Top positive review
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Incredible, the best WW2 novel I have had the pleasure of
on 12 July 2001
I wish I could write as well as Buchheim can. His vivid descriptions embroil you in the emotions of the Boat every page of the way. And the ending - well, I won't give it away but if you don't find yourself wishing it had happened differently - there's something wrong with you.
The Boat covers a single wartime patrol of U-A in 1941, operating in the Atlantic Ocean. The story (a true one) is told through the eyes of a naval correspondant, Buchheim, and is typical of it's time. Repeatedly depth-charged and bombed, it vividly paints the picture of survival against the odds (on both sides), the frustrations, the fears and the outright terrors of war.
As other reviewers have noted, there is almost certainly something lost in the translation to English. British readers should note that this is an American translation, and the occasional "Americanism" (buddy, ass, that sort of thing) does crop up and intrude some how. If you can find the "British English" translation, it is easier to read.
Despite that minor criticism, I cannot recommend this book enough to anyone who is interested in War, Naval matters, or history. Forget the 2-hour film and the 2.5hr "directors cut" - they both lose too much of the story. Read the book. It's impossible to do in one sitting, but you will try.