Cruel Sea

( 13 )

Overview

A powerful novel of the North Atlantic in World War II, this is the story of the British ships Compass Rose and Saltash and of their desperate cat-and-mouse game with Nazi U-boats. First published to great acclaim in 1951, The Cruel Sea remains a classic novel of endurance and daring.
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The Cruel Sea

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Overview

A powerful novel of the North Atlantic in World War II, this is the story of the British ships Compass Rose and Saltash and of their desperate cat-and-mouse game with Nazi U-boats. First published to great acclaim in 1951, The Cruel Sea remains a classic novel of endurance and daring.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Chicago Tribune
"An impressive novel, portraying the war at sea with emotion, drama, tenderness and terror."
Atlantic Monthly
"Powerful...the dominant quality of this sturdy novel is compassion."
San Francisco Chronicle
A whale of a story...Solidly conceived and well executed.
From the Publisher
"A whale of a story...Solidly conceived and well executed."
Library Journal
One of the classic naval adventure stories of World War II, Monsarrat's novel tells the tale of two British ships trying to escape destruction by wolf pack U-boats hunting in the North Atlantic. The book was a smash when released in 1951, going through numerous printings. This is the first paperback edition available in ages. Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.\
The Spectator
"One of the best novels that has yet been written about sailors at war."
The New York Times
"Fascinating and compelling."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781580800464
  • Publisher: Burford Books
  • Publication date: 1/28/2000
  • Series: Classics of War Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 520
  • Sales rank: 265,541
  • Product dimensions: 5.58 (w) x 8.35 (h) x 1.22 (d)

Meet the Author

Nicholas Monsarrat was born in Liverpool and educated at Cambridge University, where he studied law. His career as a solicitor encountered a swift end when he decided to leave Liverpool for London, with a half-finished manuscript under his arm and œ40 in his pocket.

His first book to attract attention was the largely autobiographical 'This is the Schoolroom', which was concerned with the turbulent thirties, and a student at Cambridge who goes off to fight against the fascists in Spain only to discover that life itself is the real schoolroom.

During World War II he joined the Royal Navy and served in corvettes. His war experiences provided the framework for the novel 'HMS Marlborough will enter Harbour', which is one of his best known books, along with 'The Cruel Sea'. The latter was made into a classic film starring Jack Hawkins. Established as a top name writer, Monsarrat's career concluded with 'The Master Mariner', a historical novel of epic proportions the final part of which was both finished (using his notes) and published posthumously.

Well known for his concise story telling and tense narrative on a wide range of subjects, although nonetheless famous for those connected with the sea and war, he became one of the most successful novelists of the twentieth century, whose rich and varied collection bears the hallmarks of a truly gifted writer.

The Daily Telegraph summed him up thus: 'A professional who gives us our money's worth. The entertainment value is high'.

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Table of Contents

Before the Curtain 3
Part 1 1939: Learning 5
Part 2 1940: Skirmishing 79
Part 3 1941: Grappling 137
Part 4 1942: Fighting 277
Part 5 1943: The Moment of Balance 344
Part 6 1944: Winning 467
Part 7 1945: The Prize 489
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 13 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(9)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(0)

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Sort by: Showing all of 13 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 26, 2008

    You can almost feel the salt spray

    I first read this book over thirty years ago. I have finished my third reading. Incredibly vivid portrayal of what it must have been like to have been on a British corvette escorting convoys through the North Atlantic. The plot occasionally creaks when the crew goes ashore, but this is about the perils of being on a ship in wartime. Monsarrat writes out of his own experiences and puts you right there on the ship's bridge with all of an officer's concern, fear and anxiety. A classic.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 26, 2004

    Battle of the North Atlantic

    The most compelling sea story since Moby Dick told in beautiful, lyrical prose. A war story that puts you in the thick of the battle where you feel the sting of the salt spray and the numbing cold of the water but most of all the ever-present fear of being blown out of the sea by an unseen enemy.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 21, 2009

    Gripping novel well-based in reality

    Like another reviewer, this was my second reading after a period of about 30 years and I enjoyed it even more the second time. With a more solid foundation in the history of the war, military service and conversations with Naval veterans over the years, this tale is a remarkable glimpse into a crucial aspect of WW II that most never think much about or fully appreciate. This is, to me, one of the best reads from that era.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 29, 2015

    A great read;highly recommended

    A great story and a very good movie was made from it.The movie followed the book to a tee.

