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The Kappillan of Malta [Paperback]

Nicholas Monsarrat
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)

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Book Description

18 April 1975

Father Salvatore was a simple, lumbering priest, a kappillan serving the poor Valetta, when war came out of the blue skies to pound the island to dust.

Now amid the catacombs discovered by a chance bomb, he cared for the flood of homeless, starving, frightened people who sought shelter from the death that fell unceasingly from the sky.

His story, and the story of Malta, is told in superbly graphic pictures of six days during the siege. Each of those days brought forth from the kappillan a message of inspiration to keep them going - the legendary tales of six mighty events of Malta's history which shone through the centuries and gathered them together in a fervent belief in their survival.

--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Product details

  • Paperback: 560 pages
  • Publisher: Pan Books; New edition edition (18 April 1975)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330242660
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330242660
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 10.7 x 3.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 386,929 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description

Book Description

A classic novel set in the siege of Malta 1940-1942 from the bestselling author of The Cruel Sea --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Nicholas Monsarrat was born in Liverpool in 1910, and was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge. He served in World War II, first as a member of an ambulance brigade and then as a member of the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve. His lifelong love of sailing made him a capable naval officer, and he served with distinction on a series of small warships. Resigning his wartime commission in 1946, Monsarrat entered the diplomatic service. He turned to writing full time in 1959, settling on the Mediterranean island of Gozo. He died of cancer in 1979 and was buried at sea from a destroyer, off Portsmouth. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Learn more about us Maltese: read this book 14 Dec 1999
By A Customer
Monserrat's book is probably the smartest insight into the character of the Maltese people penned by a non-Maltese I've ever read. The author has clearly understood the relevance of the Catholic religion and hierarchy; the sea and draught; but also the hardships of history especially in War time, when one tries to figure out what Malta and the Maltese are all about.
Try reading this book AFTER you've visited our islands, and see how your judgements compare with Monserrat's ...
Apart from being a great anthropological reading, this book is great fun to read ... a good novel by any standard.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
I can't remember being so moved by a book. My father lived in the caves in Floriana, Malta during the war and this book is the first I've read that portrays the horrors that my family experienced. For a non-Maltese, the author understands and perfectly captures the Maltese sense of humour and the importance of their faith to them. The format is unusual - part historical, part fictional but this works well and eventually I found myself wondering which bits were fictional and which were fact. This is a first class Maltese history book and a first class novel. One question remains, did Dun Salve really exist or is he completely fictional..?
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars History and war-time romance 8 Feb 2011
This book is a classic for anyone who is interested in Malta, and especially her rich history of triumphs over her enemies throughout the centuries.

Set in World War 2,the story centres around a humble priest who cares for his people and tries to encourage them through the relentless bombing of their island,and the near starvation which they endured. He does this by reminding them of all the times the small island has withstood the many onslaughts of the past.
Alongside this is the romantic tale of his niece and a British serviceman.

It is neatly divided into the main "episodes" of the various sieges on Malta and underlines the resilience and bravery of the Maltese people.It also gives a flavour of how closely bound they were with the British,which both her culture and relationships reflect to this day.

An idea to enhance the reading of the book, which is definitely a product of its time, would be to purchase,(or borrow), a copy of the film "The Malta Story", starring Alec Guinness.This film includes actual news-reel from the war. It too, is of its era, but if you are interested in Malta,you will want a copy of it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The writer was involved in the war and saw life at its rawest in Malta during that period. the research into the background of the people is superb with characters coming to life and being truly human. It has a sense of realism that many fiction stories lack. I would recommend this to anyone who is interested in Malta, the way they survived the war is amazing..
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
An incredible account depicting the heroism of the Maltese people, during the II World War,anyone who thinks they suffer deprivation these days, should most definitely read this book.Monsarratt brings Maltese life,history and their quite incredible
stoisism to life on every page
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Repeated Read ... 8 Feb 2009
This atmospheric and gripping read has been a firm family favourite over many years and is an absolute must for anyone contemplating a trip to Malta and,in particular, Valetta. Everyone who ha ever read my copy has wanted one of their own.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kappillan of Malta 18 Feb 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Excellent book. Very poignant and a wonderful insight into how Malta thoroughly deserved and won her George Cross during World War 2. All explanations are clear and situations appealing into Malta's beautiful country and the character of the Kappillan is a delight.
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5.0 out of 5 stars facinating tale, beautifully told 17 July 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Refinding an author is always thrilling and Nicholas Monsarrat is no exception. this book is a wonderful read from beginning to end and it works on two different levels. There is the story of the local priest who brings hope and strength to the local population in a time of extremes and then there is the totally factual history of this island of Malta and what it endured through those dark days of ww2. Having found Monsarrat again I am off to read " Three Corvettes"
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A great read!
Published 9 days ago by Cathy
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Wonderful story about Malta and what they suffered during WWII.
Published 14 days ago by Val Hickling
4.0 out of 5 stars small print
Very small print in my version meaning I'll need to invest in a pair of reading glasses. Book itself is excellent and you get a real feel for the atmosphere of the time
Published 1 month ago by Mr A Douglas
1.0 out of 5 stars disappointed read
With such a good review i was expecting a lot more about the war and less about the every day lives which seemed irrelevant to a lot of the story i have read better books about the... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Kenneth Mitchell
5.0 out of 5 stars Born in Malta
This book gave me a lively insight into Malta and it's history in a well written and interesting way. Brilliant
Published 1 month ago by Stella Fry
5.0 out of 5 stars An amazing book - very moving
I was recommended to read this book and I initially borrowed it from the library when I discovered that I could not put the book down I went and bought it for my Kindle so that i... Read more
Published 2 months ago by craftylady
5.0 out of 5 stars My wife and I are both very much enjoying this unusual book
The setting for this story has historical interest and a fascinating insight into the story of Malta in the Second World War, holding out against all the odds and playing a vital... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Michael Brotherton
4.0 out of 5 stars The Kappillan of Malta
A recent trip to Malta made this a must read book, it does not disappoint print in this edition rather small.
Published 2 months ago by YonH
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting but over-long and old-fashioned
It's an interesting read and helped my understanding of Malta's history on a recent holiday, but the characters tend to pall after a while. Read more
Published 3 months ago by JT
5.0 out of 5 stars A history lesson worth taking with every word carefully written and...
Brilliant story, superbly written, a wonderful insight into the Maltese world of yesteryear. Having read this work some time ago re-reading it the story is just as fresh and... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Keith Gillingham
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