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The Boat Hardcover – April 12, 1975

4.8 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Language Notes

Text: English, German (translation)
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 463 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf; 1st American ed edition (April 12, 1975)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 039449105X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0394491059
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.6 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #584,443 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Quiet on the Western Front". A historical novel in the classic tradition of a great novel. A strongly anti-war novel functioning on many levels: anti-war, anti-authoritarian (against High Command in general and Hitler and Adm. Doenitz in paticular), instructional on the daily operation of a WWII U-boat in ALL activities, including huge hours fruitlessly patrolling (U-boats, unlike US Boats, didn't have radar until late in the war, nor specific " Ultra" code intercepts of enemy ship movements - though German codebreakers had some good successes until midway through the war); the obsolesence of the U-boats vs. experienced radar- equipped British destroyers and aircraft; the struggle of men in a tiny ship vs. the sea. This last topic receives much time, and the American translation of this originally German book is very detailed, raw, and poetic, particularly decribing the changing nature of the sea, the clouds, and the author's emotions as he tries to understand, often with great difficulty, exactly what is going on. you will find great controversy on this book, mostly centered on the drunkeness of shore leave, but also the anti- High Command sentiments that are probably exaggerated. I bought and read this book in 1976 when it came out in paperback and read it in the back seat of my dad's car on a cross-country family vaction roadtrip (I was 13) and I have read and enjoyed it several times since. A searing story of just incredible moments of combat and weeks of patrolling with no enemy contact -the norm for warships, and patrolling ships and aircraft, too - most convoys were never sighted, let alone attacked. The movie is very good, but this very good book beats it, as the really good books usually do.Read more ›
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I have just been transported into a U Boat and have experienced war, claustrophobia, sex, fear, exhaltation, depression, sadness, joy, and bereavement -- all from this book. Buchheim's descriptions are total -- they grab you and PUT you into the places and the situations. I'm shocked at my reaction to this book. I think I'll read it a dozen more times in my life -- and I'm 72. This is not a recommendation to you to read this book: this is an ORDER to read it.
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Format: Hardcover
I picked up a paperback copy of this book at the dump more than 15 years ago, the cover caught my eye so I picked it up. I read this book at least once a year, I find myself transported into U-96 departing La Rochelle. The writing is supurb, you feel as if you are there in the Control Room, as the depth charges are going off around you. Or the long hours spent at the mess table "Frigging Around" going back and forth in your little square on the map, while the Commmanders in Berlin play with you like Chess pieces. It is also interesting to note the "Old Man (probley no more than 26 years old) seems to despise sinking the ships, saying what a loss it is, yet he has his mission to perform. By the end of the book, I was rooting for the Germans all the way, hoping they will defeat the British. To me this is the mark of a great writer, to enable you to root for the "enemey" by the end of the book. If you can find it, read it!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a German naval war correspondent, Lothar-Gûnther Buchheim was on board U-96 during its seventh patrol (October 27 - December 6, 1941). His 1973 book, The Boat (Das Boot), was based on that experience. He informs readers that The Boat "is a novel but not a work of fiction. The author witnessed all of the events reported in it." But the book's characters "are not portraits of real persons living or dead." In other words, the events are real but the characters are not. And the boat is given a fictitious identity--"U-A" [The actual "U-A" was originally constructed for the Turkish navy, but commissioned by the German navy at the outbreak of World War II]. Readers may find these distinctions a bit difficult to grasp. Indeed, the paperback edition of The Boat features a picture of U-96 with its real number and its laughing sawfish emblem, and producers of the film version restored some historical details (e.g., the boat's number, its laughing sawfish emblem, and the fact that its First Watch Officer was from Mexico) that are absent from the novel. On the U-96's seventh patrol (the period covered by The Boat), the captain was Heinrich Lehmann-Willenbrock (one of the most successful U-boat commanders), the First Watch Officer was Gerhard Groth (who may or may not have been the pro-Nazi sycophant and punctilious disciplinarian described in the novel and the film), the Second Watch Officer was Werner Hermann (who, based on his cadet class's reputation, may have been the sort of prankster portrayed in both the novel and the film), and the Chief Engineer was Friedrich-Wilhelm Grade.Read more ›
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I was MOST impressed with the movie Das Boot. If you do see the movie, make sure you see the German version with English subtitles, though. Because of this, I decided to read the book. I was very glad to see that the movie follows the book almost EXACTLY. All the movie does is leave out some parts and maybe a few dialogue changes here and there. But everything else is the same. In the book, I like the 80 page depth charge scenes. Yes, they're long and tedious, but after reading lots of war novels where the author talks about how the good guys get depth charged for what appears to be five minutes, it is clear that The Boat is very realistic in its portrayal of the sub-war. There are many things that you will learn in the book that the movie does not tell you. For example, why the sailors feared seagulls, why it was bad to work in the engine room of a surface vessel, why destroyers had to keep moving after dropping depth charges. Etc. All sorts of stuff that you thought you knew but did not know why it was that way. Like I say, since the movie follows the book closely, if you like one, you'll like the other. Both start the same way, both end the same way. The way I like it. This is by far one of the best war books that I've read.
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