List your top ten works of naval fiction.

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List your top ten works of naval fiction.

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1Chapinlibrary Første besked:
sep 17, 2006, 10:50 pm

Denne meddelelse er blevet slettet af dens forfatter.

aug 29, 2007, 11:33 pm

I guess someone has to bite on this one ...

Personally my favorite author in this category is Patrick O'Brian, though I also enjoy Forester and Marryat and Melville and some others.

So I will list my top ten from O'Brian's Aubrey/Maturin series (in order of publication):

H.M.S. "Surprise"
Desolation Island
The Surgeon's Mate
The Ionian Mission
Treason's Harbour
The Far Side of the World
The Reverse of the Medal
The Letter of Marque
The Truelove (= Clarissa Oakes)
The Wine-Dark Sea

aug 3, 2010, 8:09 pm

"The Captain" by Jan de Hartog

aug 4, 2010, 4:23 am

The Aubrey-Maturin series by Patrick O'Brian
The Hornblower series by C.S. Forester
The Cruel Sea by Nicholas Monsarrat
Das Boot by Lothar-Gunther Buchheim

Sea (not Naval)

Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad
Moby Dick by Herman Melville
The Odyssey by Homer

aug 4, 2010, 6:09 pm

Das Boot has to be the best sub book and movie. Gritty!

aug 4, 2010, 6:13 pm

One of those rare instances where the movie is as good as the book.

jan 14, 2011, 6:13 pm

Hope I'm not too late to the thread.

One of my favorite books is White Jacket by Melville. It's a fictionalized account of his service on the U.S.S. United States. Having spent 13 years in the USNR I thoroughly enjoyed Melville's capturing the gap between enlisted and officers, sailors and marines... The narration of nearly being flogged was riveting. I read somewhere that when the book was first published, a copy was put on the desk of every U.S. congressman and that the book is credited as being instrumental in ending flogging in the Navy.

jan 14, 2011, 7:18 pm

I just have one to add, San Andreas by Alistair MacLean. It is best read after reading David Irving's non-fiction The Destruction of Convoy PQ17

Redigeret: jan 15, 2011, 7:36 am

Coming really late to the thread, and with the caveat that this is a "my favorites" list, not a "best of all time" list . . . here's my ten in no particular order:

HMS Ulysses by Alistair MacLean
The Cruel Sea by Nicholas Monsarrat
Beat to Quarters by C. S. Forester
The Hunt for Red October by Tom Clancy
A Flock of Ships by Brian Callison
Trapp's War by Brian Callison
Choosers of the Slain (or several others) by James H. Cobb
Weapons of Choice by John Birmingham
San Andreas by Alistair MacLean
To Glory We Steer (or several others) by Alexander Kent

Honorable mentions, because they're good and the shipboard settings are fascinatingly offbeat:

H. M. S. Saracen by Douglas Reeman (an aging WWI-era monitor in the WWII Med, seen through the eyes of her captain, who served on her when she was new)

Storm Warning by Jack Higgins (a German windjammer, trying to make it home across the Atlantic from South America in WWII)

jan 15, 2011, 8:44 am


How could I have forgotten HMS Ulysses? Unless I forgot that was fiction. It also takes place in WWII on an Arctic convoy taking supplies to the Soviet Union. The scene with the oilers tending to the damaged driveshaft, working in the dark, brings to life what it must have been like to serve on a ship at that time.

jan 16, 2011, 6:37 am


If you like White Jacket by Melville you might be interested in reading A Hanging Offense: The Strange Affair of the Warship Somers by Buckner F. Melton Jr. It's about the only mutiny on a U.S. warship the resulted in the hanging of the three ring leaders. (one of which was a young acting Midshipman named Phillip Spencer whose father was John Canfield Spencer who had been Pres. John Tyler's secretary of war, and had arranged the boy's commission with the help of Capt. Oliver "Hazard" Perry).

Anyway the First Lt. on board was Melville's cousin and this incident maybe the source for Billy Budd by Melville.

jan 16, 2011, 7:12 am

Thanks for the suggestion. I've added the book to my wish list. Hmmm... (1) Do taxes, (2) Wait impatiently for return, (3) Receive return, (4) Return burns hole in pocket, and (5) Quietly sneak off to Borders while wife is not watching. Oh, and (6) do penance by vigorously attacking "honey-do" list.

jan 28, 2011, 11:32 am

odd that no one has mentioned The Caine Mutiny by Herman Wouk, probably my favorite of all wartime sea stories. I also liked The Cruel Sea, pretty much all of Patrick O'Brian's series, the Hornblower saga, and I think I'll download White Jacket...

jan 28, 2011, 2:31 pm

kcs hiker

I use to list The Cain Mutiny (and it is still high on my list) but replace it with "Delilah" by Marcus Goodrich