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The Mutiny of The Elsinore

3.54  ·  Rating Details ·  167 Ratings  ·  22 Reviews
Life has lost its savor for Mr. Pathurst. New York, fame, women, and the arts have all become tedious. Searching for excitement, he books passage on a cargo vessel sailing from Baltimore to Seattle on a route that travels around the treacherous Cape Horn. Pathurst encounters more than he ever expected in rough seas, turbulent storms, and a mutinous crew. His epic struggles ...more
Published January 1st 2010 by MobileReference (first published 1914)
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Mike Robbins
Jan 19, 2014 Mike Robbins rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I first read this book as a young man, and loved it. Coming back to it after nearly 40 years, I still do. But it does raise questions about Jack London and what was going on in his head when he wrote it.

Published in 1914, only two years before his death, The Mutiny of the Elsinore isn’t the most famous of London’s books and it’s not seen as his best. But there’s still a lot to enjoy. The book’s plot (without spoilers) is as follows: It is March 1913 and a successful but world-weary young playwr
Thom Swennes
Departing from Baltimore on the sailing ship Elsinore was destined for Seattle. Mr. Pathurst, accompanied by his man servant boarded for this trip that would travel around the Cape of Good Hope. A cavalcade of misfit and unbalanced crew members are introduced along with a hermit captain and his attractive daughter. The expected turmoil and conflict is unleashed on board as the seas fight to send the Elsinore to the bottom. As can be expected, romance also plays a prominent role in this yarn of a ...more
David Angel
This book was ok. There's a lot of just sailing around without much happening. I did have trouble with the narrator's racism though. He frequently talks about the master race, the slave race, and the superiority of "blondes." I realize that maybe those were just the beliefs of the character and not the author, but it was off-putting and got a bit tiresome. I've definitely enjoyed other Jack London books more than this one.
William Lockhart

