A Mile Down by David Vann
The True Story of a Disastrous Career at Sea

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If you've ever owned a sailboat or had a friend who did, you know how it begins: with a dream. You dream about the ship, and gradually the dream consumes you. Practical considerations lose all meaning ... until, inevitably, the dream morphs into a nightmare. David Vann is familiar with that nightmare. His begins in Turkey: a thirty-year-old tourist, he stumbles across the steel frame of a ninety-foot sailboat that cries out to be built. From friends, family, and credit cards, he borrows the $150,000 to construct the ship. The Turkish builders take shameless advantage of him, eventually charging him over $500,000. On the edge of financial ruin, Vann starts a chartering business. But, when some new part of the ship isn't falling apart, he encounters freak storms. As his debts escalate, Vann begins to wonder if he is merely repeating his father's dreams and failures at sea—which ended with his father's suicide. At once a page-turning true story of adventure on the open ocean and an archetypal tale of one man's attempt to overcome fate and realize his dream, A Mile Down is an unforgettable story of struggle and redemption by a writer at the top of his form.

About David Vann

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Published June 15, 2005 by Da Capo Press. 256 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Sports & Outdoors, Nature & Wildlife. Non-fiction

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The crew’s saved by a dastardly German freighter captain who extends help but attempts to claim the vessel as salvage once Vann is brought aboard, when the boat can be considered abandoned.

May 01 2005 | Read Full Review of A Mile Down: The True Story o...

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It’s not that I *have* to review or discuss books, or that it’s all I know how to do, but as a librarian, when I review books, people listen — that’s obvious from the stats.

Nov 14 2007 | Read Full Review of A Mile Down: The True Story o...

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