Available ebook formats: epub mobi pdf rtf lrf pdb txt html
Hi! call me Don
I was born as Lawrence Huntingdon-Rusch-de Robillard, adopted and renamed again. I was reborn on June 6th 2012 as the Writer Don Darkes. My choice of pseudonym is due partly to the fact that I am penning a Biographical Memoir entitled My Life of Crime, the memoir of an intriguing man, the "real" Don Darkes who was marked with this identity at birth to protect a secret and the fact that like him, my given name also conceals my true heritage. The irony in this tickles my love of the bizarre and my sense of the ridiculous. Of course it makes marketing sense too since any of my "real" names would fill a book cover and leave no space for the Title!
Following a number of exciting and successful careers in Construction, Manufacturing, Information Technology, Franchising and Entrepreneurship I find myself combining them all into my new role as an Author.
I repudiated my Psychology degree in the mid-seventies prior to serving my mandatory National Military Service in a top-secret Electronic Warfare unit, clandestinely deployed in Rhodesia, (Now Zimbabwe) a horrendous episode, for which I later received a medal. (novel in progress)
During the eighties, at the height of apartheid, together with (then) illegal “black” partners I built a successful manufacturing company. Following a series of traumatic events I sold it and opted-out to buy the yacht upon which I was shipwrecked together with my wife, our five year old son and four year old daughter. ( Non fiction novel, Pisces the Sailfish) After returning destitute to South Africa I rode a ripple in the dot.com wave and sold my Internet start-up in order to distribute organic chocolate and to research a challenging historical novel exploring an intriguing link between the Jewish Holocaust and Madagascar. ( Novel in progress– Bread from Air)
Currently, together with my wife, son and two daughters we are building another yacht whilst I work on several books with a common denominator; my love of history and my belief that fact is stranger and far more interesting than fiction.
on Nov. 17, 2012 :
Pisces, The Sailfish by Don Darkes is a riveting story about a man who drops out of city life, and uproots his family to find an alternative lifestyle. The family moves into a jinxed sailboat and take residence in a yacht club marina. The description of a yatchie's life is humrous, eye-popping, and if you ever considered doing such a thing ... Don Darkes experiences will talk you out of it. Everything that could go wrong with the boat, did. You endure with them; you pull for them, and you marvel at their travel and experiences, especially in Madagaspar. A mysterious place to say the least. Don Darkes shows us the spirit of "true grit" - This novel is for everyone who's spirit of adventure lurks on the perimeter of his soul. I give it five stars because its entertaining, has practical and useful information, and very gutsy.
(reviewed 43 days after purchase)
on Oct. 13, 2012 :
Reviewed by Alex Canton-Dutari
While reading the introductory notes by the author I was assured of two main things: 1- No excess of sailing lore and 2- References to South Africa's apartheid from an observers viewpoint.
The reference to the boat's curse I interpreted more as a vehicle for the story to develop. On the other hand, "Sailing is the price I reluctantly pay for the time I enjoy anchored safely in a new port" assured me that this book was about more than sailing.
A hint of a feeling of revenge opened my mind to an underlying story, which was masterfully portrayed. And I was admired, as a clinical psychologist, that such a painful secret was patiently carried by the main character's soul until the right moment.
I appreciated learning some traditional South African rites such as brai, which is also practiced in my country, Panama, though not in an official racist and gender apartheid, in the countryside.
The sandblaster incident was hilarious, and the ancestral beliefs and traditions of the people of Madagascar were valuable cultural inputs.
There were mild grammar slips, though they may be actual bits of South African lore when the author related to something that really hit home.
This is an author whose works I shall continue reading.
About the boat's curse? I think it actually enhanced the owner's life.
(reviewed 4 days after purchase)
on Oct. 09, 2012 :
The first thing I have to say about this author is that he is a real storyteller. In fact, 6692 Pisces the Sailfish, which turns out to be the first memoir by Don Darkes, is a series of stories that will keep you turning pages long after you should be asleep. I believe I can promise you have not read stories like these.
Pisces is a series of true stories in the author's life, yes, but it is also a series of disasters. Real disasters. This man should not be alive to tell the tale today.
Yet, he says, disaster was the best thing that ever happened to him. He lost every material thing he owned, but discovered that the only true possession of real value is love and family.
What really intrigued was the fact that Don Darkes had a poisonous secret trapped inside him that was only released when someone he hated, someone that he had tried to murder, died. For 20 years, this story was bottled up inside him before he could write about it. What could cause such hatred? I wondered. Well, I found out, but I'm not going to ruin the story for you.
I'll just say that Don and his family set sail in a cursed yacht on the adventure of a lifetime and the events that followed would not be believed if you read about them in fiction. But truth is stranger than fiction, is it not?
I have to say that the book could do with a bit more editing and it contains plenty of adult content. And some of the graphic detail was a bit too much for such a sensitive soul as my goodself (says he with tongue in cheek). However, I also know that the book will absorb you and leave you thinking about it long after you've finished reading.
There are some serious themes here, though often relieved by humour and attitude. It's the true story of how one family overcame tremendous odds to survive together and bounce back looking for more adventure.
If you like daring adventure, if you like the idea of an incredible fight for survival, if you like the outcome of a family welded together forever, then I certainly recommend this book for you. Five stars for honesty in storytelling.
(reviewed 4 days after purchase)
on Oct. 02, 2012 :
An exciting story of escape and one family's adventures on the
high sea aboard the sailing vessel "6692 Pisces". Superstitious
sailors and humorous moments unfold throughout the story.
Touching accounts of unity and high sea terror as faulty packing material allows incoming seawater overwhelms the bilge pumps. The fear that strikes the heart of knowing your vessel is sinking. “Land ho! Land ho!” fills the heart with mixed emotions of excitement and relief. "6692 Pisces" is a must read for those who have an adventuresome spirit.
E. W. Aldridge, Sr.
(reviewed 2 days after purchase)
on Sep. 27, 2012 :
Living the universal dream, the author and his family set off on adventure, buying a yacht and setting sail to see the world. However, they are unaware that the boat is affordable because it is cursed. Despite warnings, they remain optimistic. Small setbacks keep delaying their departure, but they are unswerving in their determination. They finally set out o their first cruise, but one difficulty after another seems to befall them.
This is an often amusing, sometimes disturbing memoir.
(reviewed 3 days after purchase)