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Mutiny on the Bounty

(The Bounty Trilogy #1)

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  14,041 ratings  ·  255 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. ...more
Paperback, 400 pages
Published April 11th 1989 by Back Bay Books (first published 1932)
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Average rating 3.99  · 
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 ·  14,041 ratings  ·  255 reviews

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Daniel Villines
Mutiny on the Bounty is THE classic tale of mutiny on the high seas. I believe that anytime the word "mutiny" is spoken or read, the Bounty is the ship that flashes through the mind. Given this widespread notoriety, I was disappointed with its actual content.

I thought that Nordhoff overdramatized both sides of the mutiny. The crew were turned into victims for having to suffer the norms of an ordinary seaman’s life. And the integrity of an accomplished naval sea captain was sacrificed so that he
Mar 05, 2008 rated it liked it
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
Apr 14, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Hornblower fans and those who like seafaring tales

When I started this I was slightly worried because a) it's written by two authors and I though it might be jarring when it switched from one to the other b) N. C. Wyeth's illustrations had several top-less ladies and c) the books didn't seem very happy I knew almost for certain how it would end.

But... I really enjoyed it. A) the writing is seamless from one to the other. I truly could not tell who was writing. Maybe because they both edited each other's writing. B) While the island ladies don't
ElizaBeth Comencant
Jan 03, 2018 rated it liked it
Okay, so I was in between books and decided to go back and read this one, which, if I am being honest, I never read in high school when I was supposed to. It is a LONG read, but I am glad I read it. The narrator's story is told plainly, with a fine attention to detail. I can't say I loved how it all went down, and several of the character's stories were quite poignant. Still, I am happy I chose to read this again as an adult, and recommend it for anyone who thinks they remember it from school. I ...more
Kelly_Hunsaker_reads ...
Dec 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: classics
As a young girl in the 1960s and 1970s I found that reading allowed me to travel, escape, dream and survive epic adventures. Many, many times my dad entered my room long past bedtime to take from me the flashlight that I was using to read while under the covers. I fell in love with adventurous and mysterious stories because they made me feel like I was living that kind of life.

Recently, I found myself awake at 3 am and arguing with myself that it was time to push the stop button on this audiobo
Pasan Rajadasa
Jul 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
I kind of feel bad for giving only 4 stars. I have a thing with the sea, as I often mention, and I have researched a lot when it comes to the nautical history in 19th century. I was prejudiced.

Still, it lived upto the expeditions. Not the perfect story of a voyage one might expect , but it was one heck of a voyage nonetheless.
Christopher Hallahan
Mar 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Erik Graff
Oct 21, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of 18th century sailing
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: history
Though fiction, this book is based on actual events. I read it for pleasure during high school, possibly after having seen one of the movie versions.
Mar 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction-maritime
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
Jan 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is one of the best known classic sea adventure stories. Based on a true event.
"There is one matter we will decide once and for all," said Christian. He began, quietly, "and that is who is to be captain of this ship. I have taken her with your help, in order to be rid of a tyrant who was made life a burden to all of us. Make no mistake about our status from this time on. We are mutineers, and if we should be discovered and taken by one of His Majesty's vessels, not a man of us but will suffer death. That possibility is not so remote as some of you may think. Should Mr. Bli
Judy  Monchuk
Dec 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read Mutiny on the Bounty to fulfill a Read Harder challenge of finishing a book I hated or left unfinished. I was supposed to read it in high school and just could not get past the second page.
For much of this reading, I was in agreement with my 15-year-old self. This is not my kind of book.
The seafaring life is brutal and the history of life on the seas is not my idea of romance.

But here's the thing: Capt. Bligh, Christian Fletcher and The Bounty were all real. And the story, depicting th
Eric Olsen
Jul 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Tale of an impetous moment by Fletcher Christian to overthrow Captain Bligh, which set a whole series of events in motion, jeopardizing the lives of others, bringing tradegy to many, and ending in a bizarre, violent saga at Pitcairn's Island. Although it was truly a mutiny, Captain Bligh's actions and character helped to greatly fuel the the discontent. Captain Bligh's actions opened many paths for the men on the Bounty...Fletcher Christian seized one of those paths and seemingly regretted it hi ...more
May 14, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2020, classics
The story is interesting. All the nautical directions at the beginning almost caused me to quit the book but I powered through and then enjoyed a good part of the detailed retelling. I had to read a little about the story to fill in some of the gaps.
Marty Reeder
Sep 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Who doesn’t love a good story of redemption?!

Oh, did you think I was talking about Mutiny on the Bounty? I suppose that could apply, but I was actually talking about my sister. Waves of controversy slapped across the internet a couple months ago when I posted my negative review of The Road to Little Dribbling which was recommended to me by my little sis. Had I forever damaged our tight relationship? Were we never going to talk literature again? Was she going to take the drastic step of endorsing
Abdullahmd Wasim
Oct 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
good description. but, the ending is heart touching and too much emotional.
Paul Cornelius
For the first time in 50 years, I have just finished rereading Mutiny on the Bounty. After all that time, it still retained its vividness and pace. It remains a great adventure story. And it still appeals to me.

