- Mass Market Paperback
- Publisher: Berkley Publishing; First Thus edition (1966)
- Language: English
- ASIN: B000KS6F92
- Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 4.2 x 0.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,078,826 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Pincher Martin Mass Market Paperback – 1966
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|Mass Market Paperback, 1966||
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Top Customer Reviews
Golding employs an old, old narrative trick with skill, steeps the narrative in symbolism, challenges readers to see something admirable in his protagonist, and sets it all on a vividly drawn islet from hell.
In hard packed, spare and salty prose, Pincher Martin is a supremely elegant and harsh short novel. Mingling themes of existentialism, psychology and survival, it is in the line of Robinson Crusoe literature that cuts us adrift from our self enclosed humanist bearings and forces us to inhabit a world we won't forget easily. The trick ending will surprise many, and force the reader to consider again Golding's big and portentous ideas about consciousness and human striving.
Rear cover synopsis:
"Drowsing in the freezing North Atlantic, Christopher Hadley Martin, temporary lieutenant, happens upon a grotesque rock, an island that appears only on weather charts. To drink there is a pool of rain water; to eat there are weeds and sea anemones. Through the long hours with only himself to talk to, Martin must try to assemble the truth of his fate, piece by terrible piece."
His navy ship having been sunk, Martin drifts in loneliness upon the Atlantic currents prone to undulation of oceanic waves and persistence of the blurred sun above. The valleys and hills of the wet ebony expanse seamlessly morph into a rocky island, a minute outpost of life amid the bleak seascape of his ship's destruction. Assessing his clothing and pockets, Martin sets his will to triumph over idleness while evaluating the topology of his rocky pinnacle for food, drink, shelter and zenith.Read more ›
Essentially, Golding seems to say that, brought to our lowest common denominator in a fight for life, we are all self-centered, that greed takes over. I found the argument weak because we discover that Martin was this way already. I would've liked to see a selfless person's fight for existence and the consequences of his actions.
Or maybe that's Golding's point: Martin's self-centeredness eventually corrodes his ability to survive because the motivations run shallow. Numerous true-life accounts show the struggle of men and women to rise above their base needs and extend life heroically to others. Selflessness often leads to the survival of the group, it seems, but in this book we have only one character's survival to consider.
A second reading might reveal to me more of Golding's intentions in this story, but the fact remains: Golding knows how to build word upon word until you are trapped within the dwelling of his character's minds. That alone lifts this book above the volumes of so-called literature stacked on most shelves.
Based on Golding's own standards from his other books, I cannot highly recommend this as a great story, but only as a great example of powerful wordage and characterization. I think Golding sells us short here on the premise of survival. I finished the last page with little emotional or intellectual reaction. I felt, like Martin, only blank disillusionment.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
William Golding is one of my favorite writers of the 20th century. Enough saidPublished 1 month ago by Vincent Nocella
I know William Golding could write. And yet this was the most tedious, bloated piece of woolgathering I have ever had the displeasure of experiencing. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Mrs. Longerbone
I read this book in the early 60s and it has stuck with me all these years. Compelling. Intriguing. Frustrating. I highly recommend this book.Published 5 months ago by John Morthanos
Pincher Martin (1956)
Death, is it the end of the human body, the mind, or the spirit? Do we change from one being to
another, reincarnation, living different... Read more
This is one of those novels which, when you finish reading it, will leave you wondering: what happened? What does the ending mean? Which of two realities/possibilities occurred? Read morePublished on September 6, 2011 by Ohioan
Reminiscent to a degree of Ambrose Bierce's AN OCCURRENCE AT OWL CREEK BRIDGE, Pincher Martin is cast into the sea when his ship is torpedoed, and the action of the novel takes... Read morePublished on April 30, 2006 by Bomojaz
"Pincher Martin" might be any man who has sailed the seas or been in combat within 360 degrees of nothing. I've been a fan of Mr. Read morePublished on November 3, 2002 by Bill Oterson