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Captains Courageous Paperback – March 21, 2013

4.2 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936) was an English short-story writer, poet, and novelist. In 1907 he became the first English writer to be awarded the Nobel Prize. He wrote several novels, including The Jungle Book and Captains Courageous. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From AudioFile

Harvey Cheyne, the spoiled fifteen-year-old son of a millionaire, falls from an ocean liner off the coast of Newfoundland in the 1890's. Rescued by the crew of a fishing schooner, he must remain on board and work the season. His experiences and the bonds he forms with the crew change him from a spoiled adolescent to a self-reliant young man. This production is an excellent choice for family listening. It's well-read by David Stuart, with believable New England and various foreign accents. Lots of action and interesting conversations portraying life aboard a fishing schooner keep the pace moving. Here's a notable example of how well classics can work on audio. M.A.M. (c)AudioFile, Portland, Maine --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Brown (March 21, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1613824718
  • ISBN-13: 978-1613824719
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.4 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #760,448 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Captains Courageous is my favorite Rudyard Kipling story and atypical for him. This is an upbuilding coming-of-age story about a rich kid who was washed overboard and picked up by a fishing schooner and made to work. It features an ultimately likeable main character who improves himself. Very readable and full of action. The only issue affecting the interest of younger readers this story's use of phonetic spelling to reflect the colloquial pronunciations of the various characters from Gloucester, Mass, Newfoundland, Portugal, etc.

(I hadn't written very many reviews. However, in reviewing Kindle reading material, I was sorry to see so few reviews of Kindle versions, especially when comparing two or more similar choices. So I am ramping up my reviews while I have the opportunity.)
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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I first read this when I was seven years old, and I can't say that it made much impression on me. But future readings, up to my present age of 67, have convinced me that the story is a good one, and the characters are strong and believable. A rich brat who has been saying it would be fun for the liner he is on to collide with a small fishing boat has exactly that happen--but the fishing boat survives, and the brat falls into a new life in which he is expected to pull his full share of the load.

At first he bristles with threats and promises, but nothing changes his situation. Work he will, or eat he will not. By the end--oops, I was headed for a spoiler.

Just read it, and enjoy the characters and plot, remembering as you do so that Kipling has said that "the magic is in the words." He was extremely conscious of what words he used, and since I have been reading him since I was five, I internalized that saying long before I became a writer myself. The magic is in the words, and you will enjoy the words used in this book, unless you have a totally tin ear for dialogue.

One of Kipling's best, written while he was in love with the United States.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If you've ever been around a group of men who are engaged in an activity; they have a certain way of talking to each other. When they tease each other with mighty insults then you know that they really like each other. Kipling draws a male character better than anyone I've read. Even, sad to say, more so than my favorite, Jane Austen.

When this group of men are talking; they sound just like men would today; with the exception of the horrible colloquial English, that an earlier reviewer referred to, and nowadays people do not refer to their religion as if they really believed it like the story characters did. I do think that if Kipling were to portray modern working men that you would hear an accurate reflection of modern conversation.

Just a fantastic story. Highly enjoyable.
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Format: Paperback
I picked the audio book version of this title up at the library because I wanted to read a classic. This did not disappoint. This is definitely a coming-of-age story. A spoiled, immensely wealthy young teen finds himself in the employ of a fishing boat for the whole summer. He rapidly must adapt to a new order of things where his wealth is meaningless. Although you can predict the outcome, you will most definitely enjoy the ride. I can't understate the warmth you'll feel for the poor fishermen, the great work they undertake, as well as the protagonist, who naturally redeems himself while becoming a man.

The book deals head-on with issues of wealth and privilege, that of course dominate the discussion of today. A small caution for the reader - as with Huck Finn your version of this title may still contain the an offensive racial epithet. The context is not malicious at all (I presume in those days it was not used as an insult?), but you should be forewarned.

I can't recommend this book enough for anyone with young teenagers. It should be mandatory reading, especially for those of us from the first world who don't have to labor to get our own food, and whose great occupational hazard is carpal tunnel syndrome.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
One of the things that makes this book a tough read was Kipling's persistence in trying to capture his characters' dialects phonetically. On the other hand, the book gives a fascinating series of glimpses into dory fishing on the Grand Banks in the years before the cod industry collapsed due to over-fishing. The schooners out of Gloucester were crewed by the men of many nations. The life they lived was hard and dangerous. Their courage was amazing, and their boat-handling skills impressive. By today's standards, the writing is old-fashioned, the language at times over rich and over descriptive. But the story is strong and the narrative easy to follow.
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Format: Paperback
A classic novel and one of the outstanding books of its period. Written over a century ago, I found it difficult to read, but rewarding.

Problems:
1. Maritime nomenclature, i.e. holyard
2. In an attempt to imitate nor'eastern dialect, Kipling misspells words or spells them phonetically, i.e. abaout

Both of these reasons contributed to the difficulty of understanding this book. Like reading Shakespeare or Chaucer, this story by Kipling requires work in order to comprehend. Consequently, it's not casual reading; it requires some effort.

The plot is easy enough to understand though. A spoiled boy, son of a millionaire father and doting mother, is lost at sea. Presumed dead but saved by a fishing boat. He demands to be returned, but the boat captain, Disko Troop, can't afford to jeopardize the livelihoods of his crew and his family. The boy, Harvey, is required to work hard for the first time in his life. He learns to respect the captain, the mates, and himself. The story has a happy ending and we get to meet several interesting crew members in the process.

I can recommend this book for analysis in a study group, but not for casual reading.
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