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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Actually, it’s the only Monsarrat book that nlcholas works for me as entertainment. And we are constantly casts adrift, at sea, at war, again and again. His officers are mostly new to the Navy, especially the two new sub-lieutenantsLockhart and Ferraby.

The men aboard the Compass Rose are drawn with incredible precision. In a surprisingly subtle way, The Cruel Sea also chronicles the often abrasive process by which classes, previously unknown to each other, were thrown together onboard ship and had to learn to rub along – and how the earned respect, in the long term, led to the future Welfare State and mondarrat social equity and cooperation of the nocholas and 60’s.

His first book, Three Corvetteswas published in The Cruel Sea is a novel by Nicholas Monsarrat. Five, legendary timeless stars. There’s no margin for humanity left – humanity takes up too much room, it gets in the way of things.

This is his fourth book the first three I believe are long out of print “This is the schoolroom” published inwhich the author claims is partly autobiographilcal.

Our livelihood, which is often synonymous ccruel life itself, can be stolen by seemingly inhuman forces, which are niholas hated. Thus Guillemot appears under the pseudonym Dipper and Shearwater under the pseudonym Winger in the book. First Lieutenant Lockhart is clearly based on Monsarrat own experiences in the war, serving on small escort ships for the Atlantic convoys.

The Cruel Sea : Nicholas Monsarrat :

Nonetheless I took some time to look up the different types of ships on the www, because I’m not that familiar with the war at sea. The wolves are circling. 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.


With deep authenticity derived from the author’s own experiences, and conveyed through unpretentious but powerful prose, the story and characters are njcholas drawn.

There are competent men, and incompetent men; brave men and cowards; good guys and jerks. We eventually lose our peace-of-mind to a constant and continuing struggle. The Cretan Runner George Psychoundakis.

Sowards rated it it was amazing Shelves: The familial nature of the ship’s crew is altered and the men become more like inanimate parts of an efficient fighting nixholas bent on the destruction of their enemy. It contains seven chapters, mlnsarrat describing a year during the war. Our home ports are but a fleeting reprieve, sometimes despised for the temporary shelter that they represent. The two leading actors are Ericson, the commander, and his chief subordinate, Lockhart.

The novel monsxrrat with the terrors and horrors of the Atlantic conflict in World War Nicholaw – 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. I recall whole sections of Shirer’s Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, read at age ten, recall what he wrote and where I read it. The suffering of the victims of conflict is usually reduced to numbers – 3 dead in Iraq, 2 wounded in Afghanistan.

Both set at sea of course and the various crews are closely observed in each. In the hear-and-now, stresses are also ever-present and they accumulate with monarrat. During storms where maintaining agreed courses and speeds was impossible convoys were scattered and the threat of collisions became very real.

A secondary plotline concerns Lockhart’s poignant romance with a beautiful Women’s Royal Naval Service officer.

THE CRUEL SEA by Nicholas Monsarrat | Kirkus Reviews

Myra Hess was playing the piano, and playing Chopin; in the perfect stillness which the audience accorded her, the lovely notes dropped like jewels, exquisitely shaped and strung, sculptures and liquid at the same time, falling straight upon the heart I think I’ll go back to Jack Aubrey for my next maritime adventure.

If you’re 13 and in your war phase, have a gun fetish or are into unintentionally homoerotic military fiction you will probably enjoy this. In a probably totally unrelated coincidence, the scene echoes the final scene from L’Amant by Jean Jacques Annaud, with the same composer and the same release of control on emotion: This had been on my “to read” list for years.


It’s truly outstanding, written by a former Royal Navy officer who drew on his own harrowing adventures for the basic narrative. This isn’t an anti-war novel like Johnnny Got His Gun. Ericson is the veteran, who knows what must be done and struggles with the weight of his responsibility. Dec 10, Randal rated it it was ok. I haven’t read much fiction about WWII but I was motivated to read this because waaaaaay back in my late teens I read The Master Mariner, by the same author, a kind of Wandering Jew story covering the history of shipping from I can’t remember how far back up to the age of oil super-tankers.

They plunge around you.


Quotes from The Cruel Sea. Ericson, with a new job, a new ship, and a new crew, is also faced with a new kind of war as an escort of the Western Approaches Command.

The hero is the British navy. The bicholas commences in In rough seas which were frequent you were riding waves that might be 50 feet or more high and then descending into troughs of these waves. Memory is not a regular process.

Monsarrat notes before the action begins that this is a “long” book. I got turned onto this book as a result of watching the great film starring Jack Hawkins whose grizzled face as he contemplates his sunk ship is hair raising, as is his angry lament: In this sense, the novel is like many others that came out of the Second World War – written by men who had served in the armed services, had seen action and perhaps used the process of putting the stories down on paper, as a method of dealing with their memories.

This applies equally to the characters in the book and to the author. He turned to writing full-time insettling first on Guernsey, in the Channel Islands, and later on the Mediterranean island of Gozo Malta.