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Mutiny on the Bounty: A Novel Paperback – April 11, 1989

ISBN-13: 978-0316611688 ISBN-10: 0316611689 Edition: Reprint

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Product Details

  • Series: Back Bay Books
  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Back Bay Books; Reprint edition (April 11, 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316611689
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316611688
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,306,157 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Charles Nordhoff and James Norman Hall (1887­1951), who served together as U.S. Air Service pilots in World War I, had a highly successful literary partnership that lasted nearly 30 years and produced several worldwide bestsellers. They are best known for their high-seas adventure Bounty trilogy.

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Customer Reviews

It is simply a classic story.
W. Sean McLaughlin
Whether it is description of scene or action or feeling, the authors capture the essence of every element of the story with perfect clarity and depth.
Leonard L. Wilson
After borrowing it, I read it for the first time as an adult and enjoyed it enough to read the remaining two books in the trilogy.
HeatherHH

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Leonard L. Wilson on June 19, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY is one of the greatest novels of the sea, of the 18th century sailing ships and the men who sailed them. But it is far more than a sea story or an adventure story. It is a splendid examination of the abuse of power and of the necessity for society to maintain support for authority, no matter how greatly that authority may at times by misused.
Different people tend to view the novel from faulty subjective viewpoints. Some see Capt. Bligh as a gross tyrant who got exactly what he deserved. But at no time does the narrator of the story attempt to justify the mutiny. Others see Fletcher Christian as a romantic hero, but the narrator makes it abundantly clear that his actions in seizing the ship and endangering the entire crew were misguided, to say the least. Always there is a sound balance and a mature evaluation of the actions of all characters, including the officers of the naval court who try those accused of the mutiny.
The novel also presents a beautiful balance of scenes, from the harsh punishments on board the Bounty to the idyllic interlude of life in Tahiti to the appalling existence of prisoners chained hand and foot for months at a time, and from the depths of despair at a sentence of death by hanging to the dazzling strangeness of sudden freedom. Whether it is description of scene or action or feeling, the authors capture the essence of every element of the story with perfect clarity and depth. In short, this is an exceedingly well plotted and well written work of literature, which can be enjoyed by a wide range of readers, not just those who love adventure yarns.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By W. Sean McLaughlin on September 2, 2002
Format: Paperback
Mutiny on the Bounty is a stunning work of historical fiction that is a pleasure to read.
The novel chronicles the events of the HMS Bounty as seen through the eyes of Roger Byam, a midshipman on the infamous Bounty. Through his eyes, the reader sees the terrible events unfold aboard the ship--the cruelty of Capt. Bligh that ultimately leads Fletcher Christian and much of the crew to mutiny against the captain. With Bligh left at sea, the crew returns to the South Pacific, seeking to make a new life for themselves and hoping to avoid capture and court martial by the British authorities. The conclusion of the novel is heart-wrenching and simply superb (and will be left as a surprise).
This novel relies a good deal on historical fact, though the authors clearly fill in the gaps with literary license. The characters are superbly developed and the story is riveting throughout. There is much nautical vocabulary, but this shouldn't distract readers as it can be glossed over without losing any significant content. I am not a historian and can make no statements about the veracity of the portrayals in this book. I do know that readers will find this novel difficult to put down. It is simply a classic story.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By TomK2 on March 3, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I finally got a copy of this book after a lifetime of seeing the story altered and parodied in cinema and television. If you want a great account of the events, that is also interesting reading, look no further. Dont bother to rent the DVD version of the movie, which has just been released. Otherwise you would think that Bligh returns to tahiti to capture Christian personally, which isn't in the book. You would think that Byam got to confront Bligh after being wrongly accused, which isn't in the book. And you would think that people were being keel-hauled from the bounty, which was explicitely stated in the book as being a practice banned years before. If you must watch a movie , watch Mel Gibsons version, but first read the book so you can seperate facts from Holywood "artistic license."
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Andrew Katz on May 8, 2003
Format: Paperback
Although "Mutiny" may be one of the "classics" usually thoroughly despised by young people I must say that after reading it I have a much more open mind when it comes to other "classics". "Mutiny of the Bounty" is a thrilling historical fiction adventure at sea. One of the most amazing things about the book is that it has the excitement of a fiction book while staying fairly true to its historical roots. It is a harsh demonstration of seagoing life in the late 1700's (the voyage takes place in 1788-1789) and a beautiful description of life on primitive Tahiti. Nordhoff and Hall use imagery on par with the best authors of our times to bring a view of 18th century Tahiti to our minds where we can imagine the peacefull life of the Indians and sailors there. It also does a great job of creating a theme so emotional that it is difficult to put to words. Another reviewer on this site accurately described it as something along the lines of "a story of misuse of power and the necessity of men to support authority figures to keep order even if they abuse their power" (not an exact quote). This is especially relevant to life at sea where without strict discipline a ship and her crew would be in constant peril. The narrator, Rodger Byam (a fictional character based very strongly on a real midshipman on Bounty named Peter Heywood), tells of his life on Tahiti with his adopted family, his wife and daughter, and his trip in irons back to Mother England, where he discovers that he is to be tried for a mutiny which he had no part in. In several amazing plot twists however his case goes from death to freedom when a man thought to be dead surfaces from a tragedy at sea. I give the book five stars as it is not only on of the most well written books I have ever read, with simply dazzling imagery, but also conveys very emotional theme. It is a must read for anyone of any age capable of reading it.
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