2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
reproduction of a classic tale,
This review is from: The Dead Men Stood Together (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a straightforward re-telling of the Rime of the Ancient Mariner, told through the eyes of a young boy who goes to sea with his uncle. Somehow the voyage goes wrong and the ship is driven south by a huge storm and becomes trapped in ice. The crew befriend an albatross but the boy's uncle shoots it with his crossbow, thus angering the crew. The crew's anger evaporates when the ice starts to melt, but the ship goes on to experience various other hardships and weird events and the mood of the sailors turns against the uncle again.
The story continues to unfold in a way that pretty faithful to Coleridge's original, but for the sake of people who aren't familiar with it I won't include any more spoilers here.
This book has a number of rave reviews, but personally I couldn't quite see the point of it. Coleridge's story is sort of weird and fantastical, random things seem to happen without apparent cause or explanation, and I found the ending rather unsatisfying. The very best thing about the original poem is Coleridge's wonderful use of language - which Priestley in no way manages to reproduce. Indeed I felt the language was stilted, and it failed to engage me.
Overall my feeling is that modern teenagers will find both the language and the story boring, and adults would get a lot more from reading the original.