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The Open Boat and Other Stories
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The Open Boat and Other Stories

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  1,604 Ratings  ·  42 Reviews
Four prized selections by one of America's greatest writers: "The Open Boat," based on a harrowing incident in the author's life: the 1897 sinking of a ship on which he was a passenger; "The Blue Hotel" and "The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky," reflecting Crane's early travels in Mexico and the American Southwest; and the novella Maggie: A Girl of the Streets, a galvanizing por ...more
Paperback, 112 pages
Published May 12th 1993 by Dover Publications (first published 1898)
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Sep 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The Open Boat is one of the best short stories that I have read. If you want to know how to write 50 heart wrenching and dramatic pages essentially about floating in the surf between a sand bar and a rocky shore then this is the right book for you.

Crane's naturalism style is not one of plot twists but still dramatic because his use of imagery and especially his knack for writing engaging characters are so superb.

An interesting note is that this story is autobiographical.
Apr 03, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Once, in a royal fit of frustration, I jumped up on the bed in the middle of night, the mattress balanced precariously on stolen cinder blocks, and yelled: Just put me on a boat in the middle of the ocean with one gallon of water and one box of biscuits and let me die there and then I'll tell you what life is like. My boyfriend was speechless. And half asleep.

Stephen Crane, as a young journalist, was actually stranded in a boat in the middle of the sea, and this is the true story of that. He mad
May 14, 2008 rated it really liked it
I liked this story a lot more than I thought I would. The more I read of Crane, the more I like his style -- and wonder what else he might have produced if he hadn't died so young. This story fits in with the Crane poem:

A man said to the universe:
"Sir, I exist!"
"However," replied the universe,
"The fact has not created in me
A sense of obligation."

In "The Open Boat" the cadence of his words when the boat is on the water evoked the rising and falling of the rough waves that rock the open boat.
Sep 29, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ia-reading
Am I still 16? No. Do I still love Naturalism and the whole idea of the individual powerless to the forces of nature and science? Apparently, yes. (My students thought "Open Boat" was repetitive and boring. For shame! Where is their angst?)
Apr 27, 2007 rated it liked it
Shelves: american
I was impressed with Crane's ability to write so fully and beautifully in a short story. The battle between the natural world and mankind and our apparent helplessness. Naturalism...
Oct 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars
Stephen Crane is a master of the Realism genre, and its a shame that he died at 28; I would have loved to have more work from him. The four short stories in this collection are at varying degrees of success; the first story, Maggie: A Girl of the Streets, is a mixed bag of Crane's strengths and weaknesses. The story could have been twenty pages shorter and still have hit the mark of a piece about Irish American poverty and the struggles of class differences. The title story, The Open Bo
Ricks Eric
May 16, 2009 rated it it was amazing
The Open Boat is an intriguing short story by Stephen Crane that recognizes man's relationship to nature. This story portrays nature in sharp contrast to the romanticism of early American Romantic writers, who viewed nature as there nurturing mother. In many ways this story can be read as an allegory of mans loss of innocence due to the harsh reality of a changing world. This loss of innocence is portrayed as the men in the boat ship there view of nature from a romantic view to that a realist vi ...more
Aug 06, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Literature lovers
Shelves: adult
This book contains 4 short stories. Maggie: a Girl of the streets, which is good. Then The Open Boat, also good. The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky, which is my favorite. And The Blue Hotel, which I don't remember much of.
Aug 02, 2015 rated it liked it
Read to color in a reference in "A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again." Not really my kind of reading, but Wallace is right. The sea is "primordial nada, bottomless, depths inhabited by cackling tooth-studded things rising toward you at the rate a feather falls."
Feb 05, 2010 rated it really liked it
Another great example of his descriptive ability of a situation. Crane puts you right there. It is a shame he died so young.
Stuart Lindberg
Dec 28, 2010 rated it really liked it
I'm a sucker for a good short story, there are several here.
Nov 15, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Stephen Crane is the man. He writes some of the best sentences ever. And then puts those awesome sentences together to write stories. Jealous!!
Jun 01, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 19-c
Clear, crisp prose that doesn't turn sparse. Nature's brutality head-on. There is something about this stuff that I love, and it's somewhere between the words.
Sep 08, 2009 added it
Sep 02, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Read, "The Open Boat"
"The Open Boat" is great. Some funny dialogue. I liked it much better than "Maggie: A Girl of the Streets."
Mark Noce
Oct 22, 2009 rated it really liked it
Great short-stories.
Seth Augenstein
May 21, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: alright
Hit and miss. When on, it's the best.
stephanie suh
Dec 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Four men in a dinghy adrift on a sea for 30 hours. The tempest of waves and a great shark occasionally circling around the perimeter of the boat. And the men rowing endlessly as if it was their only tangible way of protesting against their fates. It all happened in reality because the author Stephen Crane himself experienced the ordeal as one of the four men from the sunk SS Commodore off the coast of Florida en route to Cuba, where Crane had been sent as a war correspondent. The story of the Op ...more
Jul 07, 2017 rated it liked it
The Open Boat: 4 stars
The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky: 3 stars
Maggie: 2 stars
Bill S.
Aug 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I deeply admire Stephen Crane, not just for his candid, open writing style, but also for his ability to write across a wide range of genres. I'll take each story by itself:

