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4.4 out of 5 stars
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4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 15 January 2003
Nicholas Monsarrat wrote with a style that makes the reader smell the sea air, while eagerly flipping the pages late at night to find out the ending of the story. Three of his classic works are here collected in a single volume. The title story is one of the most gripping sea tales of the second world war. A small, obsolete Royal Navy escort vessel is torpedoed while sailing alone far off the normal sea lanes. Despite overwhelming odds and a series of events that greatly decreases the ships' chances, the captain makes a determined decision that the ship will not sink.
Of the other two stories, Leave Cancelled is a great love story, quite unlike most of the authors' works, and deserves to be better known. Heavy Rescue takes the reader back to 1940 London during the Blitz. They will be enjoyed by anyone with an interest in WW II fiction.
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on 11 January 2005
This book, a present of Christmas Past, stood silently among the unread books in my shelf for some years before I read it, something I both regretted and praised. Regretted because i hadn't discovered montsarrat sooner, praised because I now had the chance to do so.
The title story captured me and spell bound me. It is a marvel of short story, a simple narrative in plain language, but such a good work that it left me wanting for more. I finished the other two stories and found that not only was Montsarrat a great naval novelist, he simply was a great author all in all!
Unobtrusively, without my being able to pin point exactly why, or by which qualities, Nicholas Montsarrat has risen to the very top of my favourite authors. His books simply must be read for you to see his brilliance as I have.

An immensely readable book for all who like good literature and stories that do not die with your closing of the book covers.
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on 5 March 2013
I have always believed that Monsarrat's " The Cruel Sea" is the best novel I have ever read, bar none. HMS Marlborough is also a good read, with a bonus of a couple of novellas to read and enjoy too.
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on 22 July 2016
Three really good short war stories by a classic writer. I read the book originally many years ago and re-bought it again recently to read it again. The second story is in effect a letter to the man's brand new wife who he had to leave behind to leave behind after only one day and night together. This one seems a bit dated but no doubt reflects the social attitutes of the day.
The third story "Heavy Rescue" is my favourite of the three.
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on 31 March 2012
Another fantastic book by Nicholas Monsarrat thoroughly enjoyed each of the stories in this volume are almost as good as The Cruel Sea.
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on 11 February 2015
Read many of his books, even spent 24yrs in the grey funnel line as part of the excitement. But this book drags its heels, to self indulgent. Might as well tell any story about a pilot bribing in a slow ship? Not too impressed....not a patch on the Cruel Sea etc,
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on 10 November 2012
Nicholas Monsarrat is one of the best writers at describing the moods of the oceans, of the RN Ships and thier crews. This is a wonderful tale, and should be enjoyed by all with an interest in the sea..Thank you Amazon for making it available on Kindle..
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on 8 November 2012
If you are a fan of Nicholas Monsarrat's WW2 stories, this is one worth reading. Not a full length novel, the events take place in a relatively short timespan and the story is confined to the experiences of one allied ship and her crew, centering on the captain's perspective. It is highly atmospheric, at times quite gritty writing and the characters are well drawn. Having had this in paperback as part of a collection of three of Monsarrat's wartime stories, it has been nice for me to finally have it in a hardback volume of its own.
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on 15 January 2013
Enjoying reading his favourite subject -nautical stories
Kindle was a very good buy and this story is excellent
Will be looking for more
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on 7 January 2013
This book by a man who, by the war's end had become a Lieutenant-Commander in the RNVR is a thoroughly moving, inspirational read. The only thing is that, despite the detail applied to the trials and tribulations suffered by the eponymous sloop, it never does actually enter Londonderry, the book ending with the sending of a signal to some trawlers asking them to inform the Admiral in the port of the skipper's intention. Apart from that, this is another excellent and authentic book from a justly renowned author.
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