One of the classic naval adventure stories of World War II, Monsarrat’s novel tells the tale of two British ships trying to escape destruction by wolf pack U-boats. The Cruel Sea by Nicholas Monsarrat, , available at Book Depository with free delivery worldwide. Nicholas Monsarrat, the British amateur sailor turned author who wrote the best‐ selling novel “The Cruel Sea” and two dozen other books, died.

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There are so many good things to say about this novel.

Those are the orders. What really impressed me was the author’s portrayal of life at sea during this time and in these convoy situations on the North Atlantic.

The Cruel Sea by Nicholas Monsarrat

His career as a solicitor encountered a swift end when he decided to leave Liverpool for London, with a half-finished manuscript under his arm and only forty pounds in his pocket.

The nicholaz that separates The Cruel Sea from other war novels is its inspired specificity. They include an inability on the part of Monsarrat to fully hit home with the important themes of the book.

And it’s a long book – the version I had looked quite thin, but the pages were wafer like, with possibly the smallest type I’ve ever seen apart from the times I’ve done “useability” nichoas on websites, and progress seemed interminable If stories about men and war interest you, then this book is up there with the best of them.

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Sep 22, Rob Roy rated it really liked it Shelves: But by no means is it the only one. Aug 11, Coxy rated it really liked it. I bought this recently, and this is oddly enough mmonsarrat second time I’ve seen it reviewed in about two weeks. View all 14 comments. Nicholas Monsarrat’s own career was the model for that of his character Lockhart, a Fleet Street reporter in the s, commissioned as a naval reservist. By clicking on “Submit” you agree that you have read and agree to the Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.


The Cruel Sea

The real star of the ctuel is however in the title, the Cruel Sea. And, you know, Jerry. Yet, if I start rereading such a thing the whole thing–well, at least the plot line–will often come back in short order.

Ericson, with a new job, a new ship, and a new crew, is also faced with a new kind niholas war as an escort of the Western Approaches Command. The first hundred or so pages seemed attritional, to put it mildly. This is an excellent novel about the brutal Battle of the Atlantic told principally from the perspective of two officers tasked to escort convoys in the North Atlantic.

Even though the narrator keeps a certain nicholzs distance, a powerful intimacy is created by sheer dint of the fact that the narrator is all-knowing. The novel deals with the terrors and horrors of the Atlantic conflict in World War II – specifically, the experiences of a group of tremendously inexperienced men sailing an escort ship in protection of the convoys bringing supplies to the UK from Canada and the US. First Lieutenant Lockhart is clearly based on Monsarrat own experiences in the war, serving on small escort ships for the Atlantic convoys.

It covers a period through the thirties, and one young man’s journey from being one of the pampered elite, through poverty, idealism, conflict, and in the end, self realisation.

Like all books about the horrors of war, Crjel Cruel Sea makes me wonder whether any cause is worth the suffering it causes; this question is one which Monsarrat’s characters would certainly answer in the affirmative at least, most of the time. Panzer Leader Heinz Guderian.


Nucholas the men are the stars of the story. His lifelong love of sailing made him a capable naval officer, and he served with distinction in a series of small warships assigned to escort convoys and protect them from enemy attack. My maternal grandfather was part of this effort during the war so maybe I’m biased, but whilst it was not the swahbuckling D-Day stuff, the intrepid efforts of the Navy shuttling supplies back and forth from Nicho,as especially during the period during which the US maintained a disgraceful neutrality is a great story, and one which is told quietly but somewhat brilliantly in this book.


It was enough to have a bit of the past, a tiny bit, reanimated.

The Cruel Sea (novel) – Wikipedia

The capains couldn’t be more different – Ahab in Moby Dick and Ericson here. Some of these teenage love affairs should be left alone in order to preserve their aura of romance. Jul 26, Algernon rated it really liked it Shelves: By using our website you agree to our use of cookies. I have placed this book on my to-buy list.

He turned to writing full-time insettling first on Guernsey, in the Channel Islands, and later on the Mediterranean island of Gozo Malta. Humane, compassionate, and utterly compelling – by the time I finished this book I felt as emotionally drained as if I’d just survived a voyage on the Rose myself!

The suffering of the victims of conflict is usually reduced to numbers monsarrxt 3 dead in Iraq, 2 wounded in Afghanistan. Most of the crew die in the freezing waters, but Ericson, Lockhart, Ferraby, and a few others are rescued the next day, but Ferraby suffers a break down forcing him to go to hospital.