The Boy Who Fell to Shore: The Extraordinary Life and Mysterious Disappearance of Thomas Thor Tangvald, by Charles J. Doane. Softcover, 305 pp., 5-1/4” x 8”
Thomas Thor Tangvald was born at sea aboard his father's 50’ wooden cutter. His pelagic childhood was scarred by horrific tragedies that left him an orphan at age 15. Intellectually gifted and uniquely educated, his own life evolved into one of addiction and broken relationships. Thomas hasn't been seen since he sailed alone in 2014 from French Guiana, en-route to a hoped-for new life in Brazil with his young family.
“The Boy Who Fell to Shore is a rare glimpse of a rare human. … [Charles Doane] brings a deeply sensitive approach to his portrait of Thomas.”
—Matthew P. Murphy
“WoodenBoat Review,” WB No. 290
The most interesting stories are in my view often those at a crossing of passion and obsession. This is such a story of a young man living his life crossing the line. I just read this biography of Thomas Tangvald and could not put this book away. It is a tragic story, very well researched and well documented by Charles Doane. It reads like a novel, but unfortunately it is a true and sad story of this very intelligent blue water sailor who, after experiencing several very tragic events, the loss of his mother, his stepmother, father and half-sister respectively seems somewhat lost in life. Nevertheless, I am impressed by the knowledge displayed using only the most basic tools in navigation sailing the oceans. I read the book with my laptop next to it using Google maps to get a sense of the locations and the book even allowed me to find a Norwegian documentary on the internet following Thomas Tangvald’s perils. The book also gives a good insight in the community of blue water sailors who form a very tight and caring group. The author gives a very balanced view on events, but equally of what goes on in the mind of Thomas through the letters he wrote and the interviews held with his relatives and the blue water community. I can only highly recommend this great though sad story. Five star+.