A Mile Down: The True Story of a Disastrous Career at Sea

Front Cover
Thunder's Mouth Press, 2005 - Biography & Autobiography - 236 pages
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.

What people are saying - Write a review

A MILE DOWN: The True Story of a Disastrous Career at Sea

User Review  - Kirkus

The author pursues his dream of becoming a charter-boat captain, even though Lady Luck keeps hitting him on the head as if with a baseball bat.Debut memoirist Vann doesn't want to follow in the ... Read full review

A Mile Down: The True Story of a Disastrous Career at Sea

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

The sea can be a brutal and unforgiving place, and Vann has certainly felt the rough edge of it. A writer and former lecturer at Stanford, he purchased a boat in Turkey and began a life as a charter ... Read full review

About the author (2005)

David Vann is an internationally bestselling author whose work has been translated into nineteen languages. He is the winner of fifteen prizes, including France's Prix Medicis etranger, Spain's Premi Llibreter, the Grace Paley Prize, a California Book Award, the AWP Nonfiction Prize, and France's Prix des lecteurs de L'Express. His books--Legend of a Suicide, Caribou Island, Dirt, A Mile Down, and Last Day on Earth--have appeared on seventy best books of the year lists in a dozen countries. A former Guggenheim fellow, Wallace Stegner fellow, John L'Heureux fellow, and National Endowment for the Arts fellow, he is a professor at the University of Warwick in England. He has written for the Atlantic, Esquire, Outside, Men's Journal, McSweeney's, the Sunday Times, the Observer, the Sunday Telegraph, and many others, and he has appeared in documentaries for the BBC, Nova, National Geographic, and CNN.

Bibliographic information