Books: Voyage in Self-Deception

THE STRANGE LAST VOYAGE OF DONALD CROWHURST by Nicholas Tomalin and Ron Hall. 317 pages. Stein and Day. $7.95.

On the last drizzly day of October 1968, 36-year-old Donald Crowhurst set sail out of Teignmouth, England, the tail-end starter in a single-handed nonstop sailboat race around the world. Eight months later, newspapers reported Crowhurst on the last leg of his voyage making excellent speed and sure to finish with the fastest time. Then came word that a freighter had discovered Crowhurst's yacht, ghosting along under its mizzen but still seaworthy, mysteriously abandoned in mid-Atlantic.

When Crowhurst's logbooks were examined, the story became...

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