Sailing Alone Around the World (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)

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Overview

Sailing Alone Around the World, by Joshua Slocum, is part of the Barnes & Noble Classics series, which offers quality editions at affordable prices to the student and the general reader, including new scholarship, thoughtful design, and pages of carefully crafted extras. Here are some of the remarkable features of Barnes & Noble ...
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Sailing Alone Around the World (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)

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Overview

Sailing Alone Around the World, by Joshua Slocum, is part of the Barnes & Noble Classics series, which offers quality editions at affordable prices to the student and the general reader, including new scholarship, thoughtful design, and pages of carefully crafted extras. Here are some of the remarkable features of Barnes & Noble Classics:
  • New introductions commissioned from today's top writers and scholars
  • Biographies of the authors
  • Chronologies of contemporary historical, biographical, and cultural events
  • Footnotes and endnotes
  • Selective discussions of imitations, parodies, poems, books, plays, paintings, operas, statuary, and films inspired by the work
  • Comments by other famous authors
  • Study questions to challenge the reader's viewpoints and expectations
  • Bibliographies for further reading
  • Indices & Glossaries, when appropriate
All editions are beautifully designed and are printed to superior specifications; some include illustrations of historical interest. Barnes & Noble Classics pulls together a constellation of influences—biographical, historical, and literary—to enrich each reader's understanding of these enduring works.

In April 1895, at the age of fifty-one, Joshua Slocum departed Boston in his thirty-six-foot sloop Spray, a derelict boat he had rebuilt himself. Three years and 46,000 miles later he returned, having accomplished one of the greatest feats in maritime history—to become the first person to circumnavigate the globe single-handedly. To crown the achievement, Slocum wrote this remarkable account of his voyage, Sailing Alone Around the World, an instant best-seller and one of literature’s greatest voyage narratives.

Despite having only a third-grade education, Slocum was as gifted a writer as he was a shipwright and navigator. In clear and vigorous prose, he paints a vivid, even poetic picture of his voyage with its many breathtaking sights and harrowing adventures—including skirting the paradisiacal South Sea islands, braving terrifying storms and treacherous coral reefs, and being chased by pirates. A portrait also emerges of the sailor himself, made up from Slocum’s heartfelt simplicity, wry sense of humor, meditative reflections on solitude, and ability to find companions in his animate and inanimate surroundings.

In the fall of 1909, Slocum set sail from Martha’s Vineyard and was never seen again. But his book survives as a testament to the skill, courage, and determination of the man known around the world as the patron saint of small-boat voyagers and navigators, and adventurers of every stripe. With 68 drawings and 3 original maps.

Dennis Berthold, Professor of English, has taught at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas, since 1972. He specializes in nineteenth-century American literature and has published scholarly articles and books on Charles Brockden Brown, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Margaret Fuller, Herman Melville, Mark Twain, Walt Whitman, and Constance Fenimore Woolson.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781593083038
  • Publisher: Barnes & Noble
  • Publication date: 9/1/2005
  • Series: Barnes & Noble Classics Series
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 168,601
  • Product dimensions: 7.98 (w) x 10.88 (h) x 0.79 (d)

Meet the Author

Dennis Berthold, Professor of English, has taught at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas, since 1972. He specializes in nineteenth-century American literature and has published scholarly articles and books on Charles Brockden Brown, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Margaret Fuller, Herman Melville, Mark Twain, Walt Whitman, and Constance Fenimore Woolson.
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Read an Excerpt

From Dennis A. Berthold’s Introduction to Sailing Alone Around the World

There is nothing in sea literature like Sailing Alone Around the World, nor can there ever be again. Only one man was the first to sail around the world alone, and only one book recounts that astonishing voyage in his own words. This is that book.

