Listen free for 30 days

Listen with a free trial

One credit a month, good for any title to download and keep.
Unlimited listening to the Plus Catalogue - thousands of select Audible Originals, podcasts and audiobooks.
Exclusive member-only deals.
No commitment - cancel anytime.
Buy Now for £14.99

Buy Now for £14.99

Pay using card ending in
By completing your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and authorise Audible to charge your designated card or any other card on file. Please see our Privacy Notice, Cookies Notice and Interest-based Ads Notice.

Summary

Off the Deep End is the first detailed study of the effect on sanity that the vastness, loneliness and inestimable power of the sea has always had on sailors' sanity, confusing the senses and making rational thought difficult. Eminently listenable, it explores accounts that span the centuries, from desperate stories of shipwreck and cannibalism in the Age of Sail, to inexplicable multiple murders, to Donald Crowhurst's suicide in the middle of the 1968 solo Golden Globe Race, leaving behind only rambling notebooks of mounting neurosis and paranoia.

In the 18th century, the Royal Navy's own physician found that sailors were seven times more likely to suffer from severe mental illness than members of the general population. On the no man's land of the high seas, beyond the rule of law, and away from any sight of land for weeks at a time, whilst living in an overcrowded and confined space, where anything that goes wrong would likely be fatal for all, the incredible pressures on sailors were immense. The ever-present fear drove some men to faith, in God and superstition, and drove some men mad. But that didn't stop as boat technology improved and seamanship evolved in the modern era.

Of interest to listeners of maritime history, psychology, sociology and behavioural science, this unique and fascinating book offers insight and analysis, as well as being a thoroughly absorbing listen about the effects of the cruel sea on the minds of men.

©2017 Bloomsbury (P)2017 Audible, Ltd.

What listeners say about Off the Deep End

Average customer ratings
Overall
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    7
  • 4 Stars
    1
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    6
  • 4 Stars
    0
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    6
  • 4 Stars
    1
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Off the deep enc

A wide ranging and humane account of the pressures and also the pleasures of setting sail.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Compelling listen

I purchased this audiobook in error, believing I had bought “Madhouse at the End of the Earth”. Fortunately, prior to contacting Audible for a refund, I listened to the first five minutes and was instantly hooked.

Off the Deep End is a highly listenable history of madness at sea.As someone with a casual interest in maritime history I found it fascinating and can recommend it wholeheartedly .