Not Without Hope

( 92 )

Overview

What began as a relaxing fishing party became a harrowing tale of death and survival against unfathomable odds.

On Saturday February 28, 2009, 24-year-old Nick Schuyler and three football friends - Raiders linebacker Marquis Cooper, 26, Lions defensive end Corey Smith, 29, and Will Bleakley, 25, a teammate from the University of South Florida - sailed away from Tampa Bay for...
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Not Without Hope

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Overview

What began as a relaxing fishing party became a harrowing tale of death and survival against unfathomable odds.

On Saturday February 28, 2009, 24-year-old Nick Schuyler and three football friends - Raiders linebacker Marquis Cooper, 26, Lions defensive end Corey Smith, 29, and Will Bleakley, 25, a teammate from the University of South Florida - sailed away from Tampa Bay for a day of fun in the Gulf of Mexico. But 35 miles off the coast of Florida, their 21-foot boat flipped, hurling the four athletes into the rough water.

For more than 12 hours, the foursome gripped the boat as the temperature dropped to 60 degrees and the waves climbed to more than 10 feet. Donning the life-jackets Bleakley bravely retrieved from inside the overturned craft, the friends passed the time swapping stories of loved ones and memories from the gridiron. Yet to Schulyer's horror, he watched as one by one, Marquis then Corey, and finally his best friend Will succumbed to hypothermia brought on by the choppy seas and cold temperatures.

As the hours lengthened, Schuyler held each man in his arms as they passed, powerless to save them. Alone, Schuyler tenaciously clung to the exposed propeller of the boat overnight until the Coast Guard miraculously discovered him 45 hours after he was tossed into the Gulf's waters. Though he had been wearing thicker clothing than his friends-a hooded sweatshirt, ski cap, and pants that he'd donned after feeling seasick - Schulyer too suffered severe hypothermia and lacerations along his thighs and torso-and most tragically, the guilt of being the only man to survive.

In "Not Without Hope", Schulyer shares the full story of the accident for the firsttime. Recounting the events that led up to the fateful day and the four lives that became inextricably intertwined, he relives those intense 45 traumatic hours and probes the psychological and physiological depths he endured to survive. In addition, he tells the remarkable tale of the search and rescue mission that saved him. An incredible tale of courage, grief, strength, and love, "Not Without Hope" is an unforgettable true story of one man's incredible survival and a moving tribute to the friends he lost-and will never forget.
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Editorial Reviews

People
“Still haunted by the experience and the rumors that followed...Schuyler has written a memoir to set the record straight.”
People Magazine
"Still haunted by the experience and the rumors that followed...Schuyler has written a memoir to set the record straight."
People
“Still haunted by the experience and the rumors that followed...Schuyler has written a memoir to set the record straight.”
Cleveland Plain Dealer
“A compelling account of tragedy at sea.”
Washington Post
“A harrowing account of his grim ordeal at sea...a nightmare of exhaustion, madness and death.”
USA Today
“Eye-opener.”
Bloomberg News
“A profoundly sad struggle.”
New York Post
“A harrowing tale...The story [that] made headlines all over the world.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061993985
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 12/28/2010
  • Pages: 246
  • Sales rank: 137,169
  • Product dimensions: 8.34 (w) x 11.34 (h) x 0.63 (d)

Meet the Author

Nick Schuyler is a former college football player and a personal trainer in Tampa, Florida.

Jeré Longman is a sports reporter for the New York Times whose books include the national bestseller Among the Heroes: United Flight 93 and the Passengers and Crew Who Fought Back and The Hurricanes: One High School Team's Homecoming After Katrina, chosen by Slate magazine as one of the Best Books of 2008.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 92 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(36)

4 Star

(28)

3 Star

(17)

2 Star

(4)

1 Star

(7)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 93 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 8, 2010

    What an amazing thing hope is. And what amazing things you can do with just a sliver of it.

