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September 15, 2009


You and I came to about the same conclusion after reading "Sail" by Patterson.
I said: "overall, I’d say the book was pretty decent, and pretty typical for James Patterson’s style of work – I read it quickly and enjoyed the plot and the characters. but, I was also disappointed that the book really hardly touched on anything sailing other than to describe the boat."

Here's my full review:

Dan Bessmer

Surely, you'bve read at least SOME of Tristan Jones? He was a colorful, fellow Welschman with plenty to say. With 20 or so wonderful accounts blending equal amounts of sailing reality with a story tellers imagination, they are among the best. If you have not started, grab a copy of "A Steady Trade" and then plan on buying the rest later.


Think I'll give "Sail" a miss based on what you say about it.

Sailing fiction - apart from 19th century stuff - isn't that thick on the ground though you could give The Storm Prophet by Hector MacDonald a go.

Tristan Jones is definitely a good read, though non-fiction of course. I really enjoyed Over The Edge of the World about Magellan which read recently.

Both reviews should be somewhere under:


Tristan Jones is non-fiction? I thought some people said his books quite a bit of both, grin!

How do you like all the rest of the Napoleonic-era historical fiction writers such as Dudley Pope (Ramage Touch), Bernard Cornwell (Sharpe's Rifles), James L. Nelson (Revolution at Sea), and of course the original C S Forester (Horatio Hornblower)?

W.D. Arnold

A suggestion:
"Celtic Ring" by Bjorn Larsson

Adam Turinas

Thanks for all the suggestions I am going to break the bank of Amazon. For the record I don't think of Tristan Jones as fiction but mostly his life under sail. I loved his books. He was a wonderful storyteller but to be kind he wasn't going to win a Booker prize

Carol Anne

James Patterson is definitely NOT great literature, but his books are perfect for the environs in which you found this one -- in an airport where people are looking for relatively mindless reading to pass the time. I did rather much enjoy the book, only slightly annoyed by the inconsistencies and implausibilities.

Something to watch out for with Patterson is the co-writers; I'm sure they do most of the work, since otherwise he would have trouble cranking out a gazillion books a year. Howard Roughan and Maxine Paetro are good; some of the others are not.

They are a little old now, but in my opinion, some of the best sailing novels are still those by Sam Llewellyn and Bernard Cornwell. Titles like Great Circle and Wildtrack and Sea Lord.

Bill Whalen

If you haven't discovered Robert Macomber yet, I'm pleased to introduce you to him!

Real sailing, (almost)real historical fiction!

Geoff Kloster

"Telegram From the Palace" by Geoffrey Toye; Also available in audiobook through Good Old Boat mag.

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