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Publisher's Summary

The Dunnes have set off on a 10-day boat trip, a trip that hopefully will bring them closer together, despite the fact that the father, Stuart, is staying behind on land. But only an hour into the trip, they're already falling apart. The teenage daughter plans to drown herself, and the teenage boy is high on drugs. Ten-year-old Ernie is near catatonic. Still, their mother, Anne, with the help of her brother-in-law, Jeff, is insistent on pulling everyone together, once and for all.
Just when things start to take a turn for the better, disaster strikes. Stuart is left to pick up the pieces and find his family - but he is eager to start a brand new life.
Maybe he's a little too eager.
©2008 James Patterson (P)2008 Hachette Audio
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
1 out of 5 stars
By Stephen on 08-16-08

This light summer read gave me a headache

This is Swiss family Robinson meets unbelievably stupid high powered bad people. It wrecked my "willing suspension of disbelief" from chapter 3, and there were 115 or so chapters.
If you recall Swiss Family Robinson, it portrayed adventure on the high seas and described survival in the wild in naiive terms that appeal to young boys. It is a classic, but it is a children's book from another time and we excuse it for its flaws.
SAIL is written for adults who are savvy to the ways of the world, and it disappoints them. It lacks understanding of processes within biology, physics, psychology, sociology and social systems. From the outset, there are questionable characters who have way too much money and way too much education to behave as they do. I lost interest in any motivation they might have because they are just way out of their own leagues to be believable.
The events in the book give me a headache. Details of sailing, ocean currents, shark behavior, hypothermia, floatation devices, boxes floating on the sea, Coast Guard searches, all of these made me wince. The characters should have been dead within 10 minutes of their big "disaster". The snake scene with the constrictor is laughable, as the author obviously never watched a snake take down prey. That scene still irks me.
The bad guys end up being inconceivably naiive, for an attorney and a CIA man. The good guys are way too lucky for the events that transpire. The only thing that keeps any of them alive is the author who employs Deus ex Machina not on purpose, but simply through ignorance that he killed them already.
At some point, I came to the conclusion that nobody helped this author at all with his story. He had no editorial input, no Devil's Advocate, no foil. When I read the cover summary of the book, I burst out laughing; the summary is written with the wrong details--whoever wrote it didn't even read the book! What a shame that Patterson had his name on the cover.

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9 of 9 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Richard on 06-15-08

Sail on

I don't write many reviews, but after throwing out the last three downloaded books, I thought this one should be rated. This book held my interest and I listened to the whole thing. You must suspend your disbelief in some parts, but it is fiction and literary license comes into play. I think this book is a little jewel and is the reason I continue on at Finding one that holds your interest and makes you want to turn off the tv and listen to it is too rare. Worth the credit.

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19 of 20 people found this review helpful

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