Sole Survivor

By Ruthanne Lum McCunn
Read by Johanna Ward

6.73 Hours 09/01/2002 unabridged
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On November 23, 1942, German U-Boats torpedoed the British ship Benlomond. It sank in the Atlantic in two minutes. The sole survivor was a second steward named Poon Lim who, with no knowledge of the sea, managed to stay alive for 133 days on a small wooden raft. Based on three years of interviews, Sole Survivor reconstructs Poon’s remarkable ordeal. We learn of a ship’s crew that saw him but refused to pick him up; his ingenious ways of trapping water and catching fish (later used in US Navy training films); and his arrival at land, only to find it an impenetrable jungle. When he was finally rescued at the mouth of the Amazon River, Poon was hailed as the “World’s Champion Survivor.” He still holds the Guinness World Record for survival at sea. His story is an amazing tale of a young man’s fortitude in the face of overwhelming odds.

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Summary

Summary

On November 23, 1942, German U-Boats torpedoed the British ship Benlomond. It sank in the Atlantic in two minutes. The sole survivor was a second steward named Poon Lim who, with no knowledge of the sea, managed to stay alive for 133 days on a small wooden raft.

Based on three years of interviews, Sole Survivor reconstructs Poon’s remarkable ordeal. We learn of a ship’s crew that saw him but refused to pick him up; his ingenious ways of trapping water and catching fish (later used in US Navy training films); and his arrival at land, only to find it an impenetrable jungle. When he was finally rescued at the mouth of the Amazon River, Poon was hailed as the “World’s Champion Survivor.” He still holds the Guinness World Record for survival at sea. His story is an amazing tale of a young man’s fortitude in the face of overwhelming odds.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“Inviting reading…[Sole Survivor] rings with truth as well as excitement."  San Francisco Chronicle
“A book of major interest and importance by an American-Chinese author of remarkable talent.”  Dallas Times
“[McCunn] shows us a meek, dependent person who is suddenly thrown on his own resources to remain alive…Through tortuous trial and error, Poon…learns to fish with a nail, to collect rainwater and to keep alert despite storms, blazing sun and nighttime cold. Five months later, when he washes ashore in Brazil, he is a matured man. Poon’s experience makes for a dignified, uplifting adventure tale.” Publishers Weekly
“The tale of Poon Lim’s ordeal, including his thoughts and dreams, are told in Johanna Ward’s soft, pleasant voice, as though she were reading a child’s bedtime story. Her taciturn descriptions of the taste of fish eyes and the intestinal contents of sea birds are not for the squeamish and would be a good awakening for youngsters who won’t eat their vegetables.” AudioFile
“A vivid account of how one man used his intelligence and ingenuity to survive against incredible odds.” School Library Journal
“A classic saga of ordeal and survival that reminds us of the courage, strength, and resourceful intelligence of which human beings are capable.” Tillie Olsen, author of Tell Me a Riddle

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Ruthanne Lum McCunn

Ruthanne Lum McCunn was born in San Francisco’s Chinatown and grew up in Hong Kong. She has published seven books on the experiences of Chinese people in America, including Thousand Pieces of Gold. She currently resides in San Francisco.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, Digital Rental, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Nonfiction
Runtime: 6.73
Audience: Adult
Language: English