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The Open Boat and Other Stories
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The Open Boat and Other Stories

3.77 of 5 stars 3.77  ·  rating details  ·  1,229 ratings  ·  32 reviews
Four prized selections by one of America's greatest writers: "The Open Boat," based on a harrowing incident in the author's life: the 1897 sinking of a ship on which he was a passenger; "The Blue Hotel," "The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky," and the novella Maggie: A Girl of the Streets.
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Kindle Edition
Published (first published 1898)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,830)
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Muna
Once, in a royal fit of frustration, I jumped up on the bed in the middle of night, the mattress balanced precariously on stolen cinder blocks, and yelled: Just put me on a boat in the middle of the ocean with one gallon of water and one box of biscuits and let me die there and then I'll tell you what life is like. My boyfriend was speechless. And half asleep.

Stephen Crane, as a young journalist, was actually stranded in a boat in the middle of the sea, and this is the true story of that. He mad
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Teresa
I liked this story a lot more than I thought I would. The more I read of Crane, the more I like his style -- and wonder what else he might have produced if he hadn't died so young. This story fits in with the Crane poem:

A man said to the universe:
"Sir, I exist!"
"However," replied the universe,
"The fact has not created in me
A sense of obligation."


In "The Open Boat" the cadence of his words when the boat is on the water evoked the rising and falling of the rough waves that rock the open boat.
Alyssa
I was impressed with Crane's ability to write so fully and beautifully in a short story. The battle between the natural world and mankind and our apparent helplessness. Naturalism...
Ricks Eric
The Open Boat is an intriguing short story by Stephen Crane that recognizes man's relationship to nature. This story portrays nature in sharp contrast to the romanticism of early American Romantic writers, who viewed nature as there nurturing mother. In many ways this story can be read as an allegory of mans loss of innocence due to the harsh reality of a changing world. This loss of innocence is portrayed as the men in the boat ship there view of nature from a romantic view to that a realist vi ...more
Jess
Jan 25, 2014 Jess rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jess by: American Lit class
I very much enjoyed these stories, and they were much funnier than I anticipated they would be--I'm unfamiliar with Crane's works besides the book. While I enjoyed the titular story and the longer novella ("Maggie: A Girl of the Streets"), my favorite story was definitely "The Blue Hotel." I've never read a realistic short story so packed with tension, and it gave me the chills.

"Maggie: A Girl of the Streets"

This was definitely the most depressing of the stories, but also the wittiest--and we ge
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Jamie
“When it occurs to a man that nature does not regard him as important, and that she feels she would not maim the universe by disposing of him, he at first wishes to throw bricks at the temple, and he hates deeply the fact that there are no bricks and no temples.”

“The Open Boat.” What a fantastic little story.
Emily
Am I still 16? No. Do I still love Naturalism and the whole idea of the individual powerless to the forces of nature and science? Apparently, yes. (My students thought "Open Boat" was repetitive and boring. For shame! Where is their angst?)
Lizette
Aug 06, 2007 Lizette rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Literature lovers
Shelves: adult
This book contains 4 short stories. Maggie: a Girl of the streets, which is good. Then The Open Boat, also good. The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky, which is my favorite. And The Blue Hotel, which I don't remember much of.
Andrea
Clear, crisp prose that doesn't turn sparse. Nature's brutality head-on. There is something about this stuff that I love, and it's somewhere between the words.
Lori
Stephen Crane is the man. He writes some of the best sentences ever. And then puts those awesome sentences together to write stories. Jealous!!
Elise
"The Open Boat" is great. Some funny dialogue. I liked it much better than "Maggie: A Girl of the Streets."
Stuart Lindberg
I'm a sucker for a good short story, there are several here.
Seth Augenstein
Hit and miss. When on, it's the best.
Mark Noce
Great short-stories.
Bill S.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kathryn
*Note: I only read the title story.*

I liked his writing, and the imagery, but the pace of the story itself was too slow for me. Also - and maybe this was because I started reading this at 2 in the morning - I was confused by the structure of the story at first. I had to reread it again before it made any sense.
We have four characters.

