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Mutiny on the Bounty Paperback – 2009

24 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

An action-packed fictional telling of the events on the HMS Bounty. Fourteen-year-old John Jacob Turnstile has gotten into trouble with the police on one too many occasions and is on his way to prison when an offer is put to him - a ship has been refitted over the last few months and is about to set sail with an important mission. The boy who was expected to serve as the ca...more


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Black Swan; paperback / softback edition (2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0552773921
  • ISBN-13: 978-0552773928
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 1.3 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,035,059 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

John Boyne was born in Ireland in 1971 and is the author of seven novels for adults and three for children. The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas won two Irish Book Awards, was shortlisted for the British Book Award, reached no.1 on the New York Times Bestseller List and was made into an award-winning Miramax feature film. His novels are published in over 45 languages. He lives in Dublin.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Luanne Ollivier TOP 1000 REVIEWER on March 23, 2009
Format: Hardcover
John Boyne - isn't he the one that wrote....? Yes Boyne is the author of the hugely successful historical fiction bestseller, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas.

Boyne turns his talents into a re-telling of the ill fated 1789 voyage of The Bounty to harvest breadfruit on what is now known as the island of Tahiti. The breadfruit was destined to feed slaves in Jamaica. After a long and difficult voyage, many men questioned William Bligh's leadership and a mutiny occurred. Bligh and 19 loyal men were turned out into a small launch and left to live or die. Bligh managed to guide them to land over the course of 48 days. Most of them did survive. Many books have been written, recounting this event.

Boyne's novel, although faithful to historical fact, is character driven. It is told from the viewpoint of 14 yr. old John Jacob Turnstile. Turnstile is given a choice - serve his gaol sentence for thievery or sign on as the captain's servant boy on the Bounty. The ship is his choice. Having never sailed before, we are treated to seeing the vessel, the traditions, the crew, Bligh himself and the fate of The Bounty's historic voyage through the curious eyes of "Turnip", as he is known to the crew. Turnstile is a wonderfully engaging character. His dialogue is witty, sharp and humorous. He is wise beyond his years in certain ways and yet naive in other matters. His documentation of the ship's crew, their personalities and what may have led to the mutiny are a fresh look at a known story. Knowing the history of the Bounty did in no way detract from the reading of Boyne's book. Boyne is a consummate story teller and The Mutiny on the Bounty is a heck of a tale. Highly recommended.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A. Davis on February 23, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This is the 1st and perhaps only book on the HMS Bounty that i've read and, therefore, can not say how it stacks up to others like it, but let me tell you, this book was fantastic. This review will be brief so that any one who does read it will have a fresh go of it.

Basically, an urchin boy (John Jacob Turnstile) is caught pick-pocketing a pocket watch from a gentleman by the name of Mr. Zela...the boy gets caught, in leu of a prison sentence of a year he is "sentenced" to the "high-seas" aboard the HMS Bounty as the Captain's Servant...a lot of trials and trivulations...native love...mutany...more suffering...rescue...and a little finality.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Will o' the Wisp on March 1, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have read just about anything I could find about the Bounty story and I found this book to be pretty entertaining. It's a novel, of course, and Boyne takes the liberty of making Bligh out to be an extremely sympathetic character and Fletcher Christian into a dilattante near-fop. I think both characterizations are off the mark but it's Boyne's book after all.

He cleverly puts the teenage pickpocket, John Jacob Turnstile, on the boat as Bligh's servant in place of the real-life John Smith who was Bligh's servant. And since the servant is usually in Bligh's cabin or hovering nearby, Turnstile is able to pick up on many conversations between Bligh and his officers, particularly with Christian.

However, I think Boyne made a couple of big errors in the book. Later, when Turnstile, Bligh and 16 others are fighting for survival in the lifeboat after the mutiny, Turnstile and another sailor talk about how much they hated the ship's clerk, Mr. Samuel, and how they found it typical of the man that he'd joined Christian's mutineers. But Samuel wasn't a mutineer, he was with Bligh in the lifeboat and is mentioned several times in the lifeboat story up to that point. So how in the world did Boyne put that conversation in the book and state that Samuel was a mutineer?

Also, at the very end of the book Turnstile has just gone to Bligh's funeral in 1817 and meets his mysterious benefactor from the beginning of the story. But Turnstile never mentions anywhere at the end of the book that he had any knowledge of what happened to Christian and the other mutineers who hadn't been caught. I think that's preposterous.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By a reader on June 6, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Having developed an interest in the Bounty story after sailing on the replica and reading the history and some of Bligh's log, I hesitated to read a fictionalized version -- the original story is interesting enough. However, I finally gave it a try.
Boyne's young narrator is really well characterized; he has a distinctive viewpoint and voice which come through clearly. His writing style changes a little through the story, as the character matures. We see a saucy street urchin begin to be a man as he finds his way through his strange new life aboard ship. The character is haunted by events in his not-too-distant past and this affects him deeply, but by the end of the story he has grown up enough to find a way to deal with it, and upon returning to his home in Portsmouth he is at last able to put the demons behind him and look forward to his future.
Captain Bligh is also strongly characterized, and I was clearly able to picture Anthony Hopkins's Bligh from the 1984 film reciting much of the dialogue. I suspect Boyne studied that movie. Boyne paints a much more sympathetic view of Bligh than is common, as others have noted. It is true that he was considered a hero upon his initial return to England -- something that is lost in modern cliché "Captain Bligh" references -- it was only later on as the mutineers' story was told and a couple of their families embarked on a campaign to discredit him, that Bligh fell out of favour. However, it was well known that he had an irascible, irrational temper and was quite foul-mouthed, and that his relationships with the crew were antagonistic from early on in the voyage. Boyne's Bligh is much, much nicer and more reasonable than is likely true.
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