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Captains Courageous Paperback – March 21, 2013
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(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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I liked most of the book. The characters were interesting and well developed. I did not like the ending so much. I read the whole book. High praise.Published 2 months ago by Don Roberto
Really enjoyed this story of fishermen and the difficulty of their work in making a living for themselves and their families. Wonderful detail on the processes they went through. Read morePublished 5 months ago by EleanorW
Captains Courageous is the story of a spoiled rich boy a century ago (off his luxury ocean liner to be rescued by a fishing boat) and learns the value of honest labor. Read morePublished 15 months ago by H. P.
A nice Adventure Sailor book. The characters were well done in my opinion with class. And the rest you'll have to find out yourself :)Published 16 months ago by Joshua C. Mckinney