The Strange Last Voyage Of Donald Crowhurst

I can't say enough good things about this book, which I've read three times and which is a desert-island treasure for me, along with only a handful of others. It is massively moving -- the poetry written by Crowhurst, found in his trimaran's logbook, is not only affecting (which is more important in poetry (like singing) than any kind of technical perfection), but is also especially important in revealing yet another facet of this riveting and beautifully told real-life drama. Crowhurst's moral dilemma is the dilemma of an essentially fine man, but a man that is not particularly privileged and finds himself hard up against certain realities: I like him. Very much. And I love the details, the by-now period feel of the time and of the book, and the 'players' that reacted to him and tried, with varying success, to bolster him up. 

Once met, never forgotten.... He was not your ordinary sort of man, and this is not an ordinary sort of book.

Note about the co-authors: Ron Hall was directly involved in the Golden Globe single-handed sailboat circumnavigation race that led to Crowhurst's trouble; Nicholas Tomalin was a journalist, killed by a missile while covering the Yom Kippur War in 1973. His widow, Claire Tomalin, is also a writer, and has written a biography of Jane Austen.