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Captains Courageous

3.87 of 5 stars 3.87  ·  rating details  ·  13,364 ratings  ·  478 reviews
At the start of Captains Courageous, one of literature's most beloved stories of the sea, a spoiled rich boy is literally swept away—dashed overboard from an ocean liner. Luckily, young Harvey Cheyne is rescued by a passing fishing vessel.As it turns out, Harvey's apparent misfortune in tumbling from a life of pampered luxury into the humble company of a fishing schooner b ...more
Paperback, 160 pages
Published June 9th 1999 by Dover Publications (first published 1897)
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Adam K.
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
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
Michael Gerald Dealino
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
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
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
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
Nancy Burns
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:
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Cmdr Bly
it was a nice book but it has too many pictures
Contando Dragones
Me encantan los libros para niños de aventuras. Incluso aunque las aventuras no incluyan enfrentarse a un gran dragón o descubrir las ruinas de una civilización subterránea, incluso cuando esas aventuras no sean más que el día a día de una vida que jamás podrás vivir. De hecho, a mí es precisamente eso lo que las hace interesantes.

Con este libro nos encontramos en uno de los puntos de partida más clásicos y manidos, no sólo de la literatura, sino de todos los campos: niño rico se encuentra de re
Ryan K
Finally finished this book that I had started years back and put down. Harvey Cheyne reminds me of the main character in the "Magnificent Ambersons", but Harvey gets his comeuppance early on in the book as opposed to the character in the "Magnificent Ambersons" who gets his near the end. After being knocked downn by the 'We're Here''s Captain Disko Troop, Harvey realizes how much of a spoiled undeserving brat he has become and realizes he has some growing up to do. Once Harvey transitions to a s ...more
Kipling knows how to tell a story. This is a classic 19th century bildungsroman. At points the phrases used, spoken in an Englishman's perspective of a thick Main accent talking about antiquated sailing and fishing terms, were opaque to me. If you are reading the book and get to those parts, don't despair! There aren't that many and context provides enough clues to pick up the gist if not the specifics.

The main character, Harvey, starts out as a callow, spoiled, pampered, mama's boy. The book pl
Desmond White
Summary: An interesting sailing myth without pirates.

I didn't enjoy Captains Courageous as much as other Kipling fictions, but I still found it a satisfactory read. The protagonist Harvey Cheyne Jr. is set up perfectly to be a real brat (in the vein of C.S. Lewis' Eustace Scrubb) but that character defect is too quickly corrected at the beginning of the second act (much like Scrubb, incidentally). Boating jargon, while appreciated in small quantities, crushes the early adventures. However, for a
Some spoilers, so watch out!

I finished this book in a little over a day! I sped through it unfortunately for some not-so-great reasons... The fishing jargon, the heavy accents, and my general ignorance about the daily experiences of cod fishermen made me read through chunks without really grasping much. That said, I still loved the book because I lived in Gloucester as a child, and watched the movie of this book more times than I can count. My curiosity to see how the book was different really f
A great classic by Mr.Kipling and a story I'd recommend for children, though people of all ages would enjoy the read. The story is about Harvey, a spoilt rich kid who falls overboard his ship and is rescued by a fishing boat. Without his money and the power of living in his rich father's shadow, Harvey has to earn his worth like everyone else. In this short read, you follow a young man's journey into manhood, about family and courage.

Anthony Gomez
This book is about a boy named Harvey. Harvey is a rich and spoiled and he thinks he can do
what he wants to do. Then a terrible incident were he goes overboard into the water. Then he got saved and the captain decides to bring him on bored. Harvey meats a new friend but to stay on bored he must learn the way of working. Will Harvey ever see his family again will he still be a spoiled kid you will just have to read to find out.
I liked this book for a lot of reasons, but it was challenging for other reasons.

I liked it for the challenge of believing in myself. I doubted, halfway through the second chapter, that I would be able to cope with the new vocabulary for North Atlantic cod fishing boats, crew, and conditions. But, I made it. And it payed off big time. I learned an entirely new language almost, and it was awesome. In order to not spoil anything, I'll say that Kipling brought the novel to maturity slowly over a sh
Captains Courageous by Rudyard Kipling is an adventure novel about a spoiled young boy who learns not to take things for granted. Harvey is a teenager who gets whatever he wants and whose father has millions of dollars to spare. He has no sense of compassion or practicality and hopes that the huge ocean liner he’s on with his mother runs over a small fishing boat. Too proud to show his seasickness, he ducks outside to get a breath of fresh air, and is swept overboard. Harvey is rescued by a smal ...more
Harvey Cheyne is the spoiled young teenager of a wealthy couple. While traveling on a cruise liner with his mother, he falls overboard one stormy night. Rescued by the tiller of a fishing boat, he has no means to let his family know of his survival. He spends the following months earning his food and board the hard way. Harvey discovers a whole new world at sea and realises he can never go back to being the boy he once was.

The story is written in a type of fisherman's slang which can be hard to
I never meet up with a tale of the sea that I disapprove of? Why is that? Captain Courageous has the bratty rich lad who must grow up and add to society. You comprehend that immediately. The dialog is unusual to today's youth but if you read it as written you will follow...and follow you do as you see a young man come of age. My favorite quote might be a description on rolling seas..."A gentle, breathing swell, three furlongs from trough to barrel, would quietly shoulder up a string of variously ...more
Adam Cherson
I rate this book a 3.56 on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being best.
Whatever one may think of Kipling’s politics, as a storyteller he is among the best. Take for instance this description of Harvey Cheyne’s dad: "It began with a kinless boy turned loose in Texas, and went on fantastically through a hundred changes and chops of life, the scenes shifting from State after Western State, from cities that sprang up in a month and in a season utterly withered away, to wild ventures in wilder camps that are
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Awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1907 "in consideration of the power of observation, originality of imagination, virility of ideas and remarkable talent for narration which characterize the creations of this world-famous author."

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“It does not matter what people think of a man after his death.” 8 likes
“It was the forty-fathom slumber that clears the soul and eye and heart, and sends you to breakfast ravening. They emptied a big tin dish of juicy fragments of fish- the blood-ends the cook had collected overnight. They cleaned up the plates and pans of the elder mess, who were out fishing, sliced pork for the midday meal, swabbed down the foc'sle, filled the lamps, drew coal and water for the cook, an investigated the fore-hold, where the boat's stores were stacked. It was another perfect day - soft, mild and clear; and Harvey breathed to the very bottom of his lungs.” 2 likes
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