The fatherly, leader figure Captain;
The hard-working Oiler,
The lighthearted follower Cook,
and the philosophical Correspondent, whose thoughts we read the most in
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Sonia
Having absolutely adored The Red Badge of Courage, I had higher hopes for this short story. It's the story of four shipwrecked me struggling to survive out at sea. They are tired, hungry, and desperate. They see land and believe they see people on the shore. They have to make the decision of when to start trying to swim to shore - on the one hand the boat they're in is not strong enough to keep them afloat much longer, but the longer they have to swim, the less likely they'll reach their destina ...more
Bob
The Open Boat is another of Stephen Crane's terrific short stories. It's interesting to note that Crane had a way way of telling a story with total disregard for the time period. Many of his stories could be 1880 or 1930. He was also known for his use of pluralism in many of his stories. For example, so close to shore they can see people waving but not close enough to be saved. Crane died in 1900 at the age of 28. It is said that he had great influence on Hemmingway, and was friends with HG Well ...more
Gloria
I cannot fully fathom how a young man can craft such prose. To take 4 utterly different stories, milieus, characters, and even overall feelings surrounding those tales ... it amazes me. Crane's descriptions leave you missing nothing, yet aren't bogged down by superfluous words.
My only complaints?
There were only 4 stories. I wanted more.
And the fact that he died at the age of 28. A veritable George Gershwin of the literary world. How much more could he have written...
Jennifer M. Hartsock
This is another story that I couldn’t follow along very well. I liked the imagery as I have in most of these stories, but the style of writing confused me a bit. It is a good example of theme however because it has a message: it conveys the message of working together to overcome struggle.

Fighting against the sea seems to be impossible to these men, yet realize that in order to survive; they have to comfort one another. This is the theme of the story.
Ahmed Amine
very powerful story. Crane succeeded to make us live every single moment of the story. my mind was rocking as was the open boat when facing waves. the writer discusses here the weakness of the humankind when facing mother nature. this weakness overshadows our self esteem and importance and makes us feel we are just an atom in this universe and we do not make a difference in this world.
Margaretmcmillan
It was fitting to read this book on the way to St. George Island, Florida. Equally fitting, that after we read it, we spent most of our evenings there watching 'Shark Week.' I've always had a harder time enjoying Stephen Crane, but I really seized on to this short story. I have plans to read the Blue Hotel next.
Sarah
Each story rated as follows:
Maggie: A Girl of the Streets--5 stars
The Open Boat-- 3 stars
The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky--3 stars
Blue Hotel--4 stars

Stephen Crane is a visceral, brilliant writer who tells plotted, cutting stories with detailed and poetic prose. There's no way not to love him.
Jake Berlin
crane is an excellent crafter of stories, with a keen sense for what to include and what to omit. he's also a master of both dialogue and dialect -- the latter of which can be incredibly irritating in the wrong hands, but shines on the page in crane's able ones.
Robbie Manson
The Open Boat is one of the best short stories I've read. Crane was obviously a major influence on Hemingway. Brilliant.

I actually didn't read this edition but rather a free download from Project Gutenberg
Scott Stirling
Some good some not as good. One about the Texan sheriff and gunslinger is memorable 20 years after reading this.
Cameron
Epic yet simple story about a group of men struggling to make it to shore in a small boat on rough seas.
Ebookwormy
Sep 23, 2008 Ebookwormy marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: carp-500
"The Open Boat" is Carp-500
Julie
The Open Boat, March, 2002
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Stephen Crane was an American novelist, poet and journalist, best known for the novel Red Badge of Courage. That work introduced the reading world to Crane's striking prose, a mix of impressionism, naturalism and symbolism. He died at age 28 in Badenweiler, Baden, Germany.

More about Stephen Crane...
The Red Badge of Courage The Red Badge of Courage and Selected Short Fiction  Maggie: A Girl of the Streets The Open Boat Maggie: a Girl of the Streets: and Other Tales of New York

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“If I am going to be drowned—if I am going to be drowned—if I am going to be drowned, why, in the name of the seven mad gods who rule the sea, was I allowed to come thus far and contemplate sand and trees?” 31 likes
“Perhaps an individual must consider his own death to be the final phenomenon of nature.” 15 likes
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