The Boy Who Fell to Shore

Latah Bks. Oct. 2022. 314p. ISBN 9781957607061. $19.95. BIOG
Yachting journalist Doane, who is also an active, long-term, open sea cruiser, or bluewater sailor, as it’s called, does a fine job of piloting both sailors and wannabes into the world of Thomas Thor Tangvald, who disappeared with his boat off French Guiana in 2014. Born to an iconoclastic and uncompromising sailor father aboard the hand-built sailboat that housed the family for many years, young Thomas lived by the virtues of independent and minimalist living, both at sea and on land. Tangvald had difficulty, however, managing any philosophies or lifestyles not consonant with his own, and he sabotaged, with addictive and combative behavior, his many close relationships and his own mental and physical health. Non-sailors may find the less charming aspects of Tangvald’s personality and behavior insufficiently offset by the purity of his sailing ambitions, and indeed, sailors themselves may grow impatient with the needless land-bound obstacles Tangvald put in front of his bluewater life.
VERDICT Both sets of readers, however, will enjoy this narrative, rich with the joys and dangers of offshore seafaring, along with the tales of many who pursue that life so passionately.
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