A few things to remark upon regarding what I see in its origins and structure:

First, the power of the storytelling is immense. The narrative is clean, punctuated with just the right moves to advance to the next level of the tale. I'm imagining that the strong structure of the novel is du
Bill Buckley
Mar 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
I saw this movie a while back starring Marlon Brando. Story of Captain William Bligh, Fletcher Christian and the rest of the crew of this English ship during the 1700's.

The part of the story which dealt with the island nation of Tahiti was pretty good. Tropical paradise! Some of the mutineers were hung and some aquitted. There are 3 books, the other 2 dealing with the fates of Bligh and Christian, which I may get to in the future.
Jan 31, 2009 rated it really liked it
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. ...more
Jun 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is a stunning novel, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It's the kind of novel you could reread because the scenes are so intense and so much happens. I highly recommend it.

Quite different from the Marlon Brando film version as I remember it. I'll soon see how much it differs from the Clark Gable/Charles Laughton version.
The beginning was promisingly told, but then I found the time onboard ship to be tedious. I didn't really become invested in Byam's fate... though I was saddened and outraged by his return trip to Tahiti 20 years later. ...more
Oct 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
More reviews available at my blog, Beauty and the Bookworm.

Continuing on with my reading challenge (I'm nearing the end!) I chose Mutiny on the Bounty for the category of a "A book with multiple authors." It also had the added benefit of allowing me to cross off a book from the list I have pinned up by my desk of every book Rory Gilmore reads, mentions, etc. during the duration of Gilmore Girls.

What's important to remember about Mutiny on the Bounty is that is a fictionalized account of the (in
Nov 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Like most people I can recall many times when I would stay up late in bed as a child reading a book by torchlight under the blankets. Escaping to foreign lands between the pages there was, at the time, an absolute need to read just one more page. Whilst I no longer need to read under my blankets, that feeling of unabated joy was something akin to what I felt when reading Nordhoff and Hall's historical novel of the most infamous of mutinies.

Set in the late 18th century, there's probably very few
Nicholas Whyte
Dec 14, 2017 rated it really liked it

Mutiny on the Bounty, is narrated by Byam, the fictional midshipman played by Franchot Tone in the film; the Bligh of the book is if anything even more monstrous than the Bligh of the film, and the confusion of the mutiny itself - a ten-minute spurt of late-night impulse which had long-lasting effects - better conveyed. The Tahitians are referred to invariably as "Indians", but otherwise treated as a dignified culture which the English sailors disrupt b
Jeff Mayo
Oct 10, 2018 rated it liked it
Somewhat fictionalized account of an actual mutiny in 1788-89. Most people have seen one of the four films or the off-Broadway musical about the Bounty, which sets sail from England for Tahiti to get breadfruit trees to take to Jamaica to provide a cheap food source for slaves. When Captain William Bligh attempts to take the ship west through the navigational nightmare around Cape Horn, the cruel captain has a mutiny on his hands, led by Lieutenant Fletcher Christian. There are two sequels to th ...more
Jan 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Loved it. It describes the struggle and terror of the high seas, whether from the people the characters are voyaging with or the ocean herself.
There is no clear line between the author's styles, which may have ruined the story for me completely had there been one. If I had been able to see or even FEEL a difference in the writing, that would be all I would have noticed and I wouldn't have been able to appreciate the story. There is no such distinction, and I really appreciate it for that fact
Apr 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read Mutiny on the Bounty as a young boy and still have the edition from 1932 that I had read. Reading it again now brings back memories yet, as an adult, I get a little different perspective. What is interesting is that it is called a novel but based on true events about the tragic voyage of the HMS Bounty in 1788-1789. The crew had taken enough abuse from Captain Bligh and rose up in mutiny against him, took charge of the ship, and planned to return to a peaceful life on one of the islands i ...more
Phillip III
Jan 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Over the years I have seen the movie adaptations of this novel. (1935, and the remake with Brando in 1962), as well as The Mounty with Gibson and Hopkins in 1984.

The book was fantastic, a mix of fact and fiction. The writing between the two authors is smooth and seamless. I enjoyed the parts of the book when they sailed the South Pacific, the parts when they landed on the Tahiti islands, and the fast-paced courtroom drama!

There were --as is always the case -- parts of the book that never made it
The fact that a book about naval voyages kept my interest speaks to this book's pacing and writing. I picked it up since it's on the 1000 books to read before you die list, and while it is not my genre, I was able to make hasty progress on it, and mostly enjoyed it. I expected a very different book, assuming that the mutiny itself, or build-up to it would take the bulk of the text, and was surprised at the single-chapter devoted to it. I think a story that involved more conspiracy, plotting, and ...more
Aug 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I keep coming back to this beautifully haunting re-telling of the Bounty mutiny every year or so, and every time it's like a call to the sea, as if in an earlier life I had sailed the oceans of Bligh and Christian. The book, much like a voyage, starts slow but after the first fifty pages it has transformed itself so thoroughly into a dramatic sea adventure that the one way back to reality is sailing forward and be it through the hell that are Bligh and the Horn.

And then there's the characters a
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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.

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)

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“The Court: Had there been a very recent quarrel?
Mr. Fryer: The day before the mutiny, Mr. Bligh charged Christian with stealing his coconuts.”
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