When Joshua Slocum left Boston on April 24, 1895, to sail around the world alone in the Spray, a 37-foot sloop he reconstructed himself, Mabel Wagnalls wrote in his log, “The Spray will come back” (Teller, Joshua Slocum, p. 77; see “For Further Reading”). Those words proved prophetic in more ways than one. Of course the Spray did come back three years later, anchoring on June 27, 1898, in Newport, Rhode Island. No one had ever circumnavigated the globe alone until Slocum did it, and not many have done so since. The Spray has also returned in the hundreds of full-sized replicas Slocum fans have built over the last century, many of them amazingly precise. Two books, Kenneth Slack’s In the Wake of the Spray (1966) and R. Bruce Roberts-Goodson’s Spray: The Ultimate Cruising Boat (1995), have documented this phenomenon, which began in 1903 and continues to the present. Between 1969 and 1995, Roberts-Goodson sold more than 5,000 sets of plans for Spray replicas of various sizes, and more than 800 of these have actually been built (Roberts-Goodson, p. viii). Hundreds of additional pleasure craft have been based on the Spray’s general lines and rig, and there are probably several thousand more inspired, to one degree or another, by Slocum’s modest sloop. Less ambitious Slocum fans can find kits in any good hobby store and build their own model at home. Right now, somewhere on the world’s oceans, someone is sailing a version of the Spray and keeping alive the remarkable story of a little boat that sailed around the world with only one crew member, the dauntless Yankee skipper Joshua Slocum.

As important as are the material reincarnations of the Spray, her voyage would be far less memorable if she had not also returned as a literary artifact, the inspiration and heroine, if you will, of one of the greatest sea narratives ever written. Like the Spray, Sailing Alone Around the World is Slocum’s original creation, and it has enjoyed a long life in many editions, reprintings, and retellings. It first appeared in serial form in Century Illustrated Monthly Magazine, a popular periodical published in New York. As soon as the magazine series ended, Slocum’s tale was produced in book form, complete with the Century illustrations by Thomas Fogarty and George Varian. It sold 7,000 copies in its first year, and its original edition eventually sold more than 27,000 copies (Teller, pp. 179, 176). Since 1956 it has been widely available in paperback editions, including a dozen or so for young readers. Excerpts are frequently included in anthologies of nautical writing. It has been translated into Swedish, Polish, French, German, Dutch, Spanish, Czech, and in 2003 and 2004, Japanese and Chinese. There is probably no time during its history that it has been out of print, an honor it shares with such American classics as Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1852) and Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884). Portions of the book are frequently anthologized, and its durability has kept Slocum’s other extended sea narrative, Voyage of the Liberdade (1890), before the public as well. Slocum has his own author society, an active group of sailors, shipbuilders, and lovers of nautical literature who honor his boat, his book, and his remarkable feat with regattas, awards, a journal and newsletter, and various memorabilia, all available on the society’s website (see “For Further Reading”).

So for all his seeming obscurity in the world of American literature, Slocum’s journey has fostered a world unto itself, a place where dedicated men and women spend years studying details of his boat; rebuilding it out of wood, fiberglass, reinforced concrete, aluminum, or steel; replicating his journey in whole or in part; and reading again and again the story of his amazing voyage.

Given such interest in the man and his boat, one would think we would know more about him today. He has been favored with a tireless biographer, Walter Magnes Teller, who assembled most of the key facts and documents in Slocum’s life and interviewed Slocum’s remaining family in the 1950s. Besides Sailing Alone, Slocum left a small published legacy of two additional accounts of voyages; a souvenir pamphlet about the Spray; a few unpublished letters to his editors, government officials, family, and friends; and scattered newspaper interviews with inquisitive journalists. Teller has collected and published most of this material, and after reading it our first impression is that we know this man as we would a traveling companion. Throughout Sailing Alone Slocum appears honest, forthright, and direct, like Henry David Thoreau in Walden (1854), a man who cared more for truth than money, love, or fame. Slocum is much more modest and unassuming than Thoreau, however. His writing style is straightforward and lucid, his nautical terminology is appropriate and precise, and he achieves a consistent humor by gently mocking himself as well as others. He admits his shortcomings as well as his accomplishments, as when he confesses to getting lost at Cape Horn, or feeling anxious about lecturing, or being so afraid of meeting pirates in the Mediterranean that he completely reverses his itinerary by sailing west around Cape Horn instead of going east through the Suez Canal. Thoreau described how he single-handedly built a cabin for only $28.12½; similarly, Slocum describes building the Spray for only $553.62. But Thoreau does not include any plans. Slocum does, along with a detailed account of how he built the boat. His diagrams of the Spray’s profile, deck plan, and rigging are reprinted in nearly every edition. They lend his narrative authenticity and credibility and reinforce the impression of Slocum’s sincerity. He presents himself as the real thing, an honest-to-goodness Yankee ship captain with a yarn to share and the salty language for telling it.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 329 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(165)

4 Star

(60)

3 Star

(45)

2 Star

(27)

1 Star

(32)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 333 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 8, 2010

    Sailing along side the Spray

    I stumbled across Sailing Alone Aound the World by chance. Slocum draws you into his world as he travels from port to port and battles gales and the deadly Southern Ocean. Throughout the novel we learn what it really means to travel solo and find interpeace.

