cover image Windfall: The End of the Affair

Windfall: The End of the Affair

William F. Buckley, JR.. Random House (NY), $25 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-679-40397-5

Nineteen-ninety was an eventful year for the author: he was harpsichord soloist with the Yale and Raleigh, N.C., symphony orchestras, he retired as editor of the National Review, turned 65 and followed Columbus across the Atlantic. Buckley and five male companions (including son Christopher) chartered the 71-foot ketch Sealestial with captain, mate and cook for a November crossing, Lisbon to Barbados. As on other voyages ( Racing Through Paradise, Atlantic High ) each man kept a diary, and Buckley draws on them to round out his own account. In addition to the sailing adventure, there are many digressions. Buckley recalls his music lessons in childhood and his intense preparations for the 1990 concerts; he muses on the death of a friend, ponders family relationships and wonders whether this is his last sea voyage. The book is vintage Buckley--entertaining, irritating, never dull. Dolphin Book Club main selection; BOMC alternate. (May)