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The Good Shepherd

really liked it 4.0  ·  Rating Details ·  503 Ratings  ·  25 Reviews
C.S. Forester's name on a novel gives promise of excellent entertainment, but always something more--the development of character, the flow of history, and the stress of events. THE GOOD SHEPHERD is in this genre.

A convoy is ploughing through icy, submarine-infested North Atlantic seas during the most critical days of WW II. In charge is Commander George Krause, an unteste

Paperback, 320 pages
Published December 1st 1955 by Simon Publications (first published January 1st 1955)
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Harv Griffin
Apr 08, 2014 Harv Griffin rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed, own
This is one of my favorite WWII naval action novels, but it is an exhausting read, precisely because of how well I identify with the commander of the convoy, who goes without sleep for two or three days, and is so pressed with emergency after emergency that he hardly has time to go to the head.

Structurally, the novel is divided into three chapters, a tiny "set the mood" thing, the actual novel, and a tiny epilog. My take? Don't bother with the opening or the ending, just read the actual novel, C
Daniel Villines
Jan 10, 2015 Daniel Villines rated it liked it
As a young recruit in the US Navy, one of the more important doctrines drilled into my mind was that authority could be delegated, but responsibility never departs from the person in command. Should you find yourself in command of a bathroom cleaning crew or a capital warship, everything that happens under your command is your responsibility. And when the weight of that absolute responsibility is combined with the emotions associated with duty and honor, the result is a person that is structured ...more
Simon Mcleish
Apr 11, 2012 Simon Mcleish rated it it was ok
Originally published on my blog here in February 1999.

C.S. Forester's tale of the Battle of the Atlantic concentrates on the personality of one man, the captain of an American destroyer acting as a convoy escort towards the end of the war. Captain Krause - known as "the Kraut" by his men - has twenty years' naval experience but little combat experience compared to the other escorts because of the late entry of the U.S. into the war; his seniority means, though, that he is in overall command.

Oct 29, 2013 Larry rated it it was amazing
Forester's novel is on a par with Nicholas Monsarrat's "The Cruel Sea" and D. A. Rayner's "The Long Haul." It follows the course of a convoy of freighters and tankers as it encounters a u-boat wolfpack o in the western approaches to Great Britain. Forester's central character is George Krause, an American destroyer commander in his mid-40s who is in command of the convoy's four-ship escort. Krause is a professional sailor who has been at sea for thirteen years in a twenty-year career, and who is ...more
K.M. Weiland
Aug 14, 2013 K.M. Weiland rated it liked it
This book is interesting on a number of levels. 1) It's interesting to see Forester's naval work in a "modern" setting. 2) It's interesting to see him depart (or try to depart) from his Hornblower roots. 3) The book is a darned incisive look at convoy duty during WWII.

Forester rocks at taking long hard looks at the burdens and trials of leadership, and this is a particularly excellent example of this. However, it suffers on a number of levels, primarily from a general lack of character developme
Jul 05, 2013 Linda rated it really liked it
What at first seemed slow going became tension-filled, as the reader follows every movement of a cat and mouse pursuit as the commander of a group of destroyers guarding a convoy of Allied ships crossing the North Atlantic during WWII tries to anticipate the actions of Nazi U-boats in pursuit of the convoy.
Jul 19, 2010 Andrew rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My folks had been suggesting to me/borderline bugging me to read the Forester book The Good Shepherd for years. I sure am glad that they did, and that I finally got around to reading it. The story telling in The Good Shepherd personifies what made Forester such a strong author, and that was realistic character flaws/anxieties mixed with the strength that lies within people that allows un-extraordinary people to do extraordinary feats. By the time I finished reading The Good Shepherd I felt like ...more
Apr 19, 2014 C rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picked-on-a-whim

Great piece of naval literature (just like the classic cover says).

Very interesting story of about 3 days in the life of one captain who is leading a convoy during WWII from Europe to England trying to bring the 37 Allied ship convoy to safety through U boat invested waters.

