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Pincher Martin Paperback – 1970


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Product details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber (1970)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 057106809X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571068098
  • Product Dimensions: 18.6 x 1.1 x 12.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,046,186 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

William Golding was born in Cornwall in 1911 and was educated at Marlborough Grammar School and at Brasenose College, Oxford. Before he became a schoolmaster he was an actor, a lecturer, a small-boat sailor and a musician. A now rare volume, Poems, appeared in 1934. In 1940 he joined the Royal Navy and saw action against battleships, submarines and aircraft. He was present at the sinking of the Bismarck. He finished the war as a Lieutenant in command of a rocket ship, which was off the French coast for the D-day invasion, and later at the island of Welcheren. After the war he returned to Bishop Wordsworth's School in Salisbury and was there when his first novel, Lord of the Flies, was published in 1954. He gave up teaching in 1961.

Lord of the Flies was filmed by Peter Brook in 1963. Golding listed his hobbies as music, chess, sailing, archaeology and classical Greek (which he taught himself). Many of these subjects appear in his essay collections The Hot Gates and A Moving Target. He won the Booker Prize for his novel Rites of Passage in 1980, and was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1983. He was knighted in 1988. He died at his home in the summer of 1993. The Double Tongue, a novel left in draft at his death, was published in June 1995.

Product Description

Book Description

Issued into the launch list of Faber Modern Classics, publishing in April 2015 --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

William Golding was born in Cornwall in 1911 and was educated at Marlborough Grammar School and at Brasenose College, Oxford. Before he became a schoolmaster he was an actor, a lecturer, a small-boat sailor and a musician. A now rare volume, Poems, appeared in 1934. In 1940 he joined the Royal Navy and saw action against battleships, and also took part in the pursuit of the Bismarck. He finished the war as a Lieutenant in command of a rocket ship, which was off the French coast for the D-Day invasion, and later at the island of Walcheren. After the war he returned to Bishop Wordsworth's School in Salisbury and was there when his first novel, Lord of the Flies, was published in 1954. He gave up teaching in 1961. Lord of the Flies was filmed by Peter Brook in 1963. Golding listed his hobbies as music, chess, sailing, archaeology and classical Greek (which he taught himself). Many of these subjects appear in his essay collections The Hot Gates and A Moving Target. He won the Booker Prize for his novel Rites of Passage in 1980, and was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1983. He was knighted in 1988. He died at his home in the summer of 1993. The Double Tongue, a novel left in draft at his death, was published in June 1995. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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He was struggling in every direction, he was the centre of the writhing and kicking knot of his own body. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By P. Ruffle on 14 Nov. 2009
Format: Paperback
Golding does not shy away from the fact that his title character Christopher Martin is a louse.

Of the thousands of sailors stranded in Mid-Atlantic during World War 2 he was the one that deserved to be there.

He might even have wriggled out of conscription into the navy had any of the influential members of his circle chosen to speak up for him. The truth is that Martin had been such a pig in civilian life that most were heartily sick of him and were more than willing to wave him on his way.

All save perhaps his one true friend Nathaniel. The kind of man who would see the good in anyone, Nathaniel offers Martin warmth and friendship but is repaid by coldness and distain.

In a gesture of loyalty worthy of Beau Geste, Nathaniel also enlists in the navy and Golding contrives to have them serve aboard the same ship.

Alas this act of kindness effectively seals the ship's doom. Nathaniel has also won the heart of the girl Martin himself can only repulse. Martin's coldness for Nathaniel turns into the same kind of loathing that the rest of the world reserves for Martin.

It was Martin's watch on top that fateful day. Instead of paying attention to his watch, Martin's attention is fixed on Nathaniel. Martin has noticed Nathaniel has a habit of learning over a certain rail and he weighs up how he can cause the ship to manoeuvre to wash him overboard.

As a direct result of Martin's dereliction the Destroyer veers from its zigzag course just enough for a U boat to slam a torpedo into its side. The effect is devastating and the Destroyer sinks almost immediately taking all hands with it; although the force of the explosion casts Martin into the icy waters of the North Atlantic.

For the rest of the crew the struggle is over.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 18 Aug. 2001
Format: Paperback
Naval officer Christopher Martin has fallen overboard in the Atlantic. He has no hope of rescue yet he refuses to die, his ego will not allow it. He finds refuge from drowning on a rock. There he has time to reflect on his life,and to delude himself, before he must face the terrifying truth of his situation.
To read this novel is like experiencing a vivid fever dream. It's with relief that you emerge to an ending that changes the whole meaning of what went before.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a classic and a good read although I found most of the book rather depressing and confusing, which reflects the state of mind of the narrator. It is beautifully written with unusual use of words, implying new meanings to common words. The ending is a surprise so I won't give any spoilers
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By nick.breeds@zurich.co.uk on 6 Dec. 1999
Format: Paperback
A truly wonderful short novel which conveys the real sense of isolation and impending madness which befalls the poor shipwrecked sailor. Just when you think he's managing to survive, great streams of madness/consciousness spew forth from the pages and you are left in doubt as to the ultimate outcome of this haunting story. An excellent read, but not an uplifting one!
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By Druid on 9 Dec. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Quick delivery. I had read this years ago and enjoyed it, but I couldn't find my copy! I was prompted to buy it after some news item about Rockall.
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By Alma Abbs on 30 April 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
All went as well as it could go with this order. No delay, item arrived in condition as described and I have no reason for complaint.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Meredith Byrne on 23 Aug. 2010
Format: Paperback
This novel is another one of those William Golding ones that needs full concentration - no radio, no TV, no people chattering in the background. It can be quite hard going to begin with, but persevere: the ending is the best one you will have read in a long time.

Ostensibly, it's the story of a man who is shipwrecked - the descriptions of drowning at the beginning will curl your hair. He is then washed up on a rock in the middle of the ocean, where he has to keep himself alive by eating sea anemones and catching rainwater in his souwester.

During the course of his time on the rock, he suffers sunburn, sunstroke and food poisoning, but it's the things in his mind that threaten him the most. And we gradually learn things about him that make us wonder whether we really want him to survive or not.

And then we get to the end... Wonderful!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By RR Waller TOP 500 REVIEWER on 19 Sept. 2011
Format: Paperback
SAFE READING - NO SPOILERS

If readers are looking for summaries, notes and synopsis, please look elsewhere.

Golding seemed to have cornered the examination syllabi at one time, GCSE "Lord of the Flies" and A-Level, "Pincher Martin". It is a fascinating book which challenges some expectations of the novel, perhaps one of the reasons it was listed for the advanced level. It is a classical example of one of Golding's favourite narrative techniques, i.e. to isolate his characters allowing only their actions to affect their lives directly.

Golding at his best is excellent and this is one of his best.
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