- Save 10% on selected children’s books, compliments of Amazon Family Promotion exclusive for Prime members .
A Seaman's Book of Sea Stories Paperback – 9 Nov 2009
Special offers and product promotions
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Just the sort of book one likes to find on a yacht s bookshelf between watches... --Classic Boat Magazine
About the Author
Desmond Fforde has had a long and distinguished seafaring career. He is the cousin of Jasper Fforde and is married to Katie Fforde.
Top customer reviews
This book is pure joy, great value, with the profits going to a deserving medical charity.
(former Editor 'The Nelson Dispatch')
There are nine stories in all, in chronological order based on when they were written. The first is a relatively well known tale that forms part of a Hornblower novel, by CS Forester. This was the only story I had read before, but it was worthy of reading again. I loved "Through the Gap" by FC Hendry, an account of a voyage on a fast sailing clipper from the 1890s, narrowly avoiding being crushed by icebergs in the South Atlantic.
All the stories evoke the sense and atmosphere of the times they describe - so although all but one of them is at least partially fiction, they all transport the reader to times and places we can now only experience through the eyes and ears of others. Many (as you would expect in a collection of sea stories) cover quite harrowing, often tense situations - a submarine navigating a minefield in WWII, a merchant convoy crossing the Atlantic in fear of U-boats, or perhaps worse, in fear of wrecking on the hard to navigate wartime British coast (lighthouses were subject to blackout conditions).
I would have liked more than nine (twelve would have been good perhaps?) stories given a choice, but I suspect suitable material and costs may have played a part here. Something more recent than WWII would also have been nice - but reprint rights/copyright costs probably explain why more modern stories are absent. Overall though, it was a few hours of delight at being immersed in a world now only available in tales such as these.
The nine stories are carefully chosen and are very different and entertaining each in their own contrasting way. For those unfamiliar with the works, I am sure that many readers will wish to seek out the full volumes from which the extracts are taken.
A fascinating selection of tales and excerpts from seafaring literature. For myself, I felt the strongest stories were early in the book; later tales included a strange story of an eccentric genius boat-builder and a tale of flying from carriers in the Pacific in WW2. These didn't appeal to me in the same way as some of the gritty earlier tales where you could practically smell and hear the sea as you read - but your preferences may vary of course. Overall, however, a very enjoyable read for seamen, ex-seamen and anyone with a love of nautical matters.
I dropped it one star because I thought it was a disappointingly slim volume - especially given the vast amount of nautical literature that exists in this country. However, it may also be quite difficult to select material that hasn't appeared in other collections. I personally had not come across any of the stories before, other than the first (from having read the Hornblower book in question.)
Most recent customer reviews
Well worth buying. The cause is worthy, and Desmond Fforde has put together an excellent collection of nine stories including fiction and non-fiction, in a similar vein to Alistair... Read morePublished on 29 Nov. 2011 by S. Lindgren
This book contains an excellent selection of stories from both the 'golden age' of sail, i.e. of wooden ships propelled by canvas, rope and muscle of the 18th century, and also... Read morePublished on 24 Feb. 2011 by Amazon Customer
We bought this for my father - an ex-navy man approaching retirement. He found the book really charming ! Read morePublished on 16 Sept. 2010 by Scotty Mac
The first thing that must be mentioned is that all profits from this book benefit the Prostate Cancer Charity. Read morePublished on 17 July 2010 by A Reviewer
I'm a big fan of sea-stories, so had high hopes of this book - especially as profits from sales go to charity. Read morePublished on 25 Jun. 2010 by Samuel
Many books based on the sea tend to be long affairs (such as the `Hornblower' series or that based on Cochrane, both sampled here), so this is an excellent way to sample such works... Read morePublished on 19 Jun. 2010 by stevieby
This book is a collection of short stories all based around life at sea. I generally don't like shorts or sea based books because I am a merchant seafarer and often find myself... Read morePublished on 18 Jun. 2010 by Mark Chisholm
Spanning Hornblower to shortly after the Second World War this is a collection of short stories covering various aspects of sea-faring life. Read morePublished on 11 May 2010 by Mr BD
This book, put together by Desmond Fforde to raise money for the Prostate Cancer Charity, is an interesting anthology containing nine short stories about ships and naval men. Read morePublished on 13 April 2010 by F. Bowley