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The Riddle of the Sands (Collector's Library) [Hardcover]

Ned Halley , Erskine Childers
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (94 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 Sep 2008 Collector's Library
Each volume in the Collector's Library series has a specially commissioned Afterword, brief biography of the author and a further reading list. The Afterword is by Ned Halley.


Product details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Collector's Library (1 Sep 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1905716451
  • ISBN-13: 978-1905716456
  • Product Dimensions: 10.4 x 15.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (94 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 291,097 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

A triller anticipating Frederick Forsyth and Len Deighton...never loses its pace. (Independent on Sunday) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

`About this coast... In the event of war it seems to me that every inch of it would be important, sand and all.'

Executed in 1922 for his involvement in Irish republicanism, Childers in remembered most vividly for his ground-breaking spy novel, The Riddle of the Sands (1903). In spite of good prospects in the Foreign Office, the sardonic civil servant Carruthers is finding it hard to endure the emptiness and boredom of his life in London. He reluctantly accepts an invitation from a college friend, Davies, the shyly intrepid yachtsman, and joins him on a sailing holiday in the Baltic. The regeneration of Carruthers begins as he is initiated into the mysteries of seamanship, but the story builds in excitement as Carruthers and Davies discover a German plot to invade England.

Like much contemporary British spy fiction, The Riddle of the Sands reflects the long suspicious years leading up to the First World War and the intricacy of its conception and its lucid detail make it a classic of its genre. This edition is complemented by a fine introduction which examines the novel in its political and historical context.

ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good e-book version 26 Aug 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
This e-version, unlike some others, has a linked table of contents which greatly aids navigation. It also has the charts missing from another e-version I have reviewed. The charts are not linked in the table of contents but you can find them after 'acknowledgements' then bookmark them so that you can easily refer to them while reading the text.The Riddle of the Sands: A Record of Secret Service
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant 27 Nov 2007
Format:Paperback
I love this book, I've read and re-read it again and again and still get something new out of it each time. The prose style is very much of its time and takes getting used to for a modern reader. Having struggled initially, I now think it's so well written, not as fast-paced as a modern story might be and all the better for it - the clarity and depth of the descriptions strike a balance between the needs of a first-time reader reading for the narrative and the boat-obsessed reader who already knows the story but wants to work out exactly what the tide is doing... I loved it before getting involved in small boats and now that I've become a boat obsessive myself, I like it even more.
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42 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Historical spy thriller with a nautical theme 19 Sep 2000
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Set in the period before the First World War, this gripping story tells of the adventures of a yachtsman and his non-sailing friend as they uncover disturbing events in the eastern North Sea in a small boat.
For sailors and non-sailors alike, this is a classic spy novel where the protagonists' curiosity and sense of adventure combine with sinister military planning in the misty waters around the Frisian islands. If you enjoy historical novels, this is a great read.
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60 of 64 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The greatest adventure novel ever. 27 Oct 2003
Format:Paperback
This novel, the first ever spy story, is truly of it's era. The story's heroes may seem quaint by the standards of the 21st Century (it is interesting to observe the manners between foes!!)but Childer's novel accurately predicted that Britain's main threat at the turn of the 20th Century was Germany rather than the more traditional foe of France. Consequently, this book caused shock waves in England and Childers even received the wrath of Winston Churchill such was it's radical prediction. Whilst no invasion via the Frisian Islands materialised, it is allged that this book prompted the navy to develop it's base at Scarpa Flow. Clearly this book was explosive stuff one hundred years ago!
The story concerns two men who uncover the covert plans of the German navy whilst under the pretext of hunting for duck. Whilst the first half of the book concerns itself with aspects of sailing and builds up a tremendous atmosphere that evokes the period and bleakness of the coast of Germany, the pace accelerates as the incredible truth eventually becomes apparent...
Having re-visited this book over and over again, for me it represents my defining image of the twilight of the British Empire. This is a must for all lovers of well -written spy and adventure stories.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Boy's Own : A Must 23 Oct 2007
Format:Paperback
This has long been a favourite of mine, and the wonderful new Penguin edition is an absolute must have for admirers old and new.

A wonderful spy novel that should grip thriller fans as well as any amateur seafarer. The Riddle Of The Sands deserves the term classic.

The movie too made in the late 70s is also worth watching.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wicked 2 Aug 2007
Format:Paperback
A magnificent read! The language takes some time to get used to, but that was to be expected from a book that is over 100 years old. It's a great thriller and I found it difficult to put down.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful book 12 April 2006
Format:Paperback
This is a beautiful book, I loved every second, have read it cover to cover many times. The story brilliantly captures the nervousness of the period leading up to the Great War. The atmosphere is amazing, you can almost see the cold windswept dunes of the German coast. The tension builds fast to the climax and the ambiguous ending just leaves you wishing that there was more.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Riddle Of The Sands 14 July 2006
Format:Paperback
This is just a beautifully crafted book. Although its espionage is old fashioned (no e-mails or computer codes here) the descriptive writing that Childers uses to depict the growing German menace that existed just before WWI is quite exquisite. The story is told at a pace that on occcasions you can stop and feel the Friesan salt spray on your face whilst never wanting to linger too long in case you miss something. I read this as a teenager and again as I turned 30. Having just read it again it has lost none of its charm. A great story of espionage and intrigue that is extremely well told. And not a dry Martini in sight....
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Riddle of the sands.
Excellent book, read it several times before but always a good, read.
Published 7 days ago by norman ogilvie
3.0 out of 5 stars Riddle of the Sands
Unfortunately 'the Riddle of the Sands' now reads as very dated. There is too much very detailed technicalities about sailing and local geography. Read more
Published 23 days ago by DCW Anthony
4.0 out of 5 stars I can relate to there actions at the time, ...
I can relate to there actions at the time, however found it to be a read.
This was a beginning of our secret service @ that time
Published 28 days ago by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars Not James Bond...thankfully.
Modern James Bond films contain more daring-do in the opening credits that this classic spy story does in its whole length. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Tyke
4.0 out of 5 stars great read
great read once you get used to the style and language of the time it is written in. really only took the first chapter to master that and there after a real page turner
Published 1 month ago by MR RH JONES
3.0 out of 5 stars I'm finding it a good read but possibly too detailed in the coast line
I'm finding it a good read but possibly too detailed in the coast line, but then again this is a book of the times, when. No radio and no tv . Read more
Published 1 month ago by RVG
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Pleasant to read good English. Fascinating story.
Published 1 month ago by Revd allsop
5.0 out of 5 stars Still a work of genius
Erskine Childers 'Riddle of the Sands' remains an all time favourite for me. His sympathetic drawing of characters and the powerful and evocative descriptions of boat handling... Read more
Published 2 months ago by DJP
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
When I first read The Riddle of The Sands by Erskine Childers I was very impressed, it has not diminished on second reading.
Published 2 months ago by Elizabeth Taylor
5.0 out of 5 stars A splendid ripping yarn!!
Erskine Childers was a fascinating character whose life would make a fine subject for a historical novel. Read more
Published 3 months ago by J. J. Bradshaw
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