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Pincher Martin: With an afterword by Philippa Gregory Paperback – 1 Aug 2013

4.0 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber; Main edition (1 Aug. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571298508
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571298501
  • Product Dimensions: 12.6 x 1.6 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 613,480 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Book Description

From William Golding, the winner of the Nobel Prize for literature and author of Lord of the Flies, Pincher Martin is a terrifying and unforgettable journey into one man's mind.

About the Author

William Golding (1911-1993) was a Booker and Nobel Prize-winning author, best known for his first novel, Lord of the Flies, published originally in 1954 and adapted for film in 1963. His other works include The Inheritors (1955), Pincher Martin (1956), The Spire (1964), Rites of Passage (1980), The Double Tongue (published posthumously in 1995) a now rare volume, Poems (1934) and the essay collections The Hot Gates and A Moving Target.

Golding was educated at Marlborough Grammar School and at Brasenose College, Oxford. Before his writing career, Golding was a schoolmaster. He was also a keen actor, musician and small-boat sailor.

In 2008, The Times ranked Golding third on their list of "The 50 greatest British writers since 1945".


Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Golding does not shy away from the fact that his title character Christopher Martin is a louse.

Of the thousands of sailors stranded in Mid-Atlantic during World War 2 he was the one that deserved to be there.

He might even have wriggled out of conscription into the navy had any of the influential members of his circle chosen to speak up for him. The truth is that Martin had been such a pig in civilian life that most were heartily sick of him and were more than willing to wave him on his way.

All save perhaps his one true friend Nathaniel. The kind of man who would see the good in anyone, Nathaniel offers Martin warmth and friendship but is repaid by coldness and distain.

In a gesture of loyalty worthy of Beau Geste, Nathaniel also enlists in the navy and Golding contrives to have them serve aboard the same ship.

Alas this act of kindness effectively seals the ship's doom. Nathaniel has also won the heart of the girl Martin himself can only repulse. Martin's coldness for Nathaniel turns into the same kind of loathing that the rest of the world reserves for Martin.

It was Martin's watch on top that fateful day. Instead of paying attention to his watch, Martin's attention is fixed on Nathaniel. Martin has noticed Nathaniel has a habit of learning over a certain rail and he weighs up how he can cause the ship to manoeuvre to wash him overboard.

As a direct result of Martin's dereliction the Destroyer veers from its zigzag course just enough for a U boat to slam a torpedo into its side. The effect is devastating and the Destroyer sinks almost immediately taking all hands with it; although the force of the explosion casts Martin into the icy waters of the North Atlantic.

For the rest of the crew the struggle is over.
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By A Customer on 18 Aug. 2001
Format: Paperback
Naval officer Christopher Martin has fallen overboard in the Atlantic. He has no hope of rescue yet he refuses to die, his ego will not allow it. He finds refuge from drowning on a rock. There he has time to reflect on his life,and to delude himself, before he must face the terrifying truth of his situation.
To read this novel is like experiencing a vivid fever dream. It's with relief that you emerge to an ending that changes the whole meaning of what went before.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I know this is a classic, but I found it a very difficult book to read, and very easy to put down. There is some intense imagery, and internal thought processes that seem to go on for pages. Some of it was gripping, but some left me cold, and I became bored. The ending was a shock, but not for good reasons - I felt cheated. I could try again another time, but I don't think I will.
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This is a classic and a good read although I found most of the book rather depressing and confusing, which reflects the state of mind of the narrator. It is beautifully written with unusual use of words, implying new meanings to common words. The ending is a surprise so I won't give any spoilers
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Format: Paperback
A truly wonderful short novel which conveys the real sense of isolation and impending madness which befalls the poor shipwrecked sailor. Just when you think he's managing to survive, great streams of madness/consciousness spew forth from the pages and you are left in doubt as to the ultimate outcome of this haunting story. An excellent read, but not an uplifting one!
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Format: Paperback
This novel is another one of those William Golding ones that needs full concentration - no radio, no TV, no people chattering in the background. It can be quite hard going to begin with, but persevere: the ending is the best one you will have read in a long time.

Ostensibly, it's the story of a man who is shipwrecked - the descriptions of drowning at the beginning will curl your hair. He is then washed up on a rock in the middle of the ocean, where he has to keep himself alive by eating sea anemones and catching rainwater in his souwester.

During the course of his time on the rock, he suffers sunburn, sunstroke and food poisoning, but it's the things in his mind that threaten him the most. And we gradually learn things about him that make us wonder whether we really want him to survive or not.

And then we get to the end... Wonderful!
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By RR Waller TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 19 Sept. 2011
Format: Paperback
SAFE READING - NO SPOILERS

If readers are looking for summaries, notes and synopsis, please look elsewhere.

Golding seemed to have cornered the examination syllabi at one time, GCSE "Lord of the Flies" and A-Level, "Pincher Martin". It is a fascinating book which challenges some expectations of the novel, perhaps one of the reasons it was listed for the advanced level. It is a classical example of one of Golding's favourite narrative techniques, i.e. to isolate his characters allowing only their actions to affect their lives directly.

Golding at his best is excellent and this is one of his best.
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By RR Waller TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 23 Nov. 2011
Format: Hardcover
Somewhere, on an irregular basis, a small, disillusioned group meets in a spit-and-sawdust pub to bemoan their judgement; comprising the twelve or so publishers who rejected "Lord of the Flies", their nostalgic yearnings for time machines continue until closing time when the, by now, bedraggled group slouches and slurs home. In contrast, Faber and now Guild Publishing have enjoyed the champagne benefits of "Flies" presence on the GCE/GCSE syllabi and "Pincher" on the Advanced Level lists since their publications, 1954 and 1956 respectively. The Booker Prize was captured by "Rites" in 1980, the first in his sea trilogy; in 1980, "The Times" ranked Golding third on their list of "The 50 greatest British writers since 1945".

Guild Publication has now gained the rights from Faber to publish this Golding trilogy, some say his best three novels; it is an excellently produced compilation, sewn and glued sections with a Faber-type, minimalist dust-cover design. Not usually a fan of large editions of collected works in one volume, I like this - a sensible size, good quality paper and a readable text (11pt?). This edition could accompany students through three levels of examinations - a must for all aspiring students and "pushy" parents!

These three books exemplify Golding's style very clearly - allusions to classical literature, mythology and Christian symbolism, extensive vocabulary, stories pared to their essentials and plots which seem to deepen with each page. Another distinct Golding writing-style feature is his isolation of characters, preventing outside influences from affecting their situation and fates - two islands and a ship. This tightness of narrative structure focuses the plot's intensity with laser-like precision.

Recommended. Three of Golding's best for £1.50!
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