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  • Posted February 23, 2015

    One of the very best books about the war in the Atlantic pitting

    One of the very best books about the war in the Atlantic pitting vulnerable convoys and their escort vessels against Nazi subs. The descriptions of the war at sea are very real. Not only did the convoys have to fight the Germans but the weather and the sea itself.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2012

    excellent Highly recommend

    British Navy at war with German U-boats during WWII

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 2012

    A New Dawn

    A New Dawn

    Chapter Three
    I fluff up my brown featheers, sighing. My cream-dappled feathers don't seem to be as warm as a thick pelt would be. The undersides of my wings are creamy white.
    "Ep?" Someone asks.
    I turn my gold eyes to the speaker. "Corrian, what is it?" I ask. The Screech Owl continues. "The Council would like to see you. Immediately."
    I stand, shivering. "Okay." As a tiny Elf Owl, I'm freezing!
    We hop out onto the branch extending from below my hollow. My parents are hunting, and my brother is at a friend's tree.
    I unfurl my wings and leap off the branch after Corrian.
    We fly to a large oak, which stands out from the pines surrounding it.
    We land in a massive hollow, looking up at a group of owls.
    The Council.
    "Corrian, you are dismissed." A Snowy Owl hoots. Corrian nods and backs out.
    "Good luck." He whispers to me before leaving.
    "Ep," the Snowy Owl turns her large yellow eyes on me. "You have been chosen to join with some other creatures in an attempt to unite the Kingdoms."
    "Blinia, I will continue." A Barn Owl offers. Blinia, the Snowy, dips her head.
    "Yes, Hartley." She says quietly.
    "Ep, an unimaginably evil army is rising to destroy us. The Kingdoms must join together to stop them." Hartley tells me.
    I nod slowly. "Okay."
    "You must go now." He orders. I scramble out and clumsily snap open my wings.
    * * *
    As I fly, I spot a light gray figure slinking through the Owl Kingdom. I swoop and land in front of it. It's... a cat!
    I stare at the gray shecat with white paws, tail-tip, chest, and muzzle. Her green eyes glitter in the starlight.
    "What are you doing here?" I demand.
    "Uniting the Kingdoms. It's my destiny." She doesn't sound so sure about her 'destiny.'
    "Hey, that's my job, too!" I exclaim.
    "So, if we have to unite the Kingdoms, I guess we have to work together." The cat reasons.
    "Yeah, I guess. I'm Ep."
    "I'm Cinder. Let's... sleep 'til morning, then continue."
    I nod and take off.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 8, 2012

    Classic sea story of war, and the Atlantic at it's worst.

    Anyone with a true affinity for, and is drawn to, the sea will love this classic British tale.
    Extremely accurate descriptions of life at sea on a small ship.
    I served on an old, WWII,US Navy, destroyer, for 5 solid years. A bit larger ship, but a small ship none the less.
    We experienced one of the worst recorded storms in the Atlantic in Nov. 1967.
    The true characterization of officers and men, serving together, in difficult times, made me relive a lot of my past.
    "Snorkers, good Oh", a timeless quote.
    This wonderful book will satisfy he reading needs of a wide gamut of readers.
    Thank you Nicholas Monsarrat, RIP.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 8, 2012

    A Classic Story of the Sea ¿ A Must Read

    A talented author of almost forty books, Monsarrat was at his best when writing stories of the sea, based on his personal experience in World War II and “The Cruel Sea” is the best of those works. In my opinion, it is hands-down the best story of the Battle of the Atlantic, and just possibly, the finest nautical story since “Moby Dick.”

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 25, 2010

    Marvelous novel

    A wonderful novel. Intense, yet lyrical. If action in the North Atlantic is your forte, then read this by all means. I am now reading it for the fourth time in 40 years. It gets better each time.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 24, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 10, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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