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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 (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,435,623 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 23 customer reviews
Long after closing the book, the story will continue to haunt.
Great Historicals
The characters are well rounded, believable and their interaction adds to the credibility of this work.
Mr. Robert Crickard
I highly recommend it to anyone, not just fans of historical fiction or period stories.
Kimberly Menozzi

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 W. J. S. Kirton on November 2, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
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. Now that it's appeared in a new edition with a fascinating addendum describing its genesis, it's time to turn the notes into a proper review. Friendship is never an issue in my appreciation (or otherwise) of books and, in this case, it's completely irrelevant. Which is very convenient because I'm about to enthuse about it.

It's a fictionalisation of an actual event - a mutiny far more dramatic than that of the Bounty. An online search will give you plenty of articles on the story of the Dutch East India Company's ship the Batavia, which, on her maiden voyage in 1629 ran aground on a reef in the uncharted ocean off Western Australia. The survivors, including women and children, found themselves on islands where food and water were scarce. The ship's captain, the company's representative and some of the crew set sail in a longboat for the port which gave the ship its name (today known as Jakarta). Their intention was to alert the company to the event and return to rescue those left behind and retrieve the valuable cargo. What happened on the islands is the stuff of nightmares.

And it's these nightmares - with the imaginative reconstruction of the whole episode, its characters, their motives and the outcomes - which are chronicled in the pages of this tremendous page-turner of a book. So thorough is the author's research and so sensitive and skilful her handling of it all that it really does read as a chronicle rather than as fiction.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Robert Crickard on September 9, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
To Die a Dry Death, couched in eminently readable and flawless prose, moves forward, without jeopardising clarity or momentum. Scenarios and events, described with changes of pace that grip the reader, are unveiled with consummate skill. The author has utilised the results of obvious extensive research to imbue this period of the seventeenth century with realism; the marine detail is especially noteworthy. The characters are well rounded, believable and their interaction adds to the credibility of this work. Highly recommended, this is a novel of compelling potency with the guarantee of several enthralling hours marooned with the passengers of the Batavia. Robert Davidson. The Tuzla Run
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By fred h limberg on August 20, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
If you are looking for a feel good novel or a Robinson Crusoe-esque survival story do not read TO DIE A DRY DEATH by Greta van der Rol.

The book is a novelization of the tragic and brief history of the Batavia and its first voyage which ended on a series of desolate uncharted islands after running aground on a reef in the 1600s.

Ms. van der Rol, to me, captured not only the feel and essence of the times in her historically accurate recounting of--not only the shipwreck and the horrors faced by the survivors, but also the individual intrigues. Her well drawn out (and often horrifying) period-influenced personalities contributed to and teased out believable motives for what occurred.

`What occurred' needs repeating.

I give TO DIE A DRY DEATH four stars. The book made me uncomfortable throughout the reading, but kept me engaged. It toyed with my emotions as I tried to identify with and root for someone to overcome the horrors that occurred on the islands, often to find their actions and motivations at odds with my 21st Century sensibilities.

Well done, Ms. van der Rol.

Fred Limberg
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Kimberly Menozzi on July 20, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
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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