Guest Reviewer Julie Haigh reviews Mighty by Matt Crofton


(*****Five Stars) One of the best books I’ve read in ages!, 10 Jun. 2016
By Julie Haigh

I received a free ecopy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Wow, this was a great memoir! In 2010, the author was given just 48 hours to live. He made it through everything and wanted to say thanks and give others hope by setting himself a challenge: he took up paddle boarding and vowed to become the first person to paddle the length of the Mississippi River. The book has a quick and snappy start and takes no time at all before you’re hooked on reading it. This memoir is about triumphing over everything and seeing how precious life is when you’ve nearly lost it. He was just 36 when he nearly died.

The Mississippi is known as the Mighty-so that’s the significance of the book title (I didn’t know that before reading this book.) He intends to travel ‘The Mighty’ and the end of his destination will be New Orleans. On a Stand Up Paddle Board. This will be an approximately 2,400 mile journey. At this time he’s only been walking on his own for eight months after his ordeal. He had spent two months fighting for his life, it had been months before he could walk again. He found ill-health so hard to come to terms with. I was intrigued as to what ‘the incident’ might be-and the ‘innocent mistake’ which had put him in hospital. With regard to his proposed challenging trip, I was thinking: why is he doing this? He’s not fully fit yet! This is just the sort of book to inspire and lift. He had come so close to losing his life. He wants to say thank you and ‘pay it forward’ as he says.
Achievements before for him include travelling the country on a motorcycle. He also lived on a sailboat in the Pacific Ocean. This is a memoir of inspiration, hope, travel and adventure. I was thinking that I’d like to hear what lead up to his illnesses and fight for life-the medical side. I was hoping this would be covered in the book-it was! This was a really interesting and different read for me. An amazing memoir.
I don’t know anything about sailing/surfing/paddle boarding etc. but I LOVED this-it was so varied-we have the medical stuff, the travel, emotions, I learned lots of things-a wonderful read! So wise, brave, inspiring. Would his Old faithful paddleboard survive the trip? You’re kept guessing a bit. It really is a very good book. I enjoyed reading about the people who invite him to eat with them, eat out with them, and give him food and supplies to help him on. There were many good Samaritans out there and it was amazing the generosity he was shown.
I thought this memoir sounded interesting when I read the blurb…..but I was blown away by it! It was amazing! He kept a journal, he was writing this book as he went on his trip. He writes with so much tenderness about meeting Suzie and spending time with her. Contrast this with tension, action, adventure and there’s so much variety in here. One of the best books I’ve read in ages! Wonderful!
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