Jim Hansen, the New York Times bestselling author of First Man, has written a sweeping saga involving two extraordinary—and extraordinarily different—adventurers who have only one thing in common: the ambition to cross the Atlantic in a rowboat . . . alone.
‘Completely Mad’ is a bracing adventure tale, and in these pages, the story of John Fairfax and Tom McClean are woven together for the first time. Fairfax would set off from the Canary Islands, off the coast of Africa, with his sights on Florida. McClean charted a course from Newfoundland to Ireland. The two men couldn’t have been more different. John Fairfax was a golden-haired playboy, gambler, smuggler, and ex-pirate who blamed his boat often, and who brazenly took time off from his goal of reaching America to hop aboard large ships for a drink, a shower, and good food. He courted the press like a Hollywood star. The egoless Tom McClean was an orphan with a tough childhood, who ran off to become a British paratrooper. Tom was a purist who loved his boat Silver and never once took time off from rowing to relax on a remote beach or cruise ship. After 70 days, he landed on the rocky coast of Ireland to no fanfare and headed straight to the nearest pub.
Though the two men’s remarkable transoceanic journeys seem pulled from a different era, both finished within days of the first landing on the Moon: July 20th, 1969.
Filled with gale-force winds, backbreaking effort, menacing sharks, playful dolphins, awe-inspiring natural beauty, great mishaps, failed equipment, hyperthermia, near-drowning, the fighting of mental and physical lethargy, creative problem-solving, phantom illusions on the water, and glorious moments of bliss, ‘Completely Mad’ stands alongside other classics of ocean adventure. Hansen’s book is filled with gripping and insightful prose, and readers will enjoy this nail-biting, epic tale of endurance.
A perfect read for anyone who is looking for literature with an entrepreneurial spirit that parallels the currents of his or her business passion.