×

Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

Apprentice to the Sea
     

Apprentice to the Sea

by Philip McCutchan
 

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Cahners\\Publishers_Weekly
Veteran author of numerous military novels, McCutchan launches a nautical series starring apprentice seaman Tom Chatto. "Fresh from the West of Ireland," 16-year-old Tom comes to England and is apprenticed to the commercial barque Pass of Drumochter, one of the few sailing ships left in the mid-1890s. Adjusting to the rigorous shipboard routine, the innocent lad receives his schooling from a colorful cast of characters: the sexagenarian Captain Landon and his beautiful, much younger wife; Mr. Patience, the irascible First Mate who has designs on the lady; Jim Wales, the stout-hearted head apprentice and Tom's mentor; the snobbish Mainprice, youngest of the apprentices; and Chardonnet, a mysterious stowaway. McCutchan effectively and economically limns bustling Liverpool, the daunting mission of beating around the Horn and Victorian England's rigid caste system. Despite its sometimes excessive jargon-"eased off the lee sheet, clewed the yard down and then hauled up on the lee clewline and the bunt"-this spankingly paced novel augurs well for Tom's further voyages. FYI: In addition to his two nonfiction works, McCutchan's more than 100 novels have portrayed the exploits of such dashing British heroes as Simon Shard (12 titles); Lieutenant St. Vincent Halfhyde, RN (16); Donald Cameron, RNVR (14); Commander Shaw (20); and Commodore John Mason Kemp, RD, RNR (six).
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Veteran author of numerous military novels, McCutchan launches a nautical series starring apprentice seaman Tom Chatto. ``Fresh from the West of Ireland,'' 16-year-old Tom comes to England and is apprenticed to the commercial barque Pass of Drumochter, one of the few sailing ships left in the mid-1890s. Adjusting to the rigorous shipboard routine, the innocent lad receives his schooling from a colorful cast of characters: the sexagenarian Captain Landon and his beautiful, much younger wife; Mr. Patience, the irascible First Mate who has designs on the lady; Jim Wales, the stout-hearted head apprentice and Tom's mentor; the snobbish Mainprice, youngest of the apprentices; and Chardonnet, a mysterious stowaway. McCutchan effectively and economically limns bustling Liverpool, the daunting mission of beating around the Horn and Victorian England's rigid caste system. Despite its sometimes excessive jargon-``eased off the lee sheet, clewed the yard down and then hauled up on the lee clewline and the bunt''-this spankingly paced novel augurs well for Tom's further voyages. (Mar.)
School Library Journal
YA-Here's a book that's satisfying on many levels. Primarily an adventure story of life at sea in the 19th century aboard a square-rigged windjammer, it also qualifies as a mystery, a coming-of-age story, and a career novel. Tom Chatto, 17, fresh from a country vicarage in the west of Ireland, goes to the seaside offices of the Porter Holt Shipping Company and signs aboard a vessel that will carry cargo from Liverpool to South America. He finds among the crew a savage first mate, a remote captain, and, as a fellow apprentice, a condescending fop. Acknowledgement is made that steam power will soon replace the tall ships; the pressure of progress recurs throughout the book, stressing the uniqueness of the time and culture of shipboard life under sail. The mysterious presense of a stowaway and awful struggles with the weather keep the action brisk.-Frances Reiher, King's Park Library, Burke, VA
Roland Green
McCutchan still may not be all that well known to American readers, though in his native Britain he has published more novels of the sea than Patrick O'Brian, Dudley Pope, and C. S. Forester put together. The latest opens a new series set in a relatively unexplored period, the late Victorian, when Britain's maritime supremacy was at its height and sail was slowly giving way to steam. The book takes Tom Chatto, a 16-year-old officer in training, aboard an aging windjammer bound round the Horn. On the voyage, Tom faces substandard messmates, an able but aging captain, a brutal mate, a brutal boatswain, a fugitive murderer, and all the hazards of weather, reefs, and human error. McCutchan brings to this book, as to his others, a driving narrative style and a vast knowledge of and love for the sea that is certain to delight seafaring buffs.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780312117436
Publisher:
St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
02/01/1995
Edition description:
1st U.S. ed
Pages:
183
Product dimensions:
5.74(w) x 8.52(h) x 0.71(d)

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews