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Seamen Classic Naval Novels

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message 1: by Fenixbird (new) - added it

Fenixbird SandS I do so love the ocean & well my last marriage was to a Navy man (Italian Navy)...enough of that history...However, the sea (la mer) holds such amazing appeal. What other great novels on these subjects have YOU read and would share??

Brooke Try Nathaniel Philbrick's "In the Heart of the Sea." He retells the true story of a whale ramming a Nantucket whaling ship and sinking it. This historical event was Melville's inspiration for "Moby Dick."

It's a riveting history.

message 3: by Stephen (last edited Nov 06, 2011 11:09AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Stephen If you like a good sea tale and perhaps one told less circuitously than this try reading the Hornblower novels. Start with Mr. Midshipman Hornblower but be aware that C.S. Forester didn't write them in chronological order and this one is of a different format than the others. Each chapter kind of reads like it's own short story.

message 4: by Roger (last edited Nov 18, 2011 09:34AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Roger Weston The Cruel Sea by Nicholas Monsarrat is a WW2 naval classic.

Roger Weston, author of The Golden Catch

Gordon I agree that The Cruel Sea is a very good book, with some insights into the psychology of individuals forced together and their responses to the danger and brutality of their existence. For something more along the lines of Moby-Dick, with its extended philosophical digressions, however, many of Joseph Conrad's works are excellent. I would recommend beginning with the short story Freya Of The Seven Isles and moving on to Heart Of Darkness or The Shadow-Line.

Karen I love this genre and have read all of the ones mentioned! In the Heart of the Sea is a great nonfiction read, but by far the best of any I've read is Patrick O'Brian's series starting with Master and Commander. I also liked Kenneth Roberts' books about the sea, especially Boon Island. The Cruel Sea is excellent as are all of Conrad's books. I also very much enjoyed Dewey Lambdin's series about Alan Lewrie. The Hornblower stories are fun, but so are Alexander Kent's books about Richard Bolitho.

Stephen Then perhap you should try the The Mutiny on the Bounty Trilogy The first story is well known, but the other two are interesting as well.The Guernseyman is also the beginning of an interesting naval series. And if you can stand a more modern naval yarn try In Harm's Way The movie was kind of cheesy but the book is better.

Richard Star of the Sea - one of the best books i've ever read

Jakkob The Sea Wolf,by Jack London.

It's the first book that comes to mind when I recommend a follow up to Moby Dick. London has enough authenticity to keep real sailors happy, good dialog for the philophers, and action for adventurists.

Øystein The Sharks, by Jens Bjørneboe is a really good book. Dark and psychological.

message 11: by [deleted user] (new)

I don't know what to make of this, but it "might" explain our facination with the sea...

message 12: by Geoffrey (last edited Dec 06, 2011 03:41PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Geoffrey I just read SACRED HUNGER and found it in need of some editing to tighten up the plot. It was not as successfully experimental as the STONE VIRGIN by the same author or as interesting as MORALITY PLAY, nor was the moral dilemmas as poignant as in his novel about the Christain potentate during the Crusades.

message 13: by Joe (new)

Joe Nine The Voyage of the Frog is a great quick read about a kid who gets lost at sea fulfilling his uncle's last dream.

message 14: by Dave (new) - rated it 5 stars

Dave read this book a couple of years ago - relentlessly depressing - but given the subject matter what else could one expect

message 15: by Mark (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mark For fun read The Frozen Pirate by William Clark Russell. Dr. Watson was reading a book by Russell in one of the Sherlock Holmes stories.

Karl Ivan Farthegn From all my reading I have only ever come across one navel novel I consider genuinely great that book is Joseph Conrad's Typhoon, The Sharks by Jens Bjørneboe is also interesting though I rate his The Moments of Freedom trilogy higher.

Feliks The best sea-writing I've ever encountered --even better than Conrad--is HM Tomlinson's "The Sea and the Jungle".

I feel that Conrad's best sea tale is 'the Ni**er of the Narcissus' but this even tops that. Just in terms of sheer descriptive skill. Tomlinson's book is a work of nonfiction; so I'm not comparing drama-to-drama. Just saying; Tomlinson gives an incredible account of what it feels like to be far out at sea.

message 18: by Mick (new) - rated it 4 stars

Mick Nathaniel Philbrick's "In the Heart of the Sea
Carsten Jensen "We The Drowned"
Horatio Hornblower series
Mutiny on the Bounty trilogy
Two years Before the Mast
all these are excellent reads

Mackenzie Two years Before the Mast was required reading for midshipmen in the 19th century.

Robert I'm surprised not to see some mention here of the "Richard Bolitho" novels by Alexander Kent. They are quite similar in format to Forrester's "Hornblower" books, and I found them quite satisfying as British 19th century historical naval fiction.

message 22: by Kirk (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kirk I liked the Patrick O'Brien series a lot, and the Hornblower books before that.

I can also recommend The Caine Mutiny.

message 23: by Feliks (last edited Sep 06, 2013 09:11AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

message 24: by Kirk (last edited Sep 06, 2013 09:16AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kirk Thanks for reminding me about Joseph Slocum's voyage. Sailing Alone around the World is a true story.

message 26: by Feliks (last edited Sep 06, 2013 01:56PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Feliks Kirk wrote: "Thanks for reminding me about Joseph Slocum's voyage. Sailing Alone around the World is a true story."

Yep. Good on ye mate. More people should be aware of this great American.

message 27: by James (last edited Sep 06, 2013 06:11PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

James Powell The Black Ship by Dudley Pope & Man of War Life by Charles Nordhoff.

And Moby Dick is mandatory. It just is so quit arguing and read it.

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