Monday, 16 December 2013

2013 Top Ten Best Reads - Number 4

C.S. Forester
I've read a few books by C.S. Forester this past year. For my Author's Focus, I caught up a bit with his Horatio Hornblower series, quite enjoyable, featuring Hornblower on the high seas battling against the Navy of Napoleon Bonaparte. Forester has a knack for a sea adventure. The missus and I also have in the past couple of years watched the BBC adaptation of the Hornblower series and it's excellent, excellent filmography, lots of action and adventure and just great stories.

Anyway, also this past year as part of a genre challenge in another Goodreads' book club, I read C.S. Forester's, The Ship, an excellent sea story set during World War II. It ranks up there with Alistair MacLean's HMS Ulysses, another favourite of mine. The Ship is my Number 4 favourite read of 2013. Whereas HMS Ulysses was set on the Murmansk run, the resupply of Russia via the Arctic Ocean, The Ship is set during a convoy to provide relief to the people in Malta, which have been subject to bombardment and blockade by the Italians and Germans. This story is a story of understated heroism as the small convoy must battle bigger fleets and try to get the convoy safely to Malta. I enjoyed the style of the story, the characters, who must work under extreme stress and danger and yet still maintain their ship in service and protect the convoy of supply ships. It's a wonderfully narrated tale and a page turner. This is the Review I provided for my Goodreads' bookshelf, "Excellent naval war story. Forester sets his story in the Mediterranean on HMS Artemis, a British cruiser part of a convoy of ships trying to relieve isolated Malta. Each chapter starts as an excerpt from the Capt's log with the chapter detailing the actions that make up this simple entry. Forester explores the ship, the crew as he tells his story. A simple story, but one of heroism, one battle against a larger Italian fleet. So well written, smoothly paced to keep the pages turning. Excellent story. I rank it up with Alistair MacLean's HMS Ulysses in great naval war stories."

What I liked especially was how the simple log entry is so straight forward and the chapter itself shows the acts in the detail that shows what is hidden behind the simple words of the Capt's Log. I highly recommend this story. You can't go wrong with it.

Number 3 of 2013 tomorrow.. :)

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