Mayflower: The Voyage from Hell

by Kevin Jackson

Reviewed by Howard Polskin

A terrific you-are-there style marks the strong writing and compelling narrative of “Mayflower: The Voyage from Hell.”  As the words fly off your Kindle or iPad, you can almost sense the rats scurrying over your water-logged feet, smell the sweat and vomit of the inner cabins, and feel the cold North Atlantic water seeping through the many cracks and crevices of one of the most famous vessels ever to set sail.  This, for those of you who didn’t pay attention in fourth grade, is the story of the Pilgrims (and other passengers as you’ll discover) and their epic journey in 1620 to find a new home and create a new society.  The best detail of the book – the one that truly frames the challenges of the journey – is that the Mayflower was only slightly bigger than a tennis court crammed with more than 125 voyagers.  Livestock also made the trip.  A woman gave birth.  And let’s not even discuss the facilities.  After reading this book, you’ll think the bathrooms on your next flight are the cleanest places on earth. Author Kevin Jackson provides a lot of back story about the notable passengers, and the problems they faced when they landed. At times it felt like Jackson didn’t have enough material about the voyage itself.  Nonetheless, for readers looking for a rousing adventure or a chance to brush up on the early history of America in 90 minutes, “Mayflower” is a first-classic ticket. 

Buy at: Amazon

1 reed=poor; 2 reeds=average; 3 reeds=good; 4 reeds=excellent

1 reed=poor; 2 reeds=average; 3 reeds=good; 4 reeds=excellent
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