|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|
Cruel Sea / Edition 1by Nicholas Monsarrat
Pub. Date: 01/28/2000
Publisher: Burford Books
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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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.
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.
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.
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.