Quite interesting to see military decision making and all the sacrifices that must be made for the sake of the whole. It was an eye opener for me with regards to combat issues (ships vs. subs) and how far technology has ad
Jul 27, 2012 Alan rated it it was amazing
This is a fantastic book about the unsung heroes of Atlantic convoy duty in WWII. The hero is a naval officer who would have been mustered out of service had the war not started, doing his best to bring his convoy safely across the pond. Not dashing, not debonair, just an ordinary man in an extraordinary situation. And the conflict portrayed has no glory or honor, only the satisfaction of a job well done at the end, and a reward of having to do it all over again. Everyone has heard of Hornblower ...more
Jun 03, 2008 Allan rated it liked it
Recommends it for: any lover of historical novels that concern the sea and command of naval vessels
I read this book many years ago and have ordered, received and read it again. My absolute favorite WWII North Atlantic naval book is Nicholas Monsarrat's "The Cruel Sea." I'm happy to report that Forester's "The Good Shepherd" stacks up well against this classic.I'm in the midst of rereading the Forester's Horatio Hornblower series (11 books) for the third or fourth time and am adrift in this "Sea of Words" (Title of the lexicon of the Patrick O'Brien sea novels - which I don't care for anywhere ...more
Jan 02, 2011 Greg rated it it was amazing
This is a really great and exciting book telling the story of one US convoy and it Navy escorts getting through Nazi submarine wolf packs during WWII. The story begins in the middle Atlantic when the lead escort first encounters contacts and goes from there. This was a difficult book to put down and a real page turner. You are sure to like it and the author's description of minute to minute action by the destroyer captain is excellent.
Sep 13, 2012 Timothy rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book a great deal. As someone who has always had a fascination with ships, I found this to be an excellent look into the tactics of anti-submarine warfare in WWII. It is almost completely written from the perspective of the captain of a destroyer on convoy duty in the north atlantic. Forester also does some character analysis, particularly of the captain.
Mar 19, 2012 Paul rated it really liked it
Until a friend gave this to me I had no idea the author of the Horatio Hornblower series did anything in the modern era. Really enjoyed the book. If you want to understand what it was like to be the commander of a convoy poached on by subs during WWII this will put you there.
Jeff Servello
Nov 21, 2016 Jeff Servello rated it it was amazing
Every bit as good as 'The Cruel Sea' the descriptive nature makes you feel as if you are with the Captain in the Pilot House.
Dec 14, 2010 Larry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Forester's novel describes a convoy bound from the US to Great Britain during the early stage of World War II in the North Atlantic. The cat and mouse chases between U-boats and convoy escorts is exciting, and Forester's portrayal of the American destroyer captain in charge of the convoy escorts is interesting. He's not a charismatic figure, but he is dedicated and honest to a fault. This is the one Forester book I never got around to, and it was worth seeking out. It goes on the same shelf with ...more
Aug 11, 2016 Andrew rated it it was amazing
An enthralling read. Easily my favourite sea story.

This book is hard to get (I think the US Naval Institute still publishes it, but worthy of the pursuit. It turns wartime convoy escort work into a thrilling tale of wits, of battling both exhaustion and the enemy, as a typical convoy runs the gauntlet of the western approaches to England.

Again: Forrester's attention to detail provides a realistic absorbing story without feeling bogged down in detail.
Richard Hodgetts
Only C. S. Forrester could tell this tale

Escort a convoy across the Atlantic from the bridge of a destroyer. Every detail in the Captains decisions & self evaluation. Soon you are part of the convoy & its Commanding Officer.
Daniel Garrison
Jun 14, 2016 Daniel Garrison rated it liked it
It was pretty good, a bit of a mix of tedium and suspense. If you like Forester, I'd suggest giving it a read. If you've never heard of Forester, I'd suggest starting with the Hornblower books first.

Sep 10, 2014 Stephen rated it really liked it
Shelves: sea-stories
I've read this three times as an adult and might have read it in the Saturday Evening Post as a child. Unglamorous, unsparing story of getting a convoy to Ireland. Only one character is developed, that of Krause. I usually read the book in a day, it is so gripping.
Oct 19, 2014 Ron rated it it was amazing
Classic novel of the North Atlantic convoys during WW2. A great story of determination and duty despite a relentless and unseen enemy. Best book I've read in a while.
Andrew Morgan
Jan 05, 2014 Andrew Morgan rated it really liked it
Shelves: military, navy, war
A very good read, but a warning to prospective readers, does require an understanding of naval terminology, plus the capability of creating a mental image of a constantly changing naval battle.
Tosh rated it really liked it
Dec 14, 2016
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Jan 14, 2008
Tom Davies
Tom Davies rated it it was amazing
Jul 05, 2016
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Jun 26, 2010
Zachary Harless
Zachary Harless rated it it was amazing
Jun 26, 2015
Doug Monjeau
Doug Monjeau rated it it was amazing
Oct 27, 2016
LH rated it it was amazing
Dec 28, 2016
Dev rated it it was amazing
Oct 07, 2015
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Cecil Scott Forester was the pen name of Cecil Louis Troughton Smith, an English novelist who rose to fame with tales of adventure and military crusades. His most notable works were the 11-book Horatio Hornblower series, about naval warfare during the Napoleonic era, and The African Queen (1935; filmed in 1951 by John Huston). His novels A Ship of the Line and Flying Colours were jointly awarded t ...more
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