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Philpott, David.

Toronto, McClelland and Stewart, c1985. 179pp, cloth, $2455, ISBN 0-7710-6998-7. CIP

Reviewed by L. McGrath

Volume 14 Number 4
1986 July

A successful, yet unfulfilled Toronto chief executive director, David Philpott realized at the age of fifty that the corporation he had built had made him financially independent, and no longer required his constant attention. Confronted with the "rare, sought after and terrifying possibility of not working for a living," in which "one side of the brain relishes the security and potential leisure; the other comes to the depressing conclusion that this man is no longer needed," Philpott's reaction was to strike out on the adventure of sailing around the world along in his small vessel, Serenity IV. Although disaster forced him to abandon ship six thousand miles into the voyage, Philpott found his experience of solitude and danger deeply satisfying. He was also gratified to realize that he had won acceptance as a fellow mariner from the brave merchant marine sailors who rescued him.

Philpott recounts his story from the vantage point of his voyage in Serenity IV, interspersing sailing chapters with detailed reminiscences about earlier years spent struggling to build a corporation, and giving a cautious account of the personal life that had become barren and unhappy with the passage of time. This technique recreates the reflective atmosphere of the voyage and keeps the narrative moving at a brisk pace. Philpott's prose is crisp and readable, but rather tense. Now and then he permits himself a glimmer of humour, giving some welcome light moments to a book that is otherwise very serious in tone.

Illustrated with photographs, Dangerous Waters is well bound, with high quality paper and clear type. Recommended for adult collections.

L. McGrath, Toronto P.L., Toronto, Ont.
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