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Mutiny on the Bounty (The Bounty Trilogy #1)

3.93 of 5 stars 3.93  ·  rating details  ·  9,258 ratings  ·  140 reviews
MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY is the thrilling account of the strange, eventful, and tragic voyage of His Majesty's Ship Bounty in 1788-1789, which culminated in Fletcher Christian's mutiny against Captain Bligh.
Paperback, 400 pages
Published April 11th 1989 by Back Bay Books (first published 1932)
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Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur GoldenGone with the Wind by Margaret MitchellThe Pillars of the Earth by Ken FollettThe Book Thief by Markus ZusakThe Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory
Best Historical Fiction
262nd out of 4,527 books — 18,231 voters
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Recommended Historical Fiction
75th out of 1,810 books — 1,761 voters


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Community Reviews

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Werner
The British (and to a lesser degree the American) Navy in the age of sail has become a staple setting of modern English-language historical fiction, exemplified by the works of Patrick O'Brian and others. While Melville's Billy Budd and White Jacket are certainly forerunners of the trend, the main impetus to the subgenre was probably C. S. Forrester's Hornblower series; but this novel by Nordhoff and Hall was roughly contemporary with Forrester's work, and also well deserves a reading by fans of ...more
Tanvir Ahmed
Mutiny on the Bounty is a stunning work of historical fiction that is a pleasure to read.
The novel chronicles the events of the HMS Bounty as seen through the eyes of Roger Byam, a midshipman on the infamous Bounty. Through his eyes, the reader sees the terrible events unfold aboard the ship--the cruelty of Capt. Bligh that ultimately leads Fletcher Christian and much of the crew to mutiny against the captain. With Bligh left at sea, the crew returns to the South Pacific, seeking to make a new l
...more
Walter
There's something about a good story of adversity at sea to get the blood pumping. Robert Louis Stevenson figured that out. He made a name for himself by writing stories of pirates. In "Mutiny on the Bounty", Nordhoff and Hall have hit a home run by writing about mutiny. Their novel takes place in 1789 - 1794 on board the British armed merchantman "Bounty", which traveled from England to Tahiti to pick up a load of Breadfruit trees with the purpose of planting the trees in the West Indies to pro ...more
Max Maher
SPOILER ALERT Mutiny on the Bounty by Nordhoff and Hall is an incredible classic about a mid-shipman, Roger Byam, who is aboard HMS (his majesty's ship) Bounty on a mission to get the valuable Tahitian breadfruit trees used to feed slaves in Britain. The ship gets to Tahiti and Byam goes straight to his job of learning the language of the Tahitians and writing a dictionary. Throughout the voyage captain Bligh is abusive towards ma y people on the Bounty. On the way back to England there is a mut ...more
Chris
Jan 31, 2009 Chris rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2007
Fascinating account of an open water journey across the south Pacific. Bligh's crew mutiny and send him off the ship with a small crew of faithfuls. An expert seaman, he demonstrates incredible leadership when he pilots this small rowboat and a handful of men across hundreds of miles of open ocean. Their bravery and resourcefulness are surpassed, in my opinion, only by Earnest Shackelton who made a similar trek under conditions even more trying.
Annie
Now one of my favorite books, Mutiny on the Bounty is a classic seafaring tale with an enjoyable blend of adventure, torture, suspense, exploration of both the South Pacific and human nature, and yes, some good old mutiny. This complex tale, though wonderful to read purely as a work of fiction, should actually be thought of in the context of a true story, for that is what it was, more or less. Almost all of the events in this story are true, including the mutiny and Captain Bligh's incredible jo ...more
Annchen
In diesem Roman wird die Geschichte der Meuterei auf der Bounty aus der Sicht des Kadetten Roger Byams in fesselnder Weise erzählt. Selbst nicht aktiv an dem Aufstand beteiligt, muss dieser dennoch an Bord bleiben, während Captain Bligh mit achtzehn Getreuen in einer Barkasse ausgesetzt wird. Später erzählt er von seiner Zeit auf Tahiti, wo er weiter an der Vollständigkeit eines Wörterbuchs der Sprache Tahitis arbeitet, im Auftrag des berühmten Naturforschers Sir Joseph Banks. Da, der die Meuter ...more
DW
I read this in high school, but I picked it up again because I just read Sea of Glory about the US Exploring Expedition that reminded me of it.

