Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Captains Courageous” as Want to Read:
Captains Courageous
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Read Book* *Different edition

Captains Courageous

by
3.88  ·  Rating Details  ·  14,875 Ratings  ·  547 Reviews
One of Kipling's most enduringly popular works, Captains Courageous is both a stirring tale of the sea and a fable of a boy's initiation into the world of men.
Paperback, 208 pages
Published September 7th 2004 by Signet Classics (first published 1897)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Captains Courageous, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Bipolar
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Adam K.
Dec 11, 2012 Adam K. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read most of this aloud to my older boys as I was putting them to sleep at night, and I think that's probably the best way to navigate through Kipling's tale. It's a lot of fun, but if you're reading silently, not trying on the accents as Kipling's written them, I think you miss a lot. This book is chock full of sailing terms that Kipling never explains, nor does he provide a glossary, but I liked this. Much of the time, I didn't understand what the characters were talking about in their daily ...more
7jane
Apr 29, 2014 7jane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A story of how one 15-year-old rich boy's moment of bad luck changes his life, from spoiled brat to a mature, better person with solid values who can work well with others and doesn't need to prove his worth with questionable things and boasting.
Forced to spend a summer with fishermen (no radios or other ways to communicate where he is) - no chance that the men would drop him off after picking him up from the sea where he had fallen - he gets a good glimpse as he works with them of what their l
...more
K.M. Weiland
Now, I know it’s not fair to judge a book on its movie (or vice versa), but I totally did. I love the adaptation of this story so much, but the book just doesn’t live up. No Harvey/Manuel relationship, and Harvey’s character arc happens in the space of a single chapter in the first quarter of the book. The rest is all interesting and colorful accounts of fishing life—and some didactic moralizing later on—but it doesn’t live up to Freddie Bartholomew and Spencer Tracy.
Michael Gerald
Jul 10, 2014 Michael Gerald rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you take a look at the informative channels on cable tv like National Geographic, Discovery, and Animal Planet, you will notice that there are a lot of programs about fishing. Deadliest Catch, Monster Fish, Wicked Tuna. Good to see fishermen plying their trade and makes one appreciate a job most people in cities do not give importance to.

But a century before these shows, there was a book that portrayed fishing and the folks whose lives depend on it. But it wasn't just a book about fishing; it
...more
Anne
Oct 04, 2007 Anne rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book year's ago--in junior high school. I can't remember much--it was one of those adventure sort of novels that we were always reading to keep the boys involved in class. You know what I mean--Lord of the Flies, Call of the Wild, Adventures of Huck Finn...I read all of these when I was 12 or so. Only later in high school, did I delve into books more my taste, books not so decidedly action-adventure.

The only reason I'm writing this review, or even including this on my book shelf for
...more
Nathan
Apr 22, 2016 Nathan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels
3.49 stars. It was very enjoyable. It made me want to read more Kipling, but it didn't blow me away.
Sara
Dec 01, 2014 Sara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014-school-year
I didn't really expect to love a sailor's story but clearly I didn't have any idea how much Leadership Education can be cultivated on the dangerous fishing lines of the Atlantic. The book is totally different than anything else I have read by Kipling. It is an American story (as opposed to his more typical Indian writing), high adventure, perfect for boys (I couldn't keep my 7 year old away) (not to say that girls wouldn't enjoy it too) and chock full of timeless lessons in how to become a real ...more
Vince Hale
Like a lot of reviewers here I was SUPPOSED to read this book in grade school, but that never happened. I tried again my junior year of college and stopped 40 or 50 pages into it. So now at forty years old I decided I would finally read it cover-to-cover, no matter what. The copy that I read is literally the same 1964 version that I started some 30 years ago. The yellow pages and old-fashioned library smell of the book actually added to the experience.

When I finish a really good book I always fe
...more
Sally
I enjoyed the plot and general storyline, but I got really bogged down in all the "sea-faring" talk and jargon. When Kipling wrote this one, readers obviously enjoyed learning all of these different, strange things through reading whereas now I'd rather watch 15 minutes of a documentary on the History Channel and be done.

Harvey is a spoiled, rotten brat of a teenager who delights in causing his mother to fret and his father to ignore him. When Harvey goes overboard a luxury steamer to land himse
...more
Will
Jan 05, 2014 Will rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is good to read the true classics now and then, and I had not read Kipling in a long time. Began this book on my phone, continued on my computer, and finally got this paperback copy at my local library, thank God. I have to say I find reading ebooks a particularly unsatisfactory experience.

