Sean Conway ‘Hell and High Water’ book review
A humorous and inspirational read, with an unwanted guest appearance from a shark
If you’ve ever quaked with fear at the start of an open-water swim, reading this book will probably reassure and terrify you in equal measure.
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It tells the story of extreme-adventurer Sean Conway’s attempt to swim the length of Britain from Land’s End to John O’Groats – approximately 900 miles.
The only problem? He wasn’t a particularly good swimmer. He freely admits that he did all his training in the local pool and at first “was so awful I had to get out after 10 lengths because I felt dizzy and nauseous”.
The rest of the book is a humorous and inspirational account of his trip, taken with the support of a tiny crew, a tiny boat, a too-big wetsuit and a massive, jellyfish-repelling ginger beard.
If you like all things swim- and sea-related then this book’s got it all. There’s even an unwanted guest appearance from a shark – pretty impressive given the location of his swim!
Verdict: The man’s a hero, even if his story did give us nightmares, 85%