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101 Reviews
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply superb!
Simply superb, you will not read a better book about leadership, sacrifice and courage than this book. A wonderfully written book that brings home the realities of the longest battle in the second world war, the Battle for the Atlantic.

As a measure of how well regarded this book is by the Royal Navy, for those young RN officers undergoing training at Britannia...
Published on 8 July 2008 by Mike

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3 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Review of the reviews
I'm just wondering why so many reviews (I appreciate everyone's enthusiasm!) refer to the MOVIE when this is the Penguin BOOK version? I really wanted to know if there was more in the book that we haven't seen.
Published on 22 Aug 2012 by Hungry Joe


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5.0 out of 5 stars Still magnificent !, 5 Feb 2013
By 
J. Choppin (East Anglia) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: The Cruel Sea (Kindle Edition)
I first read this book in the 1950s when we were still conscious of the war years and the concept of civilians fighting for their country. It was one of the most memorable books of my youth, which impression was further strengthened by the film. Re-reading it now, I am struck by how faithfully the film followed the original writing and could not read the dialogue without hearing Jack Hawkin's voice. It was never either a pro- or anti-war book, but one concerned to portray the effects of war, the onslaught on human dignity and the amazing resilience demonstrated by so many ordinary people. As Monsarrat observed, the main battle was against the Atlantic, whilst the humans spent their days in conflict. It was a crucial time, survival of our way of life often meant the destruction of many ordinary seamen. The sheer scale of the Atlantic war, the number of ships involved and the tremendous loss of ships and men, was something I had forgotten. The book still gripped me from beginning to end. The quality of the writing and the ability to portray realism in all its starkness, whilst holding on to the essential goodness of humanity, has again stirred me. I am still coming to terms with these thoughts. Greatly recommended!
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5.0 out of 5 stars the cruel sea, 26 Jan 2013
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This review is from: The Cruel Sea (Kindle Edition)
A truly accurate story by an exceptional writer. I thought the film was excellent but the book is even better.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Cruel Sea, 9 Jan 2013
This review is from: The Cruel Sea (Kindle Edition)
A truly gripping graphic novel, leaving you reeling with sea sickness and horror in equal measures. A classic read for anyone. The book creates highs and lows but captures the monotony of long hours at sea with perfection.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The benchmark war novel, 22 Dec 2012
This review is from: The Cruel Sea (Penguin World War II Collection) (Paperback)
Where QUARTERED SAFE OUT HERE is probably the best autobiographical account of men at war, I would rate THE CRUEL SEA as the finest novel.

The black and white, freezing terror of the North Atlantic and Arctic convoys is brought across in the pages with staggering conviction, and so naturally that I cannot think of a more credible novel either. The characters are as real as any history or biography.

The most striking messages are the sheer starkness of the campaign and the relentness discomfort. If a ship was torpedoed, it was likely the great majority of the crew would drown or freeze, sometimes all. If a U-boat was depth-charged, the whole crew drowned. There was so little middle ground or chance of recovery and rescue.

Great devotions and genuine fortitude, written about brilliantly.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Top draw author, 11 Sep 2012
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This review is from: The Cruel Sea (Kindle Edition)
Read this book many years ago in paperback and on the Kindle it has lost nothing of its power. If you want to know what it was like on a WW2 convoy I doubt you could do better than read the Cruel Sea.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Why?Why?Why?, 1 May 2012
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This review is from: The Cruel Sea (Kindle Edition)
Why didn't I buy this 40 years ago. Fantastic and ageless. The atmosphere is all around you, you feel as though you are actually part of the crew.
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5.0 out of 5 stars masterpiece, 7 April 2012
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This review is from: The Cruel Sea (Kindle Edition)
I have read the book so many times and loved it. I was so pleased when it came out on kindle as i had resigned myself because of failing eyesight never to be able to read it again. This book is a classic and would reccomend it to anyone.
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best novels of all time, 14 Mar 2012
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This review is from: The Cruel Sea (Kindle Edition)
One of the best novels of all time. No question.

I won't give away the plot, but it is a detailed study of men and ships under intolerable conditions on the Atlantic and Russian Convoys during WW2. The men in the small Royal Naval corvettes and frigates battle U-Boats, enemy planes but ultimately the sea itself to deliver much needed supplies to Britain.
It's a great character study of Captain Ericson, and First Lieutenant Lockhart. But the other characters are finely drawn as well.
It has humour, great tragedy but ultimately man's perseverence against almost impossible odds for some to win through to victory at the end of WW2.

One of my top 10 books of all time. I've read this book countless times and will read it many more times.
Buy it.

PS. Any chance of The Caine Mutiny on Kindle, please.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant book about men at war, 2 Aug 2011
By 
Roman Clodia (London) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Cruel Sea (Penguin World War II Collection) (Paperback)
This is an amazing book, as good at depicting small, ordinary lives as it is at portraying the 'big' heroic moments. Based around a corvette, the Compass Rose, built to escort Atlantic convoys and protect against German u-boat attacks, we meet the men who sail on her from the quiet, steady Captain Ericson, to the newly commissioned officers fresh from their pre-war jobs in banks and newspapers.

There's nothing flashy or 'modern' about this book, it's told in a steady, sober voice, starts at the beginning of the war, ends in 1945 with no parallel narratives, or time-switches - something no contemporary novel seems to be able to do without. And yet for all that this is more passionate, more engaging, and more tension-filled than many a thriller.

Primarily concerned with life at sea, this doesn't completely ignore the home front, but sees it primarily in terms of the impact home lives have on the men at war. As a female reader I never felt excluded from this narrative, made up as it is of overwhelmingly masculine characters, and wasn't hit with technical sea-faring terms or the names of different types ship body parts... Instead it focuses on the characters, and the intense pressures they're under.

Humane, compassionate, and utterly compelling - by the time I finished this book I felt as drained as if I'd just survived a voyage on the Rose myself! I don't award five stars easily, but this deserves every one of them - highly recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT BOOK, 10 Jan 2011
This review is from: The Cruel Sea (Penguin World War II Collection) (Paperback)
I GAVE THIS BOOK TO MY HUSBAND FOR CHRISTMAS AND HE HAD IS NOSE IN IT AS SOON AS ALL OUR GUESTS HAD LEFT! HE LOVED IT.
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The Cruel Sea (Penguin World War II Collection)
The Cruel Sea (Penguin World War II Collection) by Nicholas Monsarrat (Paperback - 6 Aug 2009)
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