As for the book, it is thoroughly enjoyable. I need not restate the plot, but I wonder how many of us living in the US today could live that kind of life, particularly young teenagers? I know there are kid
...more
Jorge Cienfuegos
Qué mal ha envejecido este libro. Como novela de aventuras, para mi gusto no funciona salvo que seas un loco del mundo de los barcos de pesca, y como novela de iniciación de un chaval malcriado, se queda escueta y pobre en comparación con otras historias del estilo que vinieron después. Es más retrato plano de la vida de un grupo de pescadores que otra cosa, y a mí me ha aburrido bastante.
Nancy Burns
Jul 17, 2015 Nancy Burns rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I doubt a young reader would really enjoy this story.
This book was written in 1897.
Times….and children have changed.
I was very disappointed.

Here is my review:
https://ipsofactodotme.wordpress.com/...
Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all)
An okay read, if you like that sort of thing. I was curious, knowing something about the filming of the Spencer Tracey movie. Typical of its time for a certain type of yarn; the spoiled brat millionaire's kid finds himself forced to pull his own weight on a cod boat. That's OK so far, and I enjoyed the other characters, but Harvey is not convincing. He's never done hand's turn in his life except to dress and feed himself and have a good time, and in less than a week he's holding his own in the c ...more
Alvin Chui
This novel writes about a fifteen years old fellow, Harvey, who was spoiled by his multimillionaire father, learns a life-changing lesson after an accident of falling into the ocean. A fishing schooner that headed towards Gloucester saved Harvey. However, crewmembers on the schooner didn’t care about how wealthy Harvey’s family was, so he got to travel in this boat for half a year. During the journey, Harvey encountered hardships, but furthermore, he learnt things that he could’ve never had by ...more
Amy
Captains Courageous is a great story about how setting expectations upon kids, and making them work in order to find their own sense of self worth helps them to become courageous captains of their lives. I liked that a lot, especially since my sister and I are currently working on getting my nephew off the entitled/spoiled track and onto a more respectful path that requires him to meet some expectations and to exercise some self-control and discipline.

Unfortunately, Captains Courageous doesn't t
...more
Warren
Oct 24, 2015 Warren rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Warning! You must be an excellent cockney/seaman's phonetic language reader to attempt this book.
A difficult read to say the least, trying to understand what the hell everyone is saying, as well as all the boat terminology thrown at you and yee olde slang, the version I read had an appendix at the back, thank you, because otherwise this book would only have been half understood. It's kind of funny reading an old book from the late 19th century as they were not concerned with dropping the 'N' bom
...more
Jeremy R.
Oct 24, 2015 Jeremy R. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
To say that this is one of Kipling's greatest accomplishments would be doing a disservice to the likes of Kim, The Man Who Would Be King, and most especially his underrated poetry. It's moral is straightforward, and transparent from its first chapter: it is a classic coming-of-age story about a young boy who learns the value of honesty and loyalty through difficult trials and hard work, and thereby becomes a man.
While it lacks the depth of Kim's plot and cast of characters, Captain's Courageous
...more
Jean Poulos
When Rudyard Kipling was staying in Vermont in February 1896 he listened to the stories of the local physician telling about his time on a schooner thirty years before. That gave Kipling the idea to write “Captains Courageous.” Kipling said he tried to change his writing style for the book using allegory, parable, and metaphor to suit his subject.

The story of “Captains Courageous” like that of the earlier “Jungle Book” is of a boy who finds himself in a new environment and is profoundly affected
...more
Benjamin Thomas
"You an' me we'll sluice that out'er when they're through. 'Send we'll hev fuli pens to-night! I've seen 'er down ha'af a foot wit fish waitin' to clean, an' we stood to t'tables till we was splittin' ourselves instid o' them, we was so sleepy, Yes, they're comin' in naow."

Did you get that? That's just an example of the kind of dialogue you must try to decipher as you plod your way through this classic novel. I triple checked what I had typed to make sure I got it exactly as it's printed in my c
...more
Heidi
Nov 22, 2014 Heidi rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Two aspects of this brief maritime classic made it difficult for me to read: the variety of dialects (Portuguese, New Englander, and others I probably could not distinguish) and the unique jargon associated with fishing, sailing and ships. Even searching online for definitions didn't always help, because the terms themselves are apparently too archaic. That said, the relationships and the character development in the story I thoroughly enjoyed. And the descriptive writing was superb! I felt as i ...more
Dale Pearl
Not the easiest book to read. I am under the impression that Rudyard Kipling books are meant to be read out loud. If unable to read out loud then to listen in audio format would make for a wonderful secondary. To appreciate the work you must understand the spoken words, the dialects, the emotion and syntax.