    I cried and then I cried some more. Never in my life have I read a book that touched me to the core as did Not Without Hope. Never in my life have I read a book that inspired me as did Not Without Hope. This story is a demonstration that when you think you can't go on...you can. This story reveals the amazing human spirit. After reading this, you will be filled with gratitude for everything that is right with your life and for every relationship you have. You will be humbled. You will be grateful for your family and your friends. You will be happy to be alive. You will be heart-broken for all that was lost. You will know absolutely what is important in your life. You will know absolutely where your priorities lie. You will know absolutely the small stuff should never be sweated. And you will be amazed at what can be accomplished with just a sliver of hope.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 7, 2010

    This book was too good to put down.

    I was able to finish this book in an afternoon. I often felt as though I was right there with the main character, and only survivor, of a small capsized boat 75 miles off the coast of Florida. The horrific events that took place as four football players, two from NFL teams, struggled against hypothermia and raging seas bore witness to the human spirit. At one point, I did have to walk away and clear my head for several minutes as the story was so intense. The only criticism is that, in an effort to make the book longer, it became somewhat repetitive near the end. Highly recommended.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 1, 2011

    Great Book

    Enjoyed this book. It was hard to put down once I started reading it. Made you feel like you were right there watching them as they went throught this horror.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 31, 2012

    Riveting, Eye-Opening, a Page-Turner

    While this is not the greatest of literature in terms of writing style, it is sincere and deeply moving as the story rolls out in the first person, and it tells the gut-wrenching story of terror and then loss. It is as close to a vicarious experience as you can get. The book reads very quickly, and I recommend it for a quick read you will not forget.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 8, 2012

    Inspiring story

    This story made me want to hug Nick! Sad. Inspiring. A lot of emotions reading this book. Only three stars because it was very boring at parts, a lot of the same but the same thing happened for many hours in his life... worth reading.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 11, 2012

    Fantastic read!

    What a fabulous and well written book! How i wish there would be more books like that! It is such a great book that my daughter who is 11 is truly enthralled with it and my husband is waiting to read it next. Sure makes you think about what to have on the boat and to mot overlook.
    Thank you for telling your captivating story!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 3, 2011

    Human endurance as told by the sole survivor.

    The story that could only have been told by the sole survivor. It brings to the reader what "The Perfect Storm" could not--first hand account of a very tragic boating accident, loss of life, and finally rescue. I hope boaters everywhere read this and take something from it.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 28, 2010

    Great Book!!! Highly Recommend!

    This book is a very good book, one you can't put down, harrowing but sad. The book is written by Nick Schulyler, a former college football player turned personal trainer who survived a boating accident that left three of his friends dead, including two NFL players and his best friend a former USF Bulls college football player. The story is about four (4) friends who set out for a deep-sea fishing trip in the Gulf of Mexico. They had planned on a fun and relaxing day drinking a few beers, having some laughs and had planned to get home before an approaching cold front hit. After getting to their fishing destination, and fishing for a short time, the seas began to swell and the winds picked up so they packed everything up and decided to head back to shore. As they started to leave, they realized that the anchor was stuck. The four were inexperienced boaters and decided that the best way to get the anchor to release was by tying the anchor rope to the front of the boat and hitting the throttle. Instead of the anchor breaking free, the front of the boat sank and filled with water and the boat capsized. In order to survive, the men had to try to get to the life jackets under the boat. They had no beacon to alert authorities and their cell phones would not work so far out in the Gulf. They had no food or water as it was trapped in coolers under the boat, so all they could do was cling to the overturned boat throughout the night as the seas got rougher and the clouds got black from the incoming cold front. The four men were continuously being tossed from the boat by large waves and they started to battle hypothermia, hallucinatioms, hunger, dehydration and huge waves. Being athletes, they worked as a team praying together, talking about what they would have done different in their lives and what they were going to do when they returned home. When one fell off the boat, the others would swim out to retrieve tham and help them back onto the boat. Nick Schuyler, the only one able to survive by holding on to the boat's propeller, tells his story about survival and what is what like watching three of his best friends die.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 2, 2010

    great start, slow finish

    The first three-quarters of the book is very interesting. He describes his companions, the boat, the trip, his reluctance to go on this particular voyage, very clearly. The account of the hours in the water as his companions died, is harrowing. The last part of the book, however, when he tries to come to terms with being the lone survivor, is superficial and tedious.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 1, 2010

    Fascinating

    I live in Tampa and enjoy boating, as well as survival stories. So I was really looking forward to this book. It met my expectations. I could hardly set it down. I couldn't wait to see what happened next, even though I knew the ending. I would give it five stars except the writing is not as polished as it could be - I was confused by what seemed like abrupt transitions from first-person to third-person. Still, it's a great read and a remarkable story of survival.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 28, 2010

    The best thing is.....

