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Die A Dry Death Paperback – April 12, 2010


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 338 pages
  • Publisher: diiarts.com (April 12, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1907386114
  • ISBN-13: 978-1907386114
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.8 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,204,751 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Utterly brilliant in every way. It's hard to believe any book could come closer to conveying the essence of this astonishing series of events. If ever there was a five star read, this is it." - Bill Kirton, Booksquawk.com **** "I was pulled down into the story as inexorably as the Batavia herself was drawn down into the sea, and as the castaways of the shipwreck were drawn helplessly under the control of a frightening despot who emerged amongst them ... Brilliant writing and characterization." - Kimberly Menozzi, Fourth Person Obscured **** "I planned to read this novel over the course of a week. Instead, I found myself staying up (far too) late and finished it in two nights. I found it nearly impossible to put down ... I definitely enjoyed this novel more than most. The pacing is fast, the characters believable, and I would almost certainly read it again. Highly recommended." - Spann of Time **** "Greta's imaginative portrayal of Cornelisz is brilliant. She shows how the desire to survive turns him into a monster and yet allows him moments of strange tenderness when in love ... this is indeed a compelling tale and Greta has been fascinated by the story for twenty five years. Her writing skills are impeccable. One is drawn immediately into the scenario and carried on by the sheer power of her depiction, the characters she builds and the settings she creates. But it is an unrelentingly dark tale, so be warned." - Loretta Proctor, Books and Other Things **** "The most intriguing aspect of this story is how the author skillfully unravels one man's motives for gaining power through use of fear and examines to what lengths a person will go to preserve his own life. With such complex and deeply motivated characters, conflict abounds, creating a fast-paced and thrilling read ... Peppered throughout are exquisite details: of vivid seascapes, clothing, work implements, and nautical terminology. Readers who love to be immersed in a historical period will appreciate the precise research that has gone into this work; while those who enjoy an action-oriented and plot-driven story will be riveted." - Historical Novel Review --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Greta van der Rol was born in Amsterdam and grew up in Perth, Western Australia. These days she lives with her husband in sub-tropical Queensland not far from the beach. Die a Dry Death is one of four books she's written, with a fifth well under way. When she's not writing she enjoys cooking and photography. Die a Dry Death has been rattling around inside her head for twenty-five years. It was born of her fascination for the four Dutch ship wrecks on the Western Australian coast, of which the loss of the Batavia was the first and the best-known.

More About the Author

Greta van der Rol loves writing action-packed adventures with a side salad of romance. Most of her work is space opera, but she has written paranormal and historical fiction.

She lives not far from the coast in Queensland, Australia and enjoys photography and cooking when she isn't bent over the computer. She has a degree in history and a background in building information systems, both of which go a long way toward helping her in her writing endeavours.

Have you picked up her latest novella, "A Matter of Trust"? It's a science fiction romance with a hot admiral.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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See all 24 customer reviews
Character development and dialog is quite good.
Stephen Branch
This book was written by someone who is now a friend, but I read and made notes on it long before I got to know her.
W. J. S. Kirton
The characters are well rounded, believable and their interaction adds to the credibility of this work.
Mr. Robert Crickard

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Allison on December 19, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
The fully laden Batavia wrecks atop a reef. The crew abandons the ship, leaving most of her precious cargo aboard. The passengers, including women and children struggle to reach the small inhospitable islands close to the wreckage. Once there, it becomes painfully obvious that the survivors are facing starvation and dehydration. The ship's captain and commander leave the islands in search of supplies and rescue. In their absence, Jeronimus Cornelisz takes command of the islands. He abandons some survivors on the other islands and then begins to rule supremely. He kills all who challenge his rule. Not even women and children are safe. This is the story of those who lived and died on three small islands.
This book begins with the shipwreck and continually gets worse. The melancholy quickly transitions to fear and dread.
This book is sold as historical fiction, but I believe that this label limits the book. Greta van der Rol has the ability to get into the characters' minds and allow the reader to glimpse into their thoughts. This makes the book deeper and darker.
The writing at the beginning of the book is a little slow, but it is used to set up relationships that will soon become important. The action quickly picks up and the reader becomes lost in the story.
I recommend this book to anyone wanting a good read on when humans stop being human.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Kimberly Menozzi on February 24, 2011
Format: Paperback
When I started reading Die a Dry Death, I knew what I was in for. Or so I thought. I had read much of the first chapters when the book appeared on Authonomy some time ago, and I believed I remembered the story well.