    8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 22, 2007

    What we all what to know.

    Being a Yankee Skipper, Capt. Slocum could probably relish his book¿s ability to still sell after one hundred and nine years. But the question on the reader¿s mind is still the one that annoyed him occasionally at ports of call on his voyage: ¿Where¿s the profit¿?¿ ¿What¿s the sense of trying to sail around the world alone, Captain?¿ or ¿Why read?¿ Captain Slocum may well have answered that, in his case, sailing beyond his geographical horizon took him beyond his psychological horizon. Not once, but so many times, that he found his place among men and intuitively his place in the universe. His is an account of a man discovering and being exactly where he¿s meant to be. What about us readers? Maybe we need the encouragement to find out, or, even, ask the question? Barnes & Noble combined a background and introduction that compliments the story well, so, read closely. If the story starts to read you continuing may lead to unsettling thoughts, feelings and questions. Careful, you know what Nazis did with that sort of book?

    6 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 16, 2011

    Beautifully Written

    I bought this on a whim while I was looking through the B&N Classics section. Joshua Slocum writes so honestly and eloquently. Thoroughly enjoyable, this work will take you around the world and show you the indomitable spirit of an honest sailor.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 10, 2011

    Tall Adventure

    It's not Treasure Island but it is an epic true story of a man who sailed the earth alone. Knowing the story is true and the recurring dangers that Slocum faced will pull you through this great book. As for the format, it's easy to read and the occasional the sketches of scenes from the book are a pleasure to behold.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2013

    Great story

    Loved the adventures and tribulations. Great true story. Very memorable. Great writing.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 20, 2011

    Couldn't udersrand plot

    Lots of typos i diliked it.

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 25, 2013

    typos

    Too many scanning errors to be readable.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 11, 2013

    A great writer! In my humble opinion Slokum should be considered to be among the greats, If you sail you must read this book, Slokum paints an incredible tale of a sailor who rebuilr an old broken down wooden sailboat, to sail around the world

    Considered with the greats Beariful prose tells of a sailor who restores an old dilapidared sailboat and sails it around the world single handed The Spray sails herself and overtakes ships with full crews An amazing boat Imagine pressing past Cape Horn only to find pirates on the other side If you sail you must read this captain's log i've never written a review before this, but I must encourage all who love great writing, great story telling, and a great story to honor this man bv reading his tale

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 13, 2012

    Follow with goggle map

    Found it to be a good book
    I followed Slocum's travels on Goggle Map which made it more interesting. I really liked the fact the book was free

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 2011

    Bad Scan

    Bad Scan

    Like so many of the free books available for the Nook, this scan is very poor. Pagination and printing is off. It may be a good book, but the edition fails as an ebook.

    It is not worth the trouble, and I am deleting it.

    I guess you really do get what you pay for¿

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 15, 2011

    Why this edition?

    I give this a 1 star, as this is a book that is in the public domain, I don't know why an "editor" would be needed as it has been edited and published before. This is a fine book and does not need editing. Again this is a book in the public domain, so just read the free version.

    Again this book is a 5 star, but this edition is a 1 star as it adds too much cost to the free work.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 15, 2011

    Annoying Scan

    This scan made it difficult to read. Story was ok. Lacking in description, especially while at sea.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 12, 2011

    crummy copy

    This version was a mess, almost unreadable . I have to find a better copy.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 1999

    An excellent adventure that will captivate you

    Slocum is a fabulous writer and his story will amaze you as you imagine his journey in a handmade boat over 100 years ago. I loved reading this and will no doubt read it many times in the years to come. A true classic.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 6, 2014

    Xylie

    Umm hello

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 21, 2014

    Joel to qeqs

    I so your qosts and want to qost u giys qost back

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2014

    Magik

    "Love you too." ((Bye))

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 13, 2014

    Ace

    "No......"

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 7, 2014

    Ace *

    Her *

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2014

    Hooded figure

    *Leaves.*

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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