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Mutiny on the Globe: The Fatal Voyage of Samuel Comstock

3.58  ·  Rating details ·  101 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
Samuel Comstock knew he was born to do some great thing, but his only legacy was a reign of terror. Two years out of Nantucket on a whaling voyage in 1824, he organized a mutiny and murdered the officers of the Globe. It was a premeditated act; in his sea chest Comstock carried the seeds, tools, and weapons with which he would found his own island kingdom. He had often des ...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published June 17th 2002 by W. W. Norton Company (first published April 29th 2002)
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Amanda P.
The historical event of the mutiny itself was very interesting, but Heffernan is a bit of a dry writer, in that he included in his presentation of the material EVERY possible detail or presumed detail of the ill-fated voyage. It's quite astounding how much information he was able to gather about an event that occurred in 1822 on a remote South Pacific island, so I give a LOT of credit to him for a job well-researched, but I did have to skim here and there to get through some of the less exciting ...more
Baco
Feels like the author assumes you already know the story. A really interesting tale, not told particularly well.
Jeff Jellets
Apr 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, maritime

I am the bloody man; I have the bloody hand and I will be revenged!

My advice is to start with Chapter 3.

And when you hit Chapter 7, skim through everything after the rescue of the lost sailors by the Dolphin until you reach the end.

Because the true story of 1824 mutiny aboard the Nantucket whaling ship Globe is a riveting tale – one of those ‘stranger than fiction’ dramas – that blends maritime history, the adventures of Robinson Crusoe, and grisly horrors reminiscent of Edgar Allan Poe into a
...more
Philippa
Review published in the New Zealand Listener, 17 August 2002

Mutiny on the Globe
The Fatal Voyage of Samuel Comstock
Thomas Farel Heffernan
Bloomsbury 2002, $36.95

Reviewed by Philippa Jamieson

All the elements of a classic mutiny – treachery, murder, and being marooned on a desert island – are present in Mutiny on the Globe. Thomas Farel Herffernan, author of two other seafaring books (on whaling and Vikings respectively) has written not just an absorbing tale of an obscure event in Pacific history,
...more
Dean Hamilton
Jan 07, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"I am the bloody man; I have the bloody hand; I will have revenge!"

Thus spake Samual Comstock, the estwhile leader of the one of the most gruesome mutinies in U.S. history, the mutiny on the Nantucket whaling ship, The Globe, in 1823. Killing the captain and officers, Comstock then led his party of mutineers (and a number of unwilling sailors in fear of their lives) to Mili Atoll, in the Marshall Islands, where Comstock proposed building his own South Seas island kingdom. Within days, his dream
...more
Matthew
Aug 16, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I found this tale interesting enough, except that the final third, describing the rescue of the Globe mutiny's two survivors, is a bit too detailed, and the storytelling momentum that the reader has enjoyed to that point just dies.

Even so, the scene that's going to stay with me comes from that portion of the book: Heffernan describes an outbreak of disease among the natives of the atoll where the Globe's survivors are marooned. The natives have killed seven members of the Globe's crew, sparing
...more
Kayla
Apr 17, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Most of what this book does is combine three different sources into one rather clean book, with an author who seems truly concerned by how honest the sources are at various times. The first source was an account written by the brothers of Samuel Comstock, the delusional and socio-pathic leader of the mutiny. This is by no means a defence of their brother, especially as one of the brothers was present for the mutiny and saw what his brother was capable of.The second account is one written by two ...more
Stacy
Jul 02, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Odd. The book was first published in 2002 but it reads as though it was written in a much earlier time. The language is, at times, antiquated and the author has a difficult time remaining on track. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed it. However, it should be read as a reference source and not as literature. If you first take a look at the back you'll notice it has an index. First clue that it is not a convenient read. The appendices are invaluable and should not be passed over. They were, quite proba ...more
Matthew
Aug 02, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, the-sea
Very interesting story, and well researched - but this book is completely ruined by the way it is written. As a narrative, I found it almost unreadable. The focus frequently shifts abruptly. Major elements of the story (and presumably the most interest ones) are generally given no emphasis whatsoever, which makes you question whether you read the words correctly. And the author has an annoying habit of conversationally interjecting his tangential thoughts, which is disruptive to the flow.
Brian
Nov 02, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Poe used this incident in composing THE NARRATIVE OF ARTHUR GORDON PYM. This book covers the subject adequately, but DEMON OF THE WATERS (I'm finishing that now.) is more dramatic and entertaining a read.
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