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Sea Devils: Pioneer Submariners [Kindle Edition]

John Swinfield
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

Print List Price: £18.99
Kindle Price: £16.60 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
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Book Description

Pioneer submariners built astonishing contraptions which made perilous voyages or sank like stones. Some were driven by muscle-power or steam engines with chimneys. Others had wheels with which to trundle along the sea-bed. Sea Devils traces the history of early submarines and the colourful array of those who built and sailed them. From a plethora of mad-cap inventors emerged a bizarre machine that navies of the world begrudgingly accepted but viewed with distaste. The submarine matured into a weapon to usurp the mighty battleship. Subject to military and political skirmishing it would win eventual acceptance amid the chaos and carnage of the Great War. Sea Devils brims with daring, larger-than-life personalities and their determination to make underwater voyages. A compelling and readable account of low cunning, high politics, wondrous heroism and appalling tragedy.

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Product Description


"superbly researched, beautifully illustrated and compelling." "--"The Huffington Post

About the Author

John Swinfield is a former reporter and television producer, a former editor of the magazine "Artists & Illustrators," and the author of "Airship: Design, Development and Disaster."

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2442 KB
  • Print Length: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Spellmount (15 Feb. 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • : Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #813,955 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

An imperative in my writing - be it history books or a novel - is to make it as accessible as possible. My world history of the airship is aimed at everyone. It is not just for nerds and anoraks, jargon unexplained, only for club members with all others kept strictly in the dark.

I wanted it to appeal to the widest possible audience, without, and this is axial, demeaning the subject or lessening its credibility. I applied identical thinking to Sea Devils, my history of pioneer submariners.

Though a novel, of course, is an entirely different form, it is cardinal that it has pace, sweep and drive.

In Knock Down Ginger, I deliberately use short, punchy sentences and I do not spend fifty pages describing a door knob. A publisher said my writing was 'visceral and immediate'; a great compliment.

The action in Knock Down Ginger begins with the opening line: the reader is instantly into the story. Perhaps this is because of my journalistic background.

Much of Knock Down Ginger (KDG) is set in the slums and favelas of Latin America, and deep in the Amazon rainforest, where I made a series of TV documentaries about the dispossessed (ITV/C4).

Other scenes are in the City of London. Again, I have experience of this rarefied, monied world, having made many TV documentaries about some of the worlds richest, most powerful business moguls (Enterprise series ITV/C4 & The Money Programme (BBC2).

Without such insights I would have been ill-equipped to write KDG. It addresses contemporary issues: abuse, vanished children, trafficking. And it touches on many other topics: the canyon between those who have everything and those with less than nothing; how good people can be driven to commit terrible deeds; endangered lands and people; cruelty at its most perverse. At its heart is a deep moral dilemma, one which touches us all.

A reader asked me what I most wanted from the book. Despite the mighty themes to which I've alluded, I have a more modest ambition: for it to be a good read. If KDG causes a reader to stop and think, for just a moment, then that would be a bonus, and, truly, a quite astonishing achievement.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The book is beautifully compiled. The author has once again captured how brave these pioneer submariners really were. A great read and we worth purchasing. Check out the original book Airship, hoping the author will look at vintage aircraft at some point.
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