    Not Without Hope is written by Nick .zSchuyler with, I suppose, help from Jere Longham. Once it got going I could not put it down. I had to get up early to go shooting and was up til 1:30 am standing in the light reading page after page. It is sort of sad how the guys in the book get so battered by the sea so fast. It must have taken incredible strength to last as long as they did. I feel very sorry for them all. Some parts were repetitive I thought and some words were used out of context which I attribute to the Authors possibly being unfamiliar with the words they were writing. That's always a bit of a turn off for serious readers, however, this is a great little book and worth buying if only to be reminded of how delicate we all are.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 17, 2010

    Didn't want to put it down.

    I read an excerpt of this book while waiting in a doctor's office in some magazine there. I couldn't put the magazine down then and went right out and bought the book. It is a gripping account of these courageous men and last hours. It was informative by demonstrating do's and don't that we take for granted on the water; and now I have different outlook on a quick fishing trip. There apparently has been some controversy over this book but it is worth every minute. I believe the point of the book was if you learn one thing from the mistakes of those four souls then it was worth it to Mr. Schuyler. I know I did.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 6, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    What a Harrowing Story

    I read someof the other reviews before I bought this book, but they didn't sway me one way or the other. I am so glad I bought this! What a wonderful story!!!
    Granted, there is a lot of repitition in the book, but what did people expect? He was on that water for 43 hours with nothing but the same thing to do over and over again. He watched these three friends die around him.
    So if there's a lot of turmoil and pain still surrounding the whole situation, I think he deserves a break for watching three people die. People he cared about and called friend.

    As for the book, I think it was well written and it's told as though he is actually talking to someone rather than writing it himself.

    I think this book is worth reading, no matter how much it repeats itself.

    To Nick: I hope you find peace with this tragedy, sweetie. I really do.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 8, 2010

    Amazing!

    Although I had seen Nick Schuyler on Oprah and heard him on the radio, I was riveted by this book. Despite the negative feelings between the families, having to watch anyone die and the feeling of being helpless is a major trauma. I appreciate that Nick wanted to put the story into his own words so that he could honor the others. I hope that he can heal and live and long and productive life. You will not be disappointed by this book! Although I agree with some of the other reviews, the writing is sometimes lacking in substance, I still, literally, could not put it down, it had me up into the wee hours of the night.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 11, 2010

    A shallow tale of tragedy in deep water

    I bought this book because I was familiar with the tragic accident and was interested in knowing more about how it came about. I feel very sorry for Nick Schuyler and can only imagine what his ordeal must have been like. But the writing of this book is terrible. It is repetitive, shallow and lacks any significant insight into the kind of courage it must have taken to simply survive and then live through the survival. There were awkward jumps from the first person narrative to observations by others that took a little rereading to figure out. I stuck with it simply because I needed this man to be saved so i could go on to other things. But I cannot recommend this book in any way.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 25, 2014

    Short

    Instead of a book. Should of been a short story. How many times can you ask someone our they ok.They were on boat for 40 hours not days. .

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 7, 2014

    D Rip

    This book is so sad

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 24, 2014

    This is a "Jock" book!

    Difficult to read if you are not a sport fan. Far too much space taken up with intense details about the sports and sport related matters. Great book for those who are into that. Can be moving.

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  • Posted March 21, 2014

    Human spirit at its best

    Nick and his friends do something they just didn't think through. Having boated and been in high seas the fact that anyone survived this disaster is nothing short of a miracle. The book read quickly and I thought it was well written. You could see the heart of Nick , his anguish and his determination to stay alive. This is the human spirit at its best and how when faced with the worst of conditions our will to survive surmounts any obstacle put in our path.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 3, 2014

    Hi

    Hi

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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