. I cared. I was lost."
Shockvalue
If you like survival and sea stories, this one is for you. As I like them, and I race sailboats (sometimes in fairly unprotected waters) it really struck a note with me.
Reba
Good, quick read about a sea adventure gone wrong (my favorite type). It's no 'Into Thin Air' but it'll definitely have you turning the pages quickly.
Bruce
A lot of the story is about the horrible seas endured for over a day. At times this can become quite repetitive as you wait for the eventual rescue
Newcost
Awesome book. Even though the event was some time ago it felt like yesterday and made you feel part of it.
Jennifer
Very captivating story - even if you are not into sailing.
Joanne Harmeln
I thought t was interesting but not great.
Heath Samples
Great book, recommend for any budding sailor.
Nick
Very detailed and fairly harrowing
Ashleigh
Ashleigh marked it as to-read
Feb 24, 2015
Sarah
Sarah marked it as to-read
Feb 23, 2015
Heather Liencres
Heather Liencres marked it as to-read
Feb 23, 2015
Kj
Kj marked it as to-read
Feb 17, 2015
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