A fairly short read in the grand scheme of things at around 5 hours, so this book could easily be broken up into nightly readings to read/ act out to children. The entire book could be finishe
...more
HBalikov
This is Kipling's only novel concerning North America. It is consistent with his others in the underlying theme that experience is the great teacher. Harvey Cheyne is a coddled adolescent whose parents' wealth he takes for granted. The bulk of the story concerns his going over the rail on an Atlantic steamship crossing and being rescued by the crew of a Great Banks fishing boat.

Kipling has done a lot of research on North Atlantic fishing and the New England fishing crews. He gets the details rig
...more
Melissa
Sep 11, 2009 Melissa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was my first time reading this classic, or any Rudyard Kipling for that matter. It's hard to believe that I loved a book that was so full of fishing jargon that at times I had no idea what the author was talking about or what the characters were saying, but I did. I loved it. Every minute of it, even when I was clueless. I loved how quickly Harvey changed, how fast he realized he wasn't all that he thought he was, and how fast he decided to make the best of his new circumstances. It is a st ...more
Ross
Aug 29, 2014 Ross rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Interesting view of the Grand Banks fishing fleet and fishermen of 100+ years ago.
I read this book as a child in the 50's and thought it very good.
I have discovered audiobooks in the last dozen years and am going through a lot of books I read long ago with an MP3 version. Some with great success, some not.
This story was written as a monthly magazine serial for adult readers, but must be classified today as "young adult." In this time through with the audio version I still enjoyed the first par
...more
Vincent
I read this book because I had never read Kipling. It wa a poor choice as he is most known for his "India" writings and this was America but the story was good - if generally known - and the presentations of sea fishing life interesting (assuming they were correct).
The problem with this book for me was my inability to understand some of the jargon. This was read as a "free" Kindle version - transferred electronically to e-book format and many of the words were not known to me (nor the Kindle's d
...more
Angie Libert
Sadly, I am not going to finish this book. I am about half way through and while I am really enjoying the story, the sailor accents are so hard for me understand. I am just going to have to trust that Harvey becomes a man, rather than maintaining a spoiled boy. :)
Darío
Jan 05, 2016 Darío rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Es interesante, entretenido y está bien escrito. Tiene ese aire tan característico de la novela de aventuras anglosajona y Harvey recuerda muchísimo a Oliver Twist, a Tom Sawyer, a Huckleberry Finn... Está muy bien para pasar el rato y despejar la mente.
Frightful_elk
This book lets you have a marvellous look into life on a fishing boat, in the best boys adventure way.

However it does have some serious shortcomings, for one the sheer weight of unknown slang and fishing terms can make it rather obscure in places. Rather more problematic is the highly unlikely conversion of Harvey (our hero)a boy spoilt rotten his entire life, lazy, proud and disrespectful. It only takes being rescued by the crew of the 'We're Here' and a punch on the nose to be converted into a
...more
Laura
Free download available at Project Gutenberg.
María  Foix
Leído del tirón porque tengo que reducir mi lista de lecturas pendientes sí o sí.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Black Arrow
  • Hans Brinker, or the Silver Skates
  • Captain Blood
  • Mutiny on the Bounty (The Bounty Trilogy, #1)
  • Two Years Before the Mast: A Sailor's Life at Sea
  • Men of Iron
  • Captain Horatio Hornblower: Beat to Quarters, Ship of the Line & Flying Colours.
  • The Scottish Chiefs
  • The Fields of Home (Little Britches, #5)
  • The Four Feathers
  • The Parthian (The Parthian Chronicles, #1)
  • The Sea-Wolf and Selected Stories
  • The White Company
  • The Prisoner of Zenda
  • Sandokan: The Two Tigers
  • The Mutiny on Board HMS Bounty (Great Illustrated Classics)
  • The Pathfinder (Leatherstocking Tales, #3)
  • Beric the Briton
6989
Joseph Rudyard Kipling was an English journalist, short-story writer, poet, and novelist.

Kipling's works of fiction include The Jungle Book (1894), Kim (1901), and many short stories, including "The Man Who Would Be King" (1888). His poems include "Mandalay" (1890), "Gunga Din" (1890), "The Gods of the Copybook Headings" (1919), "The White Man's Burden" (1899), and "If—" (1910). He is regarded as
...more
More about Rudyard Kipling...

Share This Book



“It does not matter what people think of a man after his death.” 9 likes
“Like many other unfortunate young people, Harvey had never in all his life received a direct order—never, at least, without long, and sometimes tearful, explanations of the advantages of obedience and the reasons for the request. Mrs. Cheyne lived in fear of breaking his spirit, which, perhaps, was the reason that she herself walked on the edge of nervous prostration.” 2 likes
More quotes…