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4.7 out of 5 stars96
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 6 June 2016
If one loves history and has a belief in any religion/faith, then one will thoroughly enjoy Monsarrat's 'Kappillan of Malta'. Frightening to learn how badly it was affected in WWII and the realisation that like all Islands, they have been raped and pillaged through the ages. I felt the frustration of the main character being a priest yet unable to totally help his flock to the point he hid himself away and felt a failure at the end but for this his people loved him dearly.
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on 21 April 2016
I read this book whilst on holiday in Sliema and was immediately transported back to World War Two. The descriptive language and finely drawn characters draw the reader into the horrendous ordeals Malta suffered during the second siege. It was wonderful to read about the various places described so vividly and then see them for myself. I would recommend this book to anyone for a moving, gripping read. If you are going to Malta on holiday, this book is a must!
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on 19 April 2016
This is a wonderful book. It tells the story of Malta during the war with such clarity. The priest was the perfect vehicle as a storyteller whose connections over the island enabled him to show a wide view of the suffering at every level. His natural compassion and love for his people makes the reader feel involved in a situation that few people seem to be aware of nowadays.
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on 26 February 2014
This is an excellent book. The characters wonderful and the descriptions of the bombing of Malta during World War II are heart rending. I particularly like the way the author has woven the history of this remarkable island into his story. I would recommend this book to any keen reader and especially those who are travelling to Malta as I am.
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on 11 April 2015
Was I delighted to find a copy of this book, which is the most remarkable account by the amazing Monsarrat, of wartime Malta, and the extraordinary priest who is so vital a part of everyone's lives. Very warmly recommended, for the writing, for the gripping story, and for the marvellous way that Monsarrat brings all these things to life.
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on 29 January 2016
This is a lovely book, heard about it from a friend so decided to read it. Brings to life the people of Malta and what they suffered and in the consequence am visiting Malta in the summer, partly because of this book and also the fact that my father was there during WW11. Excellent read and will probably read it again before our visit.
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on 2 August 2013
I have always regarded Monsarrat's The Cruel Sea as one of the great sea stories of the 20th Century. This is also a great story, told from an unusual view point. I first read it when it first came out in the 1970s. I bought in paperback in the 90s, and when that fell to pieces, I bought a second hand hardback copy. When I found a kindle edition, I couldn't resist it; particularly as I was soon to travel to Malta on holiday.

Monsarrat lived and died on Gozo, the smaller, greener companion Island a couple of miles to the North of Malta. This obviously gave him the opportunity to get inside the heads of the Maltese people, a fact acknowledged by the Maltese themselves.

This book is not just a story set in Malta in WW2, it is the history of the Maltese people from caveman to the mid 20th Century. In virtually every other chapter, the main character tells the story of another significant chapter in Maltese history in a very readable form, covering the shipwreck of St Paul, the arrival of the knights of St John and their battle with the Turks, the arrival of Napoleon and the subsequent ejection of the French by the Maltese people supported by Lord Nelson and his favourite Captain, Captain Ball who became the Islands first British Governor.

All this is bound up in the main story of a high born but lowly Catholic Priest supporting his flock through Malta's battle for survival against the Italian and German blitz. This part of the story covers the horrors of continuous bombing, of near starvation, of the failed and successful convoys, of the ariel battles between uneven odds. It always leaves me with sense of being thoroughly entertained and with an admiration for the Maltese people. It also made me want to visit Malta. Something I have now done 3 times.
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on 11 March 2015
Monsarrat graphically tells the story of the island's suffering over the years, each chapter depicting a different period of its history. Read this and see the DVD " The Siege of Malta - The George Cross Island ".If you are thinking of visiting the Island you would get a better appreciation of the Island and its people.
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on 18 February 2015
There is a lot of reading on the siege of Malta from 1940 to1942 from the military perspective. This gives it from the perspective of the civil populace by following the life of a Preist as he ministered his parish during those dark days and gives some history of Malta on a series of small 'flashbacks.' Good reading.
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on 29 May 2014
I was recommended to read this book and I initially borrowed it from the library when I discovered that I could not put the book down I went and bought it for my Kindle so that i could finish reading it on vacation. A wonderful book showing Malta durign the war adn the people who lived through those times.
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