It was a story that made headlines: In 2004, Canadian Thomas Evensen perished in the North Atlantic in the arms of his nephew after a failed attempt to sail to Norway. It was a tragic death and one that left many unanswered questions: Why wasn’t he wearing the survival suit that could have saved his life? And why would an inexperienced sailor undertake such a dangerous voyage?
In this deeply compelling story, journalist John Chipman retraces Thomas’s voyage from its beginnings—his boyhood dream of learning to sail with his father and his midlife decision to fulfill that dream with his own son, culminating in the purchase of a sailboat ill-equipped for the journey. And then there is the voyage itself, a heart-stopping and ultimately doomed endeavour. Skilfully interweaving conversations with those whose lives were touched by Thomas, as well as his nephew’s first-hand account of the boat’s final days, John Chipman tells a story that is both harrowing and heartbreaking.
A page-turning saga from beginning to end, The Obsession is an incisive and memorable portrait of a fatal voyage and of an ordinary man with an extraordinary, and extraordinarily misguided, dream.