I did. And... I didn't.

While I'm no expert on historical fiction by any measure, I kept feeling that this story felt authentic, through and through. No detail rang false, and there is detail aplenty in this tale. Being a fan of such descriptive language, I revelled in much of the writing for that reason. I have no doubt that Greta van der Rol is a writer of remarkable talent, and her skill with words is undeniable. She has incredible control over the tension of the story, building it steadily and sweeping the reader right along in its current, balancing several plotlines and making it look ridiculously easy.

At some point early on, however, my "writer" hat fell off and I was lost in the story itself. I was pulled down into the story as inexorably as the Batavia herself was drawn down into the sea, and as the castaways of the shipwreck were drawn helplessly under the control of a frightening despot who emerged amongst them.

There were times I wanted to just put this book down and walk away. Not for the reason one normally would do such a thing, but for very different reasons. I quickly found myself invested in the characters and I had begun to care about them. As there were moments I knew were coming - since this novel was based on true events, they are a matter of historical record - I wasn't sure I wanted to read them. I repeatedly hoped that these people would evade their fates and the story would take a happier (albeit unrealistic) turn, and continued reading.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Peter on July 5, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Greta van der Rol's 2010 book "Die a Dry Death", a detailed story of the Batavia wreck and tragic aftermath is a great narrative of the event.

It gives a most graphic picture of the shipwreck itself and of the ghastly slaughter and ungodly acts which followed, and also of heroism on the part of some survivors.

The introductory narrative of its opening chapter is cleverly contrived and serves to immediately gain the reader's interest and keenness to `read on".

There may be some fictional control woven into the story, but this could be described as dramatisation rather than a fictional distortion of events.

The horror of the inhuman and brutal treatment of the survivors is well described and evokes the feeling of man's inhumanity, albeit under desperate circumstances.

In reading the latter chapters one draws the conclusion that the slaughter, especially of women, children and entire families, was brought about by self preservation and gratification rather than a perceived view that there was insufficient water and edible items for all to survive, in the event 125 lives were taken in horrific and terrible ways. Ones revulsion at the heinous acts of Cornelisz and his henchmen is only partly alleviated by the terrible punishment they deservedly suffered.
The book it both an informative tale from an historic standpoint, and a great insight Into an infamous chapter in Western Australia's (New Holland's) early maritime history,

In short, I found it to be an absorbing book with obvious painstaking research having been done, well crafted and written in great style.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on June 12, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition
[disclaimer - I am from the same publisher, Diiarts, as Greta van der Rol, but I read this book as if I had picked it up at a bookstore. If you find this troubling, don't read on.]

Die a Dry Death charts the wreck and subsequent events of the Dutch merchant ship Batavia on its way to the Dutch East Indies in 1629. I for one had no idea of such a vast tragedy ensuing after one of the survivors took command of the refugees and started murdering them systematically.

The book has a wide cast of characters, but I would like to pull out two that have been crafted with extraordinary clarity and skill: a lady of high ranking, Lucretia van der Mijlen, who has to walk the tightrope between life and death, and Jeronimus Cornelisz, the homicidal employee of the Company, who slips into the dark side when he gains control of the islands on which the refugees live.

This could be a book of numbing detail and side stories aplenty, but it isn't. Greta van der Rol has done an outstanding job keeping the stories apace, and tightly reined in so as to keep the central story going. As you read this book, you'll see how you get attracted to it and want to keep reading as you hope for the best for the poor souls on the desolate islands... and yet you know it is not necessarily going to go that way.

I recommend this book to any historical fiction fan, and to all friends of books based on real life and given an extra dimension through fiction.
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