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Fearless: One Woman, One Kayak, One Continentby Joe Glickman
Synopses & Reviews
Like the instant classic The Last American Man, Fearless is the story of a remarkable individual who accepts no personal limits—including fear. Freya Hoffmeister, a forty-six-year-old former sky diver, gymnast, marksman, and Miss Germany contestant, left her twelve-year-old son behind to paddle alone and unsupported around Australia—a year-long adventure that virtually every expert guaranteed would get her killed. She planned not only to survive the 9,420-mile trip through huge, shark-infested seas, but to do it faster than the only other paddler who did it.
As journalist and expert kayaker Joe Glickman details the voyage of this Teutonic force of nature, he captures interminable days on the water and nights camped out on deserted islands; hair-raising encounters with crocs and great white sharks; and the daring 300-mile open-ocean crossing that shaved three weeks off her trip. For 332 days Glickman followed Freyas journey on her blog—along with a far-flung audience of awestruck, even lovesick, groupies—as she took on one terrifying ordeal after the next. In the end, he says, “her vanity and pigheadedness paled next to her nearly superhuman ability to master fear and persevere.”
"Travel writer and kayaker Glickman (The Kayak Companion) noted early on during his conversations with Freya Hoffmeister — the 46-year old German mother of one who completed the 9,420-mile trip around Australia alone in a kayak over the course of 332 days — that his interviewee, while no doubt fearless, was also 'blunt, dismissive,' and remarkably vain, 'unwilling or unable to carry on a conversation that wasn't about her.' But that's not to say her story isn't an interesting one. Bulwarked by her go-to rhetorical question-cum-life philosophy, 'Vasdaproblum?,' Hoffmeister mostly refuses to engage with Glickman's pressing questions regarding her motivations and aspirations, though at one point she admits that 'No one who is paddling around Australia is happy at home.' Glickman's character study takes the forefront, as the author does little to disguise his incredulity — and concomitant admiration, as a fellow kayaker — at her adventurous attitude and physical prowess. Unfortunately, Glickman occasionally gets out of his depth and one senses he's likely too close to his subject to maintain a proper journalistic distance, but overall his newest is a quick and entertaining read. (Feb.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Freya Hoffmeister takes on sharks, crocs, and huge surf in the most audacious paddle adventure of the century.
Fearless is the story of Freya Hoffmeister, a forty-six-year-old former sky diver, gymnast, marksman, and Miss Germany contestant, who left her twelve-year-old son behind to paddle alone and unsupported around Australia—a year-long adventure that virtually every expert guaranteed would get her killed. She was determined not only to survive the 9,420-mile trip through huge, shark-infested seas, but to do it faster than the only other paddler to have completed the circuit, twenty-seven years earlier.
Journalist and expert kayaker Joe Glickman follows Freyas 332-day voyage, including the daring 350-mile open-ocean crossing that shaved three weeks off her trip. In the end, he says, “Her vanity and pigheadedness paled next to her nearly superhuman ability to master fear and persevere.”
About the Author
Joe Glickman is a recipient of the Lowell Thomas Award for travel writing. His work has appeared in Outside, Mens Journal, National Geographic Adventure, Backpacker, Canoe & Kayak, and leading national newspapers. His books include To The Top and The Kayak Companion. He is a two-time member of the U.S. National Marathon Kayak Team.
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