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The Cruel Sea Audiobook

The Cruel Sea

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Publisher's Summary

Based on the author's own vivid experiences, The Cruel Sea is the nail-biting story of the crew of HMS Compass Rose, a corvette assigned to protect convoys during World War II.

Darting back and forth across the icy North Atlantic, Compass Rose played a deadly cat-and-mouse game with packs of German U-boats lying in wait beneath the ocean waves. Packed with tension and vivid descriptions of agonizing U-boat hunts, this tale of the most bitter and chilling campaign of the war tells of ordinary men who had to master their own fears before they could face a brutal menace - one that would strike without warning from the deep.

©1951 Nicholas Monsarrat (P)2016 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.5 (325 )
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4.7 (308 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Peter Randburg, South Africa 03-27-16
    Peter Randburg, South Africa 03-27-16 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "One of the best 2nd world war naval stories"

    It was good to get back to this book which I can remember sitting on my fathers book shelf and having seen the old movie many years ago. What was very clear from the start is the understanding the author has of life at sea and of the characters. I googled Nicholas Monsarrat to find that he actually served on the vessels he writes about. Although he states at the start it is a true story but all characters are fictionalized it is clearly based on his actual experiences. Having been at sea much rings very true.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    A.N.Other 05-16-16
    A.N.Other 05-16-16
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    "A classic"
    What did you love best about The Cruel Sea?

    A geat story, authentic and one which really stays with you after you put the book down.
    The book is a memorial to the seamen of WW2 who died in the Atlantic.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The captain of the Compas Rose, a character both believable and a typical Royal Navy captain.


    What does Simon Vance bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Vance certainly brings the characters to life. The book was published in 1951 and is still a great read.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    WW2 1939 to 1945


    Any additional comments?

    The book is factual ( I am 93 and lived through those days so I can vouch for that. It stays with you and you begin comparing the present with those days of the Greatest Generation.
    Maybe I am getting too old!!!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patrick🍀 Mulat, FL, United States 12-14-16
    Patrick🍀 Mulat, FL, United States 12-14-16 Member Since 2014

    USMCRD Parris Island alumni, forest ranger, SERE survival instructor, intelligence officer, Florida Keys flats fishing guide, gorgeous wife!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I was privileged to discover this book."

    Here is a perfect example of the power and art form of the recorded novel. The author absolutely captures the grueling tension and horror of war, and helps us to remember this great war, now with few living survivors. This may be Simon Vance's masterpiece, you completely forget that one man is playing all the parts and so strongly. If you are not ready to read it now, make sure it's on your wish list.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. Moorhead, MN, United States 07-05-16
    J. Moorhead, MN, United States 07-05-16 Member Since 2013
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    "Just like the movie"

    If you like me saw the movie before picking up this book, you can't help but see Jack Hawkins as the face of Ericson. The book and the movie are so similar you would think Monsarrat had written a screen play. The characters are many and varied and you will care about them. It's a rare talent that can capture the boredom and tedium (that is ninety-nine percent of war) without being similarly boring and tedious. This was a period in the war when all was in doubt and British sailors had little means to fight a battle of attrition. Monsarrat has a knack for dissecting human character exposing the qualities that make persons weak or strong; a follower or a leader; petty or courageous.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    scottpen 04-25-17
    scottpen 04-25-17
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    "Good. Could've been great."

    Simon Vance is the main reason I chose this book, and as usual his performance was amazing. How one man can keep that many voices straight in his head - and do them all so well - is beyond me. Narration - top notch.

    The story... I nearly put it down a few times and just left it. But I'm glad I didn't. In the end, it's a good story. The characters are really compelling and what kept me coming back to it. A little slow in the beginning, and a good editor could've shortened a few places, but overall a really enjoyable listen.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 04-12-17 Member Since 2012
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    "loved it!"

    Loved hearing the different voices of the sailors. Pretty tense description of what the men went through while waiting in the water to be rescued. Brave men!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Blake Annapolis, MD, United States 05-24-17
    Blake Annapolis, MD, United States 05-24-17 Member Since 2008
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    "Thoroughly Enjoyable Book With Faultless Narration"

    This is a thoroughly enjoyable book, made so with a brilliant narration by Simon Vance, who juggles the voices and accents of multiple characters so flawlessly that the listener is pulled into believing these characters exist. The story is good, but not without fault as the writer delivers his characters into one situation after another. It reads a little like an episodic televisions series, with the main characters facing the new challenge of the week. Even so, the book is populated by believable characters and situations and entertains while placing you aboard these British convoy escorts.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Seth 05-06-17
    Seth 05-06-17 Member Since 2017
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    "Quality all around."

    This book was spectacular. The story: heart and gut wrenching. The performance: well executed with good accents.

    I had not read this book prior, and was completely engrossed in the story from shortly after the start, to the last line. It's a raw story, and shows WWII from a different viewpoint. Amazingly written. Thoroughly enjoyed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    DRF Yucaipa, CA 04-05-17
    DRF Yucaipa, CA 04-05-17 Member Since 2014
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    "One death too many"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    This book would be a good read for anyone who needs to know about the incredible hardships and sacrifices made by the Royal Navy and the Merchant Marine sailors during the Battle of the Atlantic.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Cruel Sea?

    Finally turning the tide against the overwhelming odds of the U-boats.


    What does Simon Vance bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Simon Vance is a master of accents and brings the appropriate gravity and realism to this book.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    This book required some time to process the narrative between listenings. The story was not difficult to follow, but the emotional toll needed to be taken in discrete doses.


    Any additional comments?

    I understand that the nature of the Battle of the Atlantic meant that death could and did strike suddenly and catastrophically, and that it was inevitable that characters in whom you had invested much empathy were bound to die, but there is one death (bit of a spoiler here) that was not combat-related and seemed way over the top, just there to add an unnecessary layer of bleakness to an already downer book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Someone Cedar Park, TX USA 03-29-17
    Someone Cedar Park, TX USA 03-29-17 Member Since 2015
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    "Amazing tale of WW2"

    cruel sea was an amazing tale from an angle that has not been told or appreciated yet. The reading added so much to the retelling.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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