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Wayward Sailor: In Search of the Real Tristan Jones
     

Wayward Sailor: In Search of the Real Tristan Jones

3.7 3
by Anthony Dalton
 

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"This is a necessary book for anyone who has read Tristan Jones's stories with enjoyment or suspicion, or both."

—Derek Lundy, author of Godforsaken Sea

"I was enchanted from start to finish by Anthony Dalton's biography."

—John Rousmaniere, author of After the Storm

Tristan Jones boasted a worldwide following for his

Overview

"This is a necessary book for anyone who has read Tristan Jones's stories with enjoyment or suspicion, or both."

—Derek Lundy, author of Godforsaken Sea

"I was enchanted from start to finish by Anthony Dalton's biography."

—John Rousmaniere, author of After the Storm

Tristan Jones boasted a worldwide following for his memoirs of extraordinary adventures from the Arctic to the Dead Sea. But, as Wayward Sailor proves, Jones was a fascinating invention of his own imagination. Wayward Sailor is a voyage into the soul of a mysterious adventurer.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Photojournalist and expedition organizer Dalton writes of author/explorer Tristan Jones (1929-1995): "I uncovered the elements of a story woven from the exotic fabrics of deceit, ego, skill, immense courage, tenacity, sexual differences, and, eventually-murder." These qualities all appear prominently in Dalton's arresting study of a sailor who invented himself as a modern hero and kept embellishing the legend until truth and fiction were impossible to pinpoint. Dalton believes Tristan's supposedly seafaring mother was in fact from landlocked Lancashire. Following several voyages, which he later fictionalized, Jones decided to pursue writing seriously. His editor at Sail pronounced his first submissions "dreadful," then suggested he write his experiences in the form of a long letter, which enabled Jones to find his style. This talented mythomaniac, who claimed "[a]ll my stories are true. I just remember them differently each time," also took a stab at theater, invented a marriage no one could verify and, according to Dalton, was secretly gay. Alcoholism led him to brawls; health tragedies-amputation of both legs, emphysema-discouraged but didn't destroy his pugnacious spirit. Occasionally, in the author's zeal for accuracy, he makes Jones such a dark, unpalatable figure that he loses his mythic status and even human dimension. But Dalton achieves stark poignancy when he claims Jones was endowed with "extraordinary talents as a sailor. Given time he could have accomplished all that he claimed." Jones's story as related here should appeal to all those who love adventure, as well as to those who enjoy analyzing the wreckage of damaged, enigmatic and fascinating personalities. Maps. (May) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780071440288
Publisher:
McGraw-Hill Companies, The
Publication date:
06/11/2004
Pages:
384
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.80(h) x 1.10(d)

Meet the Author

Anthony Dalton (Canada) is a writer, photographer, and adventurer. Dalton is a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, and his articles have appeared in Classic Boat, SAIL, Yachting, and other publications.

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Wayward Sailor: In Search of the Real Tristan Jones 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The other reviews say alot so I will only add that Jones was prominent enough to be on Larry King's talk show and feature in the IMAX film Race the Wind. Jones was not a very likeable character but he had a diffucult life with no family, education or money and few friends and he did what he could to survive. He had the makings of a very good writer and produced 16 books and many articles. He concealed the fact that he was gay until the very end of his life, at which time he had lost both his legs to diabetes and was destitute. He accomplished a lot with very little and if you accept his stories as fiction they are good reading. Only those who are really interested in Jones or sailing will enjoy the book as most of it is otherwise very boring.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Is there anything more pitiful than a fallen idol? Is there anything more depressing than a life of lies exposed? Anthony Dalton systematically deconstructs the famous sailor and adventurer Tristan Jones, who is revealed as a fraud, a sham, and an almost entirely self-invented man. This a major blow to those readers, like me, who admired Jones and accepted his accounts as truth. The lessons of 'Wayward Sailor' reinforce the cynical wisdom that nothing is ever what it seems, that all achievement is suspect until proven true. I was floored to learn that Jones deceived an entire generation of readers and sailors, and could well have endangered the safety of anyone who attempted to follow in his wake without proper research and preparation. We aren¿t talking minor departures from the truth, or the predictable embellishments of a flamboyant character; Jones created a concentric web of intentional, self-serving lies and deceptions that entrap and invalidate almost 20 years of published work. The level of lies, the excruciating detail of a professional life built on falsehood, is staggering. As noted in the introduction, Anthony Dalton, a deepwater sailor and nautical writer, began the book as a tribute and ended up with an expose. 'Wayward Sailor' is very well researched and is objective and even understated in reporting the facts and presenting conclusions. There is a dirge-like tone to the writing. Dalton makes no prolonged attempt to analyze the psychology of Arthur Jones or even cast a strong moral judgment. There are many readers, no doubt, who feel that Jones's literary legacy and his colorful personality are compensation enough for his failure to tell the truth. Not me. Jones had a major responsibility to maintain his integrity with his peers, his readers, and the historical record. Without that integrity, a man is worthless, his accomplishments meaningless. 'Wayward Sailor' was painful to read, but Dalton provided a great service to the public. Arthur Jones sold his soul for fame and prostituted his honor for a few bucks. Let us all beware.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I guess anyone who read most or all Jones' books always knew that he was stretching the truth a little. (The 'first ones', to me anyway, were in the 'Incredible Voyage' when he stated that Sea Dart became the first boat to 'sail' through the Panama Canal,and his claim in 'One Hand For Yourself' that when Donald Crowhurst was fooling the world in Golden Globe Race, he was at sea in Barbara 'looking' for him.) But I don't think that anyone really understood the depth of his deceit. The fact that his book 'Ice' is total fiction (he didn't even own a boat then) and he was never in the Royal Navy during WWII, making 'Heart Of Oak' total fiction as well, is disturbing. I know that writers sometimes embelish a little to make the 'truth' more interesting. But Jones' stories have been proved out and out fraud! The 'Incredible Voyage' STILL would have made a great story- if only he had just told it truthfully. Now, everything that he has ever written becomes more than just a little suspect. Although Dalton does a fair hatchet job on Jones as a person, I don't think he stepped out of line. It was a story that the public needed to know. Jones was STILL a great teller of tales- even if most of them are very tall tales!