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  • 20 of 25 copies available at BC Interlibrary Connect. (Show)
  • 1 of 1 copy available at Terrace Public Library.

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Location Call Number / Copy Notes Barcode Shelving Location Holdable? Status Due Date
Terrace Public Library 910.9164 FRA (Text) 35151001018688 Adult Non-fiction Volume hold Available -

Record details

  • ISBN: 9781501116308 (pbk)
  • ISBN: 9781501116292
  • Physical Description: 274 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : ... Read More
    regular print
  • Edition: First Atria Books hardcover edition.
  • Publisher: New York : Atria Books, 2015.
  • Badges:
    • Top Holds Over Last 5 Years: 2 / 5.0

Content descriptions

General Note:
Coloured map on endpapers.
Subject: Alvarenga, Salvador -- approximately 1977
Survival at sea -- Pacific Ocean
Shipwrecks -- Marshall Islands
Fishers -- Mexico -- Chiapas -- Biography
Fishing villages -- Mexico -- Chiapas -- Social life and customs
Fishing boats -- Mexico -- Chiapas
Fisheries -- Mexico -- Chiapas -- History
Salvadorans -- Mexico -- Chiapas -- Biography
Illegal aliens -- Mexico -- Biography
Chiapas (Mexico) -- Biography

  • Booklist Reviews : Booklist Reviews 2015 November #1
    Stranded at sea for months on end with no salvation in sight, Salvador Alvarenga turned to anything he could get his hands on to survive. But in addition to his prowess in hunting birds and catching fish, his ability to escape in his mind played an enormous role in his feat of surviving 14 months adrift in the Pacific Ocean, as recounted by reporter Franklin in this harrowing tale. As a fisherman off the coast of Mexico, Alvarenga had faced his share of close calls at sea. But when a storm blew him and his mate miles out from shore and their motor quit, it was the beginning of what would become the longest known voyage by a survivor in a small boat, totaling 9,000 miles. Franklin sprinkles the story with expert opinions to give it depth and context, but the most striking details are those offered by Alvarenga himself about the challenges he faced day in and day out. A spectacular triumph of grit over adversity, 438 Days is an intense, immensely absorbing read. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.
  • BookPage Reviews : BookPage Reviews 2015 December
    Alone at sea

    BookPage Nonfiction Top Pick, December 2015

    "His name was Salvador and he arrived with bloody feet." From the opening sentence of Jonathan Franklin's 438 Days: An Extraordinary True Story of Survival at Sea, this riveting adventure has us in its grip, spellbound and eager to know more about the mysterious Salvador Alvarenga.

    We learn that Alvarenga arrived in the Mexican coastal village of Costa Azul in the fall of 2008 looking to start a new life and leave behind his troubles in El Salvador. With bravado and tenacity, Alvarenga worked his way up, first taking menial jobs and gaining the villagers' trust, and eventually captaining his own boat and earning a reputation as the best fisherman in the village.

    On November 17, 2012, Alvarenga set out with an untested mate, Cordoba, hoping to outrun a possible Norteno—a violent storm capable of producing hurricane-strength winds. After a successful haul on the fishing grounds, the pair headed home, but within 20 miles of shore, their boat encountered the Norteno. To avoid capsizing in rough seas, they jettisoned almost all of their supplies; their engine failed, and by the time the winds had calmed, the two were floating far from shore at the mercy of fickle weather and the currents of the Pacific Ocean.

    Franklin, who spent a year interviewing Alvarenga, meticulously recounts the day-to-day lives of these mariners and their attempts to survive. Although Cordoba died in early 2013, the resourceful Alvarenga fought on, devising ways to catch fish, turtles and birds, and constructing a makeshift rain barrel out of plastic bottles found in the ocean. He repaired his tattered clothing with a fish fin fashioned into a needle.

    By the time he washed ashore on one of the atolls in the Marshall Islands on January 29, 2014, Alvarenga had survived longer at sea in a small boat than anyone previously recorded. His story of resilience, ingenuity and grit is an unforgettable true-life adventure.


    This article was originally published in the December 2015 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

    Copyright 2012 BookPage Reviews.
  • Kirkus Reviews : Kirkus Reviews 2015 October #1
    One man's grueling odyssey across the Pacific Ocean on a crippled 25-foot fishing vessel. Documentarian and journalist Franklin (33 Men: Inside the Miraculous Survival and Dramatic Rescue of the Chilean Miners, 2011) meticulously re-creates the harrowing voyage of Salvador Alvarenga, a fisherman whose boat lost motor power hours after leaving the coast of Mexico and was cast adrift upon the ocean in November 2012. Since his arrival in the fishing village of Costa Azul four years prior, optimistic Alvarenga managed a unique work-life balance where "four-day drinking binges might be followed by ten days of non-stop fishing. Or vice versa." It was during one of these lengthy fishing trips when he and young shipmate Ezequiel Cordoba ran into trouble. Expertly culled together from nine months of recollective personal interviews with Alvarenga as well as official search-and-rescue documentation, Franklin describes what was intended as a 30-hour expedition, but one that ran into sto rmy weather (forewarned to him by the boat's owner). As much as the men attempted to navigate and stabilize through the squall, the boat's motor, radio, and GPS all failed, blowing them far off course and well beyond the Mexican Coast Guard's limited reach. The ensuing months aboard the boat form an exhaustive, unnerving, and exquisitely surreal survival narrative as Alvarenga, becoming increasingly imperiled and helpless, began implementing desperate self-preservation tactics in order to fend off starvation, dehydration, scurvy, and hungry oceanic predators. More than a year later, in early 2014, Alvarenga was discovered naked and delirious in the Marshall Islands, 5,500 miles away from where he initially set sail (Cordoba died several months into the journey). Though Franklin admits to initially doubting the veracity of Alvarenga's story ("Who survives 14 months at sea?"), his vicarious documentation ultimately became "an adventure and an education that I will never forget . " Meanwhile, Alvarenga now celebrates the innumerable "small pleasures" of the simple life on land. Though the story is clouded with public skepticism, this is a fascinating, action-packed account of long-term survival on the open seas. Copyright Kirkus 2015 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.
  • Library Journal Reviews : LJ Reviews 2015 November #1

    In an amazing story of endurance, ingenuity, and pure tenacity, Franklin (33 Men: Inside the Miraculous Survival and Dramatic Rescue of the Chilean Miners) relates how Salvadoran fisherman Jose Salvador Alvarenga survived adrift on the Pacific Ocean for 438 days. On November 17, 2012, Alvarenga and his first-mate Ezequiel Cordoba were caught in a fierce storm off Mexico's southwest coast and swept out to sea after their boat's motor failed. Based on author interviews with Alvarenga, his friends and family, scientists, U.S. Coast Guard rescue experts, diplomats, and others involved in the saga, Franklin presents a gripping narrative detailing how Alvarenga survived. Over the next 14 months, while drifting thousands of miles across the Pacific, Alvarenga caught and ate raw fish, sharks, birds and turtles; collected and drank rainwater; and scavenged through Pacific trash he encountered. Cordoba died three months into the voyage after refusing to eat anything except turtle; he was buried at sea. On January 29, 2014, Alvarenga beached his boat in the Marshall Islands, 6,500 miles away. As one expert summed up this feat, "[Alvarenga] was extremely unlucky and terribly fortunate at the same time." VERDICT This book will thrill readers of true-life adventures and survival.—Margaret Atwater-Singer, Univ. of Evansville Lib., IN

    [Page 92]. (c) Copyright 2015 Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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