Book review: Life at The Extreme - The Volvo Ocean Race Round the World 2005-6


 
Editor James Boyd pages through the official work of the last fully crewed race
With the Volvo Ocean Race done and dusted back in June, so it is inevitable that the official book and DVD of the race be on the bookshelves in time for the Christmas rush. This time around it has fallen on the broad shoulders of leading Australian journalist and author Rob Mundle to chronical the definitive record of the fully crewed around the world race. Readers may already be familiar with Mundle's top book on the terrible 1998 Sydney-Hobart race, Fatal Storm (available from Amazon in the UK here) - he has also written the authorised biography of his controversial countryman Alan Bond. His new Volvo book Life at The Extreme - The Volvo Ocean Race Round the World 2005-6, is written in a similarly sensationalist gripping documentary style that has become something of the norm with books of this type since the likes of Dava Sobel's Longitude and Sebastian Junger's The Perfect Storm defined the genre. "Imagine a sport where the participants put themselves under the same levels of stress as a soldier fighting on the front line in a war! That's the reality when it comes to the Volvo Ocean Race Round the World - proven by medical research during the previous event..." is the killer opening fact and a cracker. With a substantial feel and littered with some tremendous photography, Life At the Extreme is landscape in format, making it annoying for your neighbours when you try and read it on the train, but a great format for using images of boats really big. Unfortunately we didn't feel the book's designers really harnessed this for maximum effect. The book is most satisfying a two levels. Firstly the quick flick through and you realise that despite there being few boats on the start line of the last Volvo Ocean

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