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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A free trip about Cape Horn


Rick Spilman, author and owner of Old Salt Blog, is celebrating his one millionth visitor this week by giving YOU the present.

Through Kindle Select, he is making his nautical adventure, Hell Around the Horn, free for two days.  Watch for it on Amazon.com on Thursday and Friday (Friday and Saturday, if you live on my side of the Dateline).

Rick will also be staging a raffle for ten copies of the print version of the book.  Look for details of how to register your entry on OldSaltBlog.

Hugely recommended, Hell Around the Horn has 20 five-star reviews on the Kindle page of Amazon.com. So, if you have a tablet or an ereader, why not treat yourself, and take advantage of this generous gesture?

And here is my review:

Hell Around the Horn

Ringing with authenticity, this nail-biter is a tale of battling wind and weather to sail from the Atlantic to the Pacific via the most dreaded landmark in the sailor's lexicon, Cape Horn.

Stories of ships in the Age of Sail are usually told from the quarterdeck, and the fight is against other ships. Rick Spilman's novel, by contrast, revisits the windjammer era when men fought the elements with just rope and canvas, using muscle and willpower to get a freight to a destination. In the tradition of old salts who once wrote hugely popular stories of life under sail -- men like "Shalimar" (F. C. Hendry), Captain F. Coffin, Jan de Hartog and Alexander Bone -- "Hell Around the Horn" tells it like it was for the ordinary people who lived unthinkably dangerous lives at sea, from the point of view of the foc'sle and the half-deck, as well as the cabin.

Based on real events, this is the story of one captain's struggle to get his ship to port, with just his seafaring knowledge and his increasingly weary crew to help, and with the added problem of a bloodyminded mate. A detail I particularly liked was that he had his wife and family with him. Spilman reveals her experiences through her letters, which are as convincingly written as the rest of the book.

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