The descriptive powers of Mr. London, the romance, the power of men and the sea, the weaknesses of men, the many philosophies and most of all, the effect that a woman can have on them. In short, a wonderful read!
Jan 04, 2017 Shaun rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Mutiny of the Elsinore”… I really like Jack London, so this was an auto-buy. I knew nothing about the plot except for what the title gave away. I have to say that I was a bit disappointed with this one. First, it took forever to actually get to the ‘mutiny’ part of Mutiny of the Elsinore, and then, well, the First and Second mate, the animosity between whom the whole book had been building, both of them just disappeared, quite literally, from the novel, and their fate was never disclosed. To me ...more
David Roark
May 11, 2017 David Roark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I always enjoy Jack London's storytelling. An interesting book, that definitely picks up a lot once the mutiny begins. Exciting!
Sep 23, 2014 Ronald rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great story, and one that does not necessarily express the true Weltanschauung of the author, I feel sure.
So racism, classism, and male chauvinism aside, the story was a delicious blend of nautical authenticity, penetrating character development of the ragged crew, and vivid description of the terrors of the Southern Ocean at latitude 45 S.
And I enjoyed the author's forays into the psychology of the human animal and philosophy in general, which added gravitas to what might have been just anoth
Kevin Zavala
The Mutiny of the Elsinore is about a wealthy man by the name of Mr. Pathurst that decides to join in a journey around the Cape Horn. While Pathurst knows nothing about sailing he is quickly forced to develop his own pair of sea legs due to the fact that a mass-mutiny leaves him in charge of a crew full of drunks and thieves.
Jack London really failed on this one. The Mutiny of the Elsinore is easily one of the most disappointing books I’ve read in a while. The entire first part of the book is
Jan 17, 2012 John rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Speaking as a fan of Jack London, this 1914 novel is problematic on many levels. To say it has aged poorly in the past 100 years would be an understatement. London, despite his progressive leanings, unwittingly reflects the prejudices of his age. It would be nice to believe that London was aiming for ironic satire and social commentary, but instead he hammers away, in all earnestness, on themes of social Darwinism, racial stereotypes, and the sort of ham-fisted "chivalry" which comes off as insu ...more
Feb 04, 2015 Daniel rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'm a little baffled by this novel, and I think it's because it is inconsistent. The protagonist shifts from his feelings about class, literature and philosophy to his opinions about females and his experiences on a freight ship sailing from Baltimore to Seattle (which is the major theme of the book). The transitions between these themes were not harmonic. The better parts were the ones in which our hero becomes introspective. But he also displays more than a hint of racism, which I think added ...more
Michael de Percy
Apparently this is London's worst work where he is quite the racial supremacist while being very poor at 'doing' romance. While some parts were gripping in the lead-up to the climax, the long slow anti-climax was disappointing, although one could imagine such things happening on the high seas. I doubt that London was being such a racial supremacist in the spirit of the noble savage à la Joseph Conrad or Rudyard Kipling, rather he added this to his somewhat awkward class commentary while at the s ...more
Scott Graham
Mar 19, 2013 Scott Graham rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found this book to be fantastically engaging and it has inspired me to read more Jack London. I was disappointed with how swiftly and inconclusively some of the main characters were eliminated, but the degree to which I was absorbed and enthralled by the story makes up for any plot defects. Put simply, this is a book to read if you want to feel like you are on a sea adventure, it's an indulgent and engaging thrill ride. The main character is unabashedly racist and sexist and obsessed with the ...more
Shon Rand
Aug 29, 2014 Shon Rand rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
I like London's city-guy protagonist in a brutal environment themes, as seen here and in The Sea Wolf. The plot seems curiously underdeveloped in some ways, as others here have commented. Still, suspense is well built. There are prejudices of the age reflected in the writing, which doesn't bother me, but instead serve to reflect how our culture has changed.
Sep 02, 2012 Chris rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've read quite a bit of London. I think The Sea Wolf is my favorite sea story, but this one comes in second. My only problem with it is the unabashed socialism of the thing--London goes to a lot of trouble to describe and comment upon the class distinctions between the sailors and officers; he's a little heavy-handed with it. Otherwise, great story.
Chris Passingham
Oct 26, 2015 Chris Passingham rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a definite five star read all most until the end which was rushed with absolutely no resolution of any of the characters stories but perhaps they didn't matter at all which was probably the message of the novel. Call me old fashioned but I don't like this many loose ends and unsolved mysteries at the end of a book
Will Clark
If you wondered what all that business about ancient bloodlines and atavistic urges in White Fang and Call of the wild was for, look no further than this book for the answer. It's a good romp, but it's as racist as a book can be and still not be about racism. Still, it's fascinating enough as a study in the weird paranoia that a truly race-based worldview almost necessarily engenders.
Jan 18, 2012 Trebor rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Here he is again, with another adventure, sailing the high seas . Human nature shown for all its menacing foibles. The human condition in its never changing worst. This is why mutiny is a hanging offense!
Daniel Demarle
Good pace but the racism and classism were striking.
Mark Goodwin
I fast-read this as I found too much description of unnecessary things. I was most interested in action, adventure and the overall plot. Still, I feel that it warrants 3 stars.
Written ca. 1914, it is one of the few books written by a classical author who includes gangsters as central figures in the book. They are not very believable gangsters...but they are there.
Jared Murphy
Jared Murphy rated it it was amazing
Aug 24, 2011
Basceanu rated it really liked it
Feb 10, 2013
Zenny rated it liked it
May 25, 2016
Jerry Richter
Jerry Richter rated it really liked it
Dec 09, 2014
Gina rated it it was ok
Sep 16, 2008
RUBEN OSCAR PEREZ rated it really liked it
Dec 04, 2016
Roger Weston
Roger Weston rated it it was amazing
Sep 09, 2015
Kenneth Flusche
May 04, 2014 Kenneth Flusche rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
loved it just as much as 30 years ago
Dimitry Podkolzin
Dimitry Podkolzin rated it liked it
May 20, 2014
Dennis Zachman
Dennis Zachman rated it liked it
Mar 22, 2015
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Jack London was an American novelist, journalist, social-activist and short-story writer whose works deal romantically with elemental struggles for survival. At his peak, he was the highest paid and the most popular of all living writers. Because of early financial difficulties, he was largely self educated past grammar school.

London drew heavily on his life experiences in his writing. He spent ti
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“I cannot help remembering a remark of De Casseres. It was over the wine in Mouquin's. Said he: "The profoundest instinct in man is to war against the truth; that is, against the Real. He shuns facts from his infancy. His life is a perpetual evasion. Miracle, chimera and to-morrow keep him alive. He lives on fiction and myth. It is the Lie that makes him free. Animals alone are given the privilege of lifting the veil of Isis; men dare not. The animal, awake, has no fictional escape from the Real because he has no imagination. Man, awake, is compelled to seek a perpetual escape into Hope, Belief, Fable, Art, God, Socialism, Immortality, Alcohol, Love. From Medusa-Truth he makes an appeal to Maya-Lie” 10 likes
“Says O'Sullivan to me, "Mr. Fay, I'll have a word wid yeh?" "Certainly," says I; "what can I do for you?" "Sell me your sea- boots, Mr. Fay," says O'Sullivan, polite as can be. "But what will you be wantin' of them?" says I. "'Twill be a great favour," says O'Sullivan. "But it's my only pair," says I; "and you have a pair of your own," says I. "Mr. Fay, I'll be needin' me own in bad weather," says O'Sullivan. "Besides," says I, "you have no money." "I'll pay for them when we pay off in Seattle," says O'Sullivan. "I'll not do it," says I; "besides, you're not tellin' me what you'll be doin' with them." "But I will tell yeh," says O'Sullivan; "I'm wantin' to throw 'em over the side." And with that I turns to walk away, but O'Sullivan says, very polite and seducin'-like, still a-stroppin' the razor, "Mr. Fay," says he, "will you kindly step this way an' have your throat cut?" And with that I knew my life was in danger, and I have come to make report to you, sir, that the man is a violent lunatic.” 7 likes
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