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The Cruel Sea

The Cruel Sea

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a b Pace, Eric (4 August 1979). "Nicholas Monsarrat, Novelist, Dies; Wrote War Epic 'The Cruel Sea' ". The New York Times. p.17 . Retrieved 20 April 2017. Halliwell's Film Guide described the film as a "competent transcription of a bestselling book, cleanly produced and acted". [19] See also [ edit ] The Cruel Sea". The Australian Women's Weekly. 20 May 1953. p.37. Archived from the original on 29 March 2021 . Retrieved 22 July 2012– via National Library of Australia.

Two non-fiction books, Life is a Four Letter Word: Breaking In (London, 1966) and Life is a Four Letter Word: Breaking Out (London, 1970), comprise Monsarrat's autobiography. From London". The Mail. Adelaide: National Library of Australia. 9 January 1954. p.50. Archived from the original on 29 March 2021 . Retrieved 10 July 2012.Therefore it was an unusual and happy occasion earlier today when Martin walked with me to the Park Ridge Library booksale and I espied a copy of Monsarrat's The Cruel Sea, a novel Dad had had and which I had read sometime in childhood. The title might not have been enough. The author's name meant nothing. But the cover was the very cover of Dad's edition. The Cruel Sea is a 1951 novel by Nicholas Monsarrat. It follows the lives of a group of Royal Navy sailors fighting the Battle of the Atlantic during the Second World War. It contains seven chapters, each describing a year during the war.

The Cruel Sea was recommended to me (h/t Bevan) after I finished reading Wouk’s The Caine Mutiny. Part of the reason I loved The Caine Mutiny was its sense of authenticity. In its minutely detailed depiction of life aboard a rusting old minesweeper, I felt like Wouk had created something real. That is certainly the case here. Monsarrat served in the Royal Navy during World War II, and has a grasp of all the granular details of life aboard ship. The particularity is mesmerizing. The book serves to bring to life the historical accounts of the war, but it also opens up parallels that exist in our current lives. In the hear-and-now, stresses are also ever-present and they accumulate with time. We eventually lose our peace-of-mind to a constant and continuing struggle. This book focuses on humans that are thrown into war from their peacetime lives. Accountants, bankers, journalists, cargo ship captains, pension seeking peacetime sailors, are all placed in a war that they, as individuals, had very little to do with its inception. From there, the changes in the characters are illustrated through the most extreme of circumstances and the ever-accumulating risk associated with time. Decisions are made and sacrifices are suffered. The enemy becomes transformed from humans with differing points of view into mere objects of resistance: worthy of a hatred that can only be bestowed upon the most inhuman of threats. And the defenders are transformed into machines that are virtually unaware of the hatred that they display. Born on Rodney Street in Liverpool, Monsarrat was educated at Winchester and Trinity College, Cambridge. He intended to practise law. The law failed to inspire him, however, and he turned instead to writing, moving to London and supporting himself as a freelance writer for newspapers while writing four novels and a play in the space of five years (1934–1939). He later commented in his autobiography that the 1931 Invergordon Naval Mutiny influenced his interest in politics and social and economic issues after college. Ireland comes in for a lambasting; the country is potrayed as contemptible for remaining neutral and benefiting from the vital food and other supplies from North America, guarded by the Royal Navy, whilst at the same time allowing the Nazis to run an espionage base on their territory.


Primarily concerned with life at sea, this doesn't completely ignore the home front, but sees it primarily in terms of the impact home lives have on the men at war. As a female reader I never felt excluded from this narrative, made up as it is of overwhelmingly masculine characters, and wasn't hit with technical sea-faring terms or the names of different types of ship body parts... Instead it focuses on the characters, and the intense pressures they're under.

  • Fruugo ID: 258392218-563234582
  • EAN: 764486781913
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