Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Mount TBR #49

I read this book for the Mount TBR Reading Challenge hosted over at My Reader’s Block from January 1 – December 31, 2016. The challenge is to read books that you already own.

The Master Mariner: Running Proud – Nicholas Monsarrat

This historical novel has a unique premise. For an act of cowardice during a battle against the Spanish Armada, an English sailor is condemned to live forever. This gives the reader the opportunity to enjoy sea stories set in different eras. The times and settings are: exploring with Henry Hudson in 1610; piracy in 1670; clerk for Samuel Pepys in 1682; fishing on the Grand Banks in 1720; navigating the world with Capt James Cook in 1759 and fighting with Nelson in 1790. The mini-biographies of Hudson, Pepys, Cook and Nelson brilliantly convey the qualities and achievements that made them great. The set pieces contain rousing battle sequences and pirate horrors of torture and rape. Monsarrat’s theme is basically the hardships of men at sea – that men could endure struggles against officers and adversaries while undergoing privations of food, comfort, and ordinary companionship boggles the mind.

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