They dismissed the Mary Deare as ‘a piece of leaking ironmongery taken off the junk heap’. For 40 years this 6,000-ton freighter had tramped the seas, suffered shipwreck twice, and been torpedoed three times in two world wars. Then one March night, battered and bruised and empty, she emerged from severe Biscay gales into the English Channel - and into the newspaper headlines. Here was a ship of mystery and tragedy... in one of the greatest sea stories of all time.
©1956 Hammond Innes (P)2010 BBC Audiobooks Ltd
First, I dimly remembered seeing the movie "Wreck of the Mary Deare" about 50 years ago with Gary Cooper as John, and Charlton Heston as Patch. I could not for the life of me remember the ending and not much of the story came back to me but I vaguely remember enjoying the movie so I downloaded this book. I am so glad I did. I do love a good tale and really love a good sea tale and this book does not disappoint. It is a very good tale of the sea, of men and ships and treachery of course. I enjoyed it so much I listened straight through and missed a nights sleep. I am in awe of the sea and know some of the things it can do. I am no sailor but have crossed to Bimini a couple of times in a very small boat and it can be scary when it kicks up and gets rough. This is a great adventure story well narrated. I do not think it could be better told.
If you like a classic adventure story, and are at all interested in the sea and ships, you will appreciate this book. I read it years ago in print and really liked it, but the audiobook is even better. Bill Wallis is a superb narrator and his reading of this novel is among the best I've ever heard.
If you get the opportunity, try to listen to the first 2.5 hours in one sitting - as a sustained piece of nautical adventure writing, I don't think it could be bettered.
I remember reading this as a teenager -- it was the sort of book one could not put down. How would the same book appear after so many decades? Answer: it is still a riveting, beautifully written evocation of man and the wild oceans. The reader, Bill Wallis, was first rate: he didn't read this book it was a telling, a personal recounting....there is an immediacy about this presentation.
This is my favorite sea story, because it captures so well the feel of a tramp steamer and it's supersticious crew, in the wake of a terrrible storm, and the underlying story, sealing the fate of the Mary Deare, culminating in a well told court room drama. A great mixture of adventure and drama masterfully told by the master, Hammond Innes.
The first encounter at the very start of the book, has you gripped right away, which continues to build through part one.
Higgins, the first mate. A great voice! Hard to believe it's Bill's voice, perfect for the character.
The book was made into a film with Charlton Heston as Sands, and Gary Cooper as Captain patch. It is a classic called, aptly, "The Wreck of the Mary Deare". Although not following exactly the same as the book, it is still a well done Movie, a classic old movie well worth seeing. I actually saw the movie first, and had to read the book. Neither disappointed me.
The beauty of the novel is only exceeded by the captivating performance of the narrator. An immersive atmosphere. Strongly recommended.
I read like a madwoman all my life but now I have bad eyes. Thank goodness for audio books
The best author for adventure on the seas. I read all of this author I could get my hands on in the 80's and was thrilled that I found it here. You won't be able to stop listening.
Pure adventure and suspense.
He is good at telling this tale and keeps you interested.
Hope there will be more from this author! I would like to revisit them all.
"A great Seafaring Yarn"
It was well written and is a good tale. I would rank this high in the lists of books and typical of Innes
Bill Wallis has bought the story alive by clever characterization. The main character brings the story together and draws the best from the story.
The saving of the ship by starting the boiler and trying to keep her afloat as the storm destroys the ship. A picture is painted that puts you in the centre of the struggle for survival.
The sea does give up it's secrets.
It has reminded me of the work of Hammond Innes and I want to listen to some more of his work
Chose this because of the narrator, was very pleasantly surprised very well written beautifully narrated a gripping thriller with many twists and turns perhaps too much nautical detail but I really did enjoy it.
"Hammond Innes The Wreck of the Mary Deare"
This is a wonderful tale, woven by Hammond Innes and brilliantly narrated by Bill Wallis. He conveys the hardship and completely brings to life the tough and miserable conditions through which the main characters endure - a truly great story teller. For anyone who has ever sailed around the Channel Islands area then this is a must. I really wish that there were more of these classic books (set in the late 40s early 50s) by authors such as Hammond Innes and Neville Shute on audio book. Please record some more Hammond Innes
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