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4.5 out of 5 stars
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4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 22 June 2017
I would love to write a wonderfully erudite review here

Excellent book which should be essential reading for anyone trying to understand the man who wrote the Cruel Sea, especially as the three books are so different giving even more of a cross section of him himself and his writing style.

Each is an outstandingly good read, high readable, engage with the reader and explain the realities in great detail without ever being a hard read.
The approach reminds me of Foyles War in its frank depiction of many realities of war without sentimentality but very detailed. He also explains through the narrative the context for the people, what reality was like before the War and their hopes for after the War.

Further convinces me how great a writer he is. Highly recommended
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on 16 May 2017
Though all three of the stories in this book are set during WW2, they aren't really war stories. The first has the most actual action, and it's probably less than 5% of the book. The rest is about people, how they deal with adversity, reversals of fortune, how war makes people find themselves.

There's precious little glamour in it, though there are sparks of how people can make themselves better. There's genuine horror - not shock nonsense but the grim description of the reality of military action and its aftermath - as well as genuine warmth and humour.

Compelling for sure, but not exactly a laugh a minute.
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on 26 May 2017
good read
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on 26 June 2011
Two of the three stories were very good but I do not like love stories which is what one of them was
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on 14 February 2014
Monsarrat describes a range of scenarios and types of people in this compilation. I wish I could write so descriptively!
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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 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 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 16 September 2013
HMS Marlborough was OK but the others I did not like much Far to many words and not enough action
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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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