Maggie, A Girl Of The Streets:
Set in the streets of a big city, this novella has all the grit and rustic charm of a Dickens book. Whether or not Crane was emulating his style it is hard to know, but it certainly came across that way. The characters are simultaneously lovable and despicable, the result of being broken and desti
Jan 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Jess by: American Lit class
I very much enjoyed these stories, and they were much funnier than I anticipated they would be--I'm unfamiliar with Crane's works besides the book. While I enjoyed the titular story and the longer novella ("Maggie: A Girl of the Streets"), my favorite story was definitely "The Blue Hotel." I've never read a realistic short story so packed with tension, and it gave me the chills.

"Maggie: A Girl of the Streets"

This was definitely the most depressing of the stories, but also the wittiest--and we ge
Feb 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Collection Bilingue
Jan 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
The novella, Maggie: A Girl of the Streets , is fantastic. I loved the dialogue, characterization and use of irony. It is about a pretty girl growing up in a violent and harsh environment in the slums of New York. Her ignorance causes her to overestimate the worth of a friend of her brother's who turns his back on her in the end after he ruins her and her reputation. Her intemperate mother and neighbors drive her to the streets where an even more tragic end awaits her.

The Open Boat is a short-s
Sep 04, 2013 rated it liked it
*Note: I only read the title story.*

I liked his writing, and the imagery, but the pace of the story itself was too slow for me. Also - and maybe this was because I started reading this at 2 in the morning - I was confused by the structure of the story at first. I had to reread it again before it made any sense.
We have four characters.

The fatherly, leader figure Captain;
The hard-working Oiler,
The lighthearted follower Cook,
and the philosophical Correspondent, whose thoughts we read the most in
Apr 03, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: owned-books
Having absolutely adored The Red Badge of Courage, I had higher hopes for this short story. It's the story of four shipwrecked me struggling to survive out at sea. They are tired, hungry, and desperate. They see land and believe they see people on the shore. They have to make the decision of when to start trying to swim to shore - on the one hand the boat they're in is not strong enough to keep them afloat much longer, but the longer they have to swim, the less likely they'll reach their destina ...more
Jul 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The Open Boat is another of Stephen Crane's terrific short stories. It's interesting to note that Crane had a way way of telling a story with total disregard for the time period. Many of his stories could be 1880 or 1930. He was also known for his use of pluralism in many of his stories. For example, so close to shore they can see people waving but not close enough to be saved. Crane died in 1900 at the age of 28. It is said that he had great influence on Hemmingway, and was friends with HG Well ...more
Jun 17, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I cannot fully fathom how a young man can craft such prose. To take 4 utterly different stories, milieus, characters, and even overall feelings surrounding those tales ... it amazes me. Crane's descriptions leave you missing nothing, yet aren't bogged down by superfluous words.
My only complaints?
There were only 4 stories. I wanted more.
And the fact that he died at the age of 28. A veritable George Gershwin of the literary world. How much more could he have written...
Jennifer M. Hartsock
Apr 08, 2011 rated it did not like it
This is another story that I couldn’t follow along very well. I liked the imagery as I have in most of these stories, but the style of writing confused me a bit. It is a good example of theme however because it has a message: it conveys the message of working together to overcome struggle.

Fighting against the sea seems to be impossible to these men, yet realize that in order to survive; they have to comfort one another. This is the theme of the story.
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Stephen Crane was an American novelist, poet and journalist, best known for the novel Red Badge of Courage. That work introduced the reading world to Crane's striking prose, a mix of impressionism, naturalism and symbolism. He died at age 28 in Badenweiler, Baden, Germany.

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“If I am going to be drowned—if I am going to be drowned—if I am going to be drowned, why, in the name of the seven mad gods who rule the sea, was I allowed to come thus far and contemplate sand and trees?” 45 likes
“Perhaps an individual must consider his own death to be the final phenomenon of nature.” 19 likes
More quotes…