Jonathan Franklin

Jonathan Franklin

As an investigative journalist and non-fiction writer, I seek to capture the spirit of extreme survival. After more than a decade covering South American narco wars and organized crime heists, I realized I was risking my life for no good cause and switched careers. Now, I chronicle the everyday heroism of extreme survival. My books include A WILD IDEA, a rollicking, inspirational biography of environmental activist Douglas Tompkins who fought for the survival of forests never logged, rivers never dammed and animals never fenced in. Working for nearly 25 years Tompkins singlehandedly launched a campaign to create a half dozen national parks in South America. I call him the greatest conservationist you've never heard of. Released in June 2022, my most recent book is CABIN FEVER with my colleague Michael Smith -- this is a terrifying true story of survival at sea, aboard a cruise ship ambushed by Covid. Based on exclusive interviews with passengers and crew, CABIN FEVER, chronicles the heroics as beleaguered crew members fight to survive as port after port refuses to receive what is known as "The Pariah Ship. Earlier books include 438 Days - a tale of survival at sea that Outside magazine called "the best survival book in a decade." I spent months interviewing fisherman Salvador Alvarenga and diving deep into the world of extreme survival. At first, it seemed impossible. How could a fisheman adrift in a tiny boat live 14 months at sea? Only Hollywood could have an ending like this where a single man drifts 6,000 miles and survives on his wits, humor, and resourcefulness. But it's true, Alvarenga lived for over a year in his tiny fishing boat, adrift in the Pacific. This is a daring, bold tale that highlights the simple pleasures in life. Like a glass of water. A square of chocolate. A smile. Maybe life isn't so complicated?
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