I think I liked this book better the first time because I associated it with the movie, which I really liked. This time I noticed more how horrible Bligh and Edwards (the captain who transported the Bounty mutineers and neutrals from Tahiti to England for trial) were. It was a shift to go from the non-fiction Sea of Glory, in which Philbrick tried to writ
...more
Nathan
I had never read a seafaring epic story before the classic Treasure Island and having felt yet in the mood I continued on to the well known Mutiny on the Bounty. This is a far more serious novel dealing with much more mature themes. It took me a bit of time to get into the pacing of the narrative since it follows a much more patient pace than more modern novels. At times I felt myself wishing he would get to the point more quickly but tried to chalk that up to my contemporary attention span. The ...more
Caitlin
This book documents the fictionalized tale of the true story of several crew members who led a mutiny against the Captain of the Bounty.

The book is narrated by Roger Byam, whose main job on the ship is to make a dictionary of the Tahitian language while they are on their trip to the West Indies aboard the ship Bounty. The boat sets sail in 1787, and you get to meet the crew. It becomes immediately obvious that Captain Bligh is not a particularly kind-hearted man, and the crew begin to suffer. Li
...more
Robert W
This is another one I read a long time ago—in 1985 I believe, the first summer I went to sea on a seismic boat. I brought books with me that were either nautical or “exotic” to my then 22 year old mind. I brought Mutiny, Moby Dick, a Borges story collection, and Guerillas by V.S. Naipaul. The latter two were “exotic” in my mind by virtue of being writers from little known (by me) third world countries. Anyway, Naipaul and Borges subsequently became two of my favorite writers. But I loved Mutiny ...more
Scott Williams
This is a compelling, first person fiction based on the historical mutiny on the Bounty. I found it quite difficult to put down. I read most of it in one long night. There were times I forgot it was fiction, so well were the characters defined and so honest the voice of the narrator.

I have always been drawn to tales of adventure on the seas. I wish heartily that I had the courage and fortitude to become a sailor myself but, at least I have books like this one to enjoy the experience vicariously
...more
Jean
The last time I took an ocean voyage through a book was when I read Moby Dick (everything I never wanted to know about the whaling industry). I was, therefore, reluctant to embark upon this hard life again, but was goaded into it by Mr. Laughlin, the 7th grade language teacher. So now I can say I made it to Tahiti and back and survived the harrowing trials of sea life and mutiny. I was interested to learn that this book is based on a real event. The narrative was compelling, but somehow I was ne ...more
Bob
I read this book over and over . . . and over . . . and over, when I was growing up. I was endlessly fascinated by the romance of the sea, the details of shipboard life, the well-drawn personalities of each of the Bounty's officers and crew, the alluring Polynesian women, and of course by the brutality of captain Bligh, the tragedy of Fletcher Christian, and the buildup of suspense around the fate of poor, innocent Roger Byam.

I was shocked to learn, a few years ago, that historians have conclud
...more
Todd
Aug 07, 2011 Todd added it
One of the greatest pieces of work inspired by actual events and THE best sea-faring story ever. The genius of the story is that it is narrated by it's one invented character, a young midshipman who grows to manhood through his experience on the voyage, through the mutiny, his life on the island of Tahiti, and his forced return to England. This is my second time reading the work and I found it as much of a page-turner as the first time. It is followed by two lesser known but equally strong works ...more
CR DE
A timeless masterpiece. The ultimate sea story, beautifully written. Get underway in the old days, make a port call in old Tahiti. A million twists and turns. Ethical dilemmas. Meet a woman of true beauty and fall in love, only to be spilt worlds apart by force. Edge of my seat the entire read.
Brian
When i was about 10, i found the Bounty trilogy in a box full of my grandfathers old books. Out of all of his books, this one was my favorite and i have read it many times. The story that most people are familiar with takes place in the first book of the series. The third book, Pitcairn's Island is my favorite and can stand along side any top horror book. It is interesting to read the progression of the sailors mental downfall throughout the series. The only downside to the book is that the auth ...more
Marten
This book turned me into a reader. I had to read it for English class at Pike School and I did. In fact, I read it ahead of the class requirements and found that it grabbed me. It took hold of me and wouldn't let me go. This was the first book that I read because I loved it, not because I had to read it. The story is so wonderful and captures the wanderlust in my heart. I felt I was on the voyage and siding with Fletcher Christian.

Certainly this novel also created my passion for literature of t
...more
Michael
I read this book a required reading between freshman and sophomore years of high school. Our school had a book fair each year where I picked this up, because I knew I HAD to read something that summer. I was/have always been a slow reader and to this point had no interest in reading in the least!

MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY threw the switch to my love of reading. It transported me to a different time, an unknown world, a revelation in human experience. I now realize I have never gotten around to enjoyin
...more
Victoria Elaine
So highly recommend this book if life sucks and you feel mopey. Filled with SWORD FIGHTS, MUTINEERS, LUSTY WENCHES, TRIBAL TATTOOS, DESERT ISLANDS, NAKED WOMEN IN GROTTOS and all-around ADVENTURE. Best of all: it's a true story!
Chris
This is one of the most compelling stories I've ever read. I am usually biased toward sea-based stories due to my love of sailing. I am also particularly fond of stories (books, movies or otherwise) that play on the virtues of honor, courage, and integrity. I also enjoy the occasional law drama (shout out to Law and Order.) This has it all. I've never read much historical fiction, but the fact that this was based in large part on a true story made it all the more engrossing. If you are a fan of ...more
Jeffrey Bean
Wonderful! The entire trilogy is a great read. If you've ever seen any of the movie versions , but not read the books, you need to correct that.
Alicia
Really wonderful, and surprising. As much an account of life in Tahiti and British naval love as a story of a mutiny.
Erik
Excellent piece of historical fiction based on the events surrounding the mutiny on the HMS Bounty. The book is told through the eyes of a Midshipman named Byam who is asked to join the voyage of the Bounty to the Island of Tahiti to bring back Breadfruit tree specimens. Of course the crew, lead by Fletcher Christian, mutinies due to unfair treatment by Captain Bligh. The book depicts British Sea Law as both unfair and just, and shows sea life in a similar manner. Foremost it is a tale of surviv ...more
Jamie
This story of the famous mutiny is narrated by Midshipman Roger Byam, who sailed with Bligh on his voyage to the South Seas in order to compile a dictionary of the Tahitian language. Byam is a witness to Bligh's cruelty and despicable treatment of his men, and is forced to remain on board the Bounty with the mutineers after Bligh is set adrift.

This is the first of a trilogy: Men Against the Sea is the story of Bligh's incredible voyage back to England in a tiny boat with 18 men, and Pitcarin's I
...more
Tessa
This used to be my favorite book. Exciting, historical, a touch of romance...

So why only four stars? Well, I've changed my opinion of the Bounty Mutiny since I read this book at age ten. The book portrays William Bligh as an oppressive tyrant, while Fletcher Christian is noble and kind. I disagree that the mutiny was all Bligh's fault. Certainly, there were things he could have done to avoid it, but I believe that the main responsibility lies with Fletcher Christian, who might not have been so g
...more
Csferguson222
This is a classic historical novel that falls into the "can't-put-it-down" category. I've never seen the movie, but I can't see how it could ever be as good as the book. The story is told through the eyes of Roger Byam, a sailor on the Bounty, and tells of the sufferings of the crew of the Bounty at the hands of Captn Bligh ultimately leading to mutiny. The fate of Byam and the rest of the crew is captivatingly described in this excellent tale. The story is based on the actual history of the eng ...more
Charly
Jan 12, 2014 Charly rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Charly by: Anyone.
This is a book that I was supposed to read in my high school days and had seen the movie so I kind of skimmed it. I am glad that I decided to fully read this and the rest of the trilogy to follow. This is a book as much about personal characteristics, promises and vendetta as it is a book about the sea itself. This based in fact fictional piece is a quick and entertaining read.
Shayni
I definitely recommend this book. Granted, Mutiny on the Bounty starts off somewhat slowly and lulls a bit at certain intervals, it is truly a book with finishing. The way interactions were described between characters who were more or less forced together through circumstance and their subsequent reactions to events is so agonizingly realistic, that no matter how little you wish to acknowledge the fact that these events took place you have no choice but to do just that. I personally can not wai ...more
Geoff Sebesta
I love stirring tales of men at sea.
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This describes the 20th century novelist, most famous for Mutiny on the Bounty. For the 19th century journalist and author, see Charles Nordhoff.

Charles Bernard Nordhoff was an English-born American novelist and traveler.
More about Charles Bernard Nordhoff...

Other Books in the Series

The Bounty Trilogy (3 books)
  • Men Against the Sea (The Bounty Trilogy, #2)
  • Pitcairn's Island (The Bounty Trilogy, #3)
The Mutiny on the Bounty Trilogy Men Against the Sea (The Bounty Trilogy, #2) Pitcairn's Island (The Bounty Trilogy, #3) Falcons of France Botany Bay

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