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The Ship Hardcover – Dec 1953


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Product details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Michael Joseph Ltd; Greenwich ed edition (Dec 1953)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0718103335
  • ISBN-13: 978-0718103330
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,954,298 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

C.S Forester was born in Cairo in 1899, where his father was stationed as a government official. He studied medicine at Guy's Hospital, and after leaving Guy's without a degree he turned to writing as a career. His first success was Payment Deferred, a novel written at the age of twenty-four and later dramatized and filmed with Charles Laughton in the leading role. In 1932 Forester was offered a Hollywood contract, and from then until 1939 he spent thirteen weeks of every year in America. On the outbreak of war he entered the Ministry of Information and later he sailed with the Royal Navy to collect material for The Ship. He made a voyage to the Bering Sea to gather material for a similar book on the United States Navy, and it was during this trip that he was stricken with arteriosclerosis, a disease which left him crippled. However, he continued to write and in the Hornblower novels created the most renowned sailor in contemporary fiction. He died in 1966. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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First Sentence
Paymaster Commander George Brown put his fountain pen back into his pocket, put on his cap and got up from the table where he had been ciphering. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 35 people found the following review helpful By A Customer TOP 500 REVIEWER on 27 July 2004
Format: Paperback
Cecil Scott Forester is best known as the creator of Horatio Hornblower, but before writing the "Hornblower" novels about Nelson's navy he wrote many other books, from "Death to the French" to "The Peacemaker."

This little gem, "The Ship" describes the action seen by the crew of a light cruiser in the course of an afternoon's fighting as they struggle against overwhelming odds to get a vital convoy through to Malta during World War II.

Each chapter starts with a few words from the captain's official report of the battle and then describes what this meant from the viewpoint of the human beings involved, from the captain himself down to the most junior seaman. The contrast between the dry, understated language of the official document and the suffering and heroism of the real events can be very powerful. And the amount of detail packed into the book about life on a 1940's warship is amazing.

On the way the book includes a large number of brilliant pen portraits of members of the ship's company and how they do their jobs, from the captain up to the lookouts in the crows nest and down to the bowels of the ship where the bigamous Torpedo Gunner's Mate keeps the electrical system going and a stoker is posted in a dark shaft tunnel to watch the bearings and keep the screws turning.

Many of these pen portraits are quite unforgettable, from the 20 year old seaman who was a brilliant poet but whose genius only one man would ever have the opportunity to appreciate, to the seaman who is ordered to save the ship by flooding a magazine - and finds the wheel he has to turn to obey that order is red hot and burns at the touch ...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mr M.R.Watkinson TOP 500 REVIEWER on 20 April 2014
Format: Paperback
The author is, of course, better known for his Hornblower stories. This war-time novel is based, very loosely it must be said, on the Second Battle of Sirte in March 1942. It was dedicated on publication to HMS Penelope, a year before that ship was sunk with the loss of 2/3rds of the crew.

The obligatory cover quote describes the book as "vivid"; it's certainly that. Indeed, quite a few similar such adjectives could be employed. Fifty years earlier, this was the sort of prose employed in the Victorian penny dreadful, fifty years later, you'd find it in the column inches of The Sun & the Daily Mail. The story is that of an idealised ship & crew of the British Navy; every man a good egg or, at least, utterly devoted to his duty; taking part in a somewhat idealised action. Its nature as propaganda is perfectly obvious. Thankfully, it's short enough that the combination of that & the hyperbolic prose doesn't quite have the chance to become wearisome. It's by no means a bad read or unenjoyable, but were it not for Forester's name on it, I suspect it would have long since faded into obscurity.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Marshall Lord TOP 500 REVIEWER on 25 Nov 2008
Format: Hardcover
Cecil Scott Forester is best known as the creator of Horatio Hornblower, but before writing the "Hornblower" novels about Nelson's navy he wrote many other books, from "Death to the French" to "The Peacemaker."

This little gem, "The Ship" describes the action seen by the crew of a light cruiser in the course of an afternoon's fighting as they struggle against overwhelming odds to get a vital convoy through to Malta during World War II.

Each chapter starts with a few words from the captain's official report of the battle and then describes what this meant from the viewpoint of the human beings involved, from the captain himself down to the most junior seaman. The contrast between the dry, understated language of the official document and the suffering and heroism of the real events can be very powerful. And the amount of detail packed into the book about life on a 1940's warship is amazing.

On the way the book includes a large number of brilliant pen portraits of members of the ship's company and how they do their jobs, from the captain up to the lookouts in the crows nest and down to the bowels of the ship where the bigamous Torpedo Gunner's Mate keeps the electrical system going and a stoker is posted in a dark shaft tunnel to watch the bearings and keep the screws turning.

Many of these pen portraits are quite unforgettable, from the 20 year old seaman who was a brilliant poet but whose genius only one man would ever have the opportunity to appreciate, to the seaman who is ordered to save the ship by flooding a magazine - and finds the wheel he has to turn to obey that order is red hot and burns at the touch ...

This Michael Joseph 1943 edition is the wartime original, which went through several printings but is quite rare now.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 20 Aug 2001
Format: Paperback
This Forester book was written during World War II and could have been published by the Royal Navy or the British government (it wasn't). Aside from the sometimes bombastic patriotism that occassionally creeps into the story (brave British jacktars face down Italian bully boys), the book is an excellent and detailed description of a British light cruiser fighting overwhelming odds under difficult conditions. Forester takes you through the ship, from the captain on the bridge to the lowest engine room rating oiling the shaft bearings in the bowels of the ship. If you like Forester, you will enjoy The Ship.
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