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Captains Courageous

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  19,697 ratings  ·  826 reviews

A pampered millionaire's son tumbles overboard from a luxury liner and falls into good fortune, disguised in the form of a fishing boat. The gruff and hearty crew teach the young man to be worth his salt as they fish the waters off the Grand Banks of Newfoundland. Brimming with adventure and humor.

Paperback, 161 pages
Published November 24th 2006 by Adamant Media Corporation (first published March 1897)
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Average rating 3.88  · 
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 ·  19,697 ratings  ·  826 reviews

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Henry Avila
Sep 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Harvey Cheyne Jr. an arrogant fifteen -year- old, greatly disliked by the annoyed passengers, spoiled son of a multi -millionaire railroad tycoon from San Diego, ( my hometown) is being taken to Europe by his parents on a luxury liner, a steamship, set in the late nineteenth century. As they enter the Grand Banks of Newfoundland, a fertile fishing area, Harvey is seasick, not helped by smoking a strong cigar, he needs fresh air fast, going on deck his legs are a bit wobbly,
head aching too, a r
Sep 21, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: did-not-finish
I'm writing this review to honour the likes that my friends have bestowed upon this book.

I tried to take part in a bookish bingo challenge, and, patting myself on the back, I got this Rudyard Kipling booklet. How awful could it get, right?

It was so poorly paced that I thought I was reading a 900 paged book. Avoid this at all cost.
Adam Nelson
Nov 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
This book was a refreshing change from modern life. Suddenly I found myself among cod fisherman, learning the ropes alongside our hero, Harvey, and listening to sea ditties (thanks to the vastly entertaining Audible version of this book). Kipling brings pure adventure with his lively plots filled with near misses, ghostly fog, and surly sailors. His skillful writing always makes me pause. There are many interesting turns of phrase but also great variety in the types of sentences, verb selections ...more
Apr 29, 2014 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
Aug 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Second reading November 2016

First reading: August 2014
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
Jan 05, 2011 rated it liked it
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
Mar 28, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
Finished reading this with the kids. Enjoyed it, just didn't love it. The last section should have ended about 20 pages earlier. It was like Kipling hit the natural climax for the story and then felt he needed to write another twenty pages to make somebody happy and decided to just phone-it-in (or the equivalent to phoning-it-in would be in 1897).

The story was interesting, but just not THAT interesting. I guess I would class this as a minor sea story and a minor Kipling. If you are into Sea Stor
Michael Gerald
Jan 03, 2012 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
K.M. Weiland
Oct 27, 2015 rated it liked it
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.
'Master-man. Man-master,' said he. 'You remember, Dan Troop, what I said? On the We're here?'
'Well, I won't go so far as to deny that it do look like it as things stand at present,' said Dan. 'She was an able packet, an' one way an' another I owe her a heap _her and dad.'
'Me too,' quoth Harvey Cheyne.
Feb 09, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 04, 2007 rated it did not like 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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I started with the paperback copy that I've had for a hundred years but switched over to the Kindle for the ease of getting definitions of the many, many words I didn't know. Sailing terms and also some of the vernacular used by the characters. It was helpful for some of the sailing terms. Oh well. I loved it anyway.

I absolutely loved the descriptions of the sea and the interaction between it and the boats. And Harvey. One of my favorites "...a low, gray mother-wave swung out of the fog, tucked
Jan 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
The 1937 version of Captains Courageous is one of my favorite films. I shouldn’t have been surprised that the book is considerably different from the movie. One notable difference is that Manuel has such a minor role in the book. The other main difference is that in the book, Harvey almost immediately changes his behavior after being picked up by the fishing ship. Still the heart of both are the same – a spoiled young man learning responsibility and team work.
Free download available at Project Gutenberg. ...more
What a lovely, entertaining story. I found Captains Courageous by Rudyard Kipling by chance. Kipling might be better known for The Jungle Book and Kim but this story was great.

It starts with a bang. Young 15 year old Harvey Cheyne, son of a wealthy family and spoiled, is on a sea voyage with his mother when they hit a storm in the Grand Banks off Newfoundland, and he is washed overboard. Luckily for Harvey, the fishing fleet is working at the Grand Banks as well and one of the fishermen, out in
Dec 30, 2013 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
Lara Lleverino
It was by chance I read this book at the same time I finished both The Secret Garden and A Little Princess and not long after reading Carry On Mr Bowditch. Kiplings own story mirrors that of A Little Princess in that his birth to early years were spent in India in the care of his Ayah and later years in a merciless England. The story itself mirrored Bowditch in that it took place in the oceans of North America and on a ship. I found the book enjoyable if a bit difficult to read given the strange ...more
Emily L
Mar 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Captains Courageous will always be one of my favorites from fond memories of my dad reading it aloud to us as children. Now I've just finished reading it aloud to my own family from an identical antique copy. ...more
3.5 Stars
I wish I could say I really liked this, but I can't. I liked it, I know that is splitting hairs, but it just doesn't leave me feeling wow. I loved the adventure, the fishing, and the rugged life of being at sea. I was not convinced that a (view spoiler)

This is a rare case of the movie being better than the book.
Great Book Study
There is nothing a season at sea can't cure - especially a bad attitude. My review: Captians Courageous

Megan Chappie
Sep 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
OK. I feel like I missed a lot. Kipling uses SO MUCH DIALECT. And on top of that he uses SO MUCH BOAT TERMINOLOGY. So a sometimes-dim-witted landlubber like me is basically reading a book that's 50% a foreign language.

But I enjoyed it anyway. Harvey's development from a spoiled brat into a hardworking young man was quite pleasing, and his friendship with Dan was the best. I don't know if I've ever come across a character name more delightful than "Disko Troop." Penn was sweet, and I have issues
Sep 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Loved it!
In some ways, it reminded me of an early version of "The Perfect Storm" (great book!) by Sebastian Junger.
Maybe a little "Moby Dick" thrown in; although, M.D. was much more technical and quite a bit longer.... : )
Apr 05, 2020 rated it liked it
I liked it, but there was something missing, particularly the development of the friendship between the two boys. I just couldn't believe they'd became friends by the end. It seems as if this story was about fishing, and the characters were all secondary. ...more
Apr 21, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was good sea-going fun. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Jul 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't know that this is Kipling's best; I think I like the Mowgli stories better. Still an enjoyable read, easy to identify with Harvey. I think he learned faster than most would that his wealth was pretty meaningless on board the 'We're Here.'
Most poignant moment: The loss of the Jennie Cushman. This showed more than anything else, I think, how Harvey had changed.
Captains Courageous is a wonderful classic by Rudyard Kipling about which too many people have forgotten. The plot is straightforward: a spoiled rich boy falls overboard and is picked up by a fishing boat where he learns some fast and hard life lessons. It is part adventure and part cautionary tale. It delivers its message without being overbearing or boring though. It is a short and fast paced novella that could easily be read in a day.

There are two things I will mention though. The first is th
dead letter office
There's not really any content to this. It's an adventure story set on the high seas, but I guess I like Stevenson's ocean tales much better. It's also kind of an afterschool-special level morality tale about the importance of self-sufficiency and the value of hard labor in forming character. Outdated mytholgizing of American independence and toughness. It just feels dated (not just the language but the whole point of the story) and kind of embarrassing. Not as bad as The Man Without a Country, ...more
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Joseph Rudyard Kipling was a 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 a major innovator in

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“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.” 5 likes
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