438 Days

438 Days

An Extraordinary True Story of Survival at Sea

Book - 2015
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The miraculous account of the man who survived alone and adrift at sea longer than anyone in recorded history. For fourteen months, Alvarenga survived constant shark attacks. He learned to catch fish with his bare hands. He built a fish net from a pair of empty plastic bottles. Taking apart the outboard motor, he fashioned a huge fishhook. Using fish vertebrae as needles, he stitched together his own clothes. Based on dozens of hours of interviews with Alvarenga and interviews with his colleagues, search and rescue officials, the medical team that saved his life and the remote islanders who nursed him back to health, this is an epic tale of survival.
Publisher: New York : Atria Books, 2015
Edition: First Atria Books hardcover edition
ISBN: 9781501116292
Branch Call Number: 910.9164 AL862F 2015
Characteristics: 274 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (some color), maps (some color) ; 24 cm


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Jun 26, 2018

This is a riveting story of survival on the ocean written in an easy to read style. Lots of dramatic moments and details. The author adds just the right amount of background research to educate the reader. Evidently the veracity of the story was checked by the author. Ultimately, the only source of all the events on the boat was one individual as expressed by a writer whose aim was to sell a story. Common sense would suggest that few people could remember the details of any 438 days of life without a journal. If you add extreme physical suffering, psychological stress, and malnutrition, much of the account could be called into question. Nevertheless, I still enjoyed the story and its tidbits of knowledge. For instance, the prevalence of sea turtles as a food and fluid source is encouraging for any castaway. But I would be wary of eating raw animal intestines and bird feathers -- those are more likely to cost more loss in diarrhea and parasites than provide nutrition. Alvarenga's mental will power and resourcefulness is unforgettable. Even if it were half true, the story is still compelling.

Jun 16, 2018

The author did a great job putting this book together and laying out the story the way he did with all of the interviews, history, and imagery. I started reading and I couldn't stop until it was done. I can't believe what the man endured and how he adapted. This story of man vs nature has me thinking about society, god, evolution, the environment... this is a must read.

May 31, 2018

Very well researched and written book. Though you probably know the outcome the details and insight from various experts is informative and consistently enjoyable.

May 15, 2018

Fisherman Jose Salvador Alvarenga is the ideal person to be adrift at sea for over a year. He'll eat anything, and loved being on the water.

I realized [again] that I would die in such situations. I like water to drink, and would have a VERY hard time eating raw birds, sea turtles and various fishes, in their entireties, including blood.

"We know people who get sea sick are often the first to die in a sea survival situations." Great...I'm a goner.

Sep 11, 2017

An unfathomable story highlighting the determination of the human spirit and the will to survive.

ArapahoeSarahD Aug 23, 2016

I am not sure how often I took a breath while reading this book. It is a captivating story of survival against all odds. It makes me wonder if I have the same strength within me. Doubtful, but a girl can wonder.

Jun 25, 2016

Amazing and unbelivable story!!!

Apr 18, 2016

Great book. Inspirational and well told, reads like a novel but its true. Lots of background info on related topics so was a lot more interesting than a day by day account.

d2013 Mar 13, 2016

Incredible story of survival and what he did to survive is beyond belief. A real page-turner!

CMLReads_Chrissie Feb 18, 2016

Extraordinary story is right! I raced through this book to find out how anyone could survive more than a year floating across the Pacific.


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Apr 02, 2016

LeDoux thinks this title is suitable for 17 years and over


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