C. Reid

Helpful votes received on reviews: 89% (55 of 62)
Location: Edinburgh and Tampa
Birthday: 23 Oct


Top Reviewer Ranking: 3,937,211 - Total Helpful Votes: 55 of 62
Very Ordinary Seaman by J.P.W. Mallalieu
Very Ordinary Seaman by J.P.W. Mallalieu
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Written and published during the war, this is an account of the lower-deck life on board a British destroyer circa 1942; the author served as an ordinary seaman during that period. The perspective is obviously different from The Cruel Sea and most other published accounts, as it is told only from the seaman's perspective. Officers are rarely seen, remote beings. The humour (and foul language) of a group of primarily working class ratings shine through, making this one of my favourite books. Its characters feel like real people (and some are probably based on real shipmates of the author), and the overall effect is somewhat different from the 'plucky little Dickie Attenborough' portrayal… Read more
American Ground: Unbuilding the World Trade Centre by William Langewiesche
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
I really enjoy Langewiesche's writing. Given the tone of most reportage of the events and subsequent clean-up operations, his calm, detatched approach is refreshing.
He doesn't shy away from the reality of the situation - factionalism, looting, profiteering. Anyone with any experience of large engineering projects will recognise the culture he describes. It's a fascinating treatment of a huge engineering undertaking which I was (literally) unable to put down and consumed in a single session.
A word about his treatment of firemen, which one review on this site (malkelno1) takes issue with. Firstly, Langewiesche doesn't say that firemen were only interested in rescuing their own… Read more
The Outlaw Sea: A World of Freedom, Chaos, and Cri&hellip by William Langewiesche
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
He writes really well - so you get a mixture of excellent reportage and lovely writing. I've spent some time in various commercial vessels, so perhaps the subject was one I was more likely to warm to. But I think anyone would find this book fascinating - it offers a glimpse of worlds that most of us will never see, whether it's the job-preserving decision making which leads to unseaworthy vessels killing their crews, the reality of modern-day piracy, or a terrifyingly, heartbreakingly true account of how you live or die when a ferry sinks.
If you like it, do yourself a favour and read 'Inside the Sky', too.
I'm not connected with the author or publisher, by the way!

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