- Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
- Publisher: Signet (January 6, 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0451211405
- ISBN-13: 978-0451211408
- Product Dimensions: 4.4 x 1.1 x 6.7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 6.9 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 25 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,705,148 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Iron Coffin Mass Market Paperback – January 6, 2004
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From Publishers Weekly
Fans of nautical novels may enjoy this highly technical WWII novel from first-time author Mannock, who takes the unusual approach of casting the crew of a German U-boat as the book's protagonists. Framed by a prologue and an epilogue set in the present, the story begins when a Nazi U-boat assigned to harass Allied shipping comes under attack by U.S. aircraft during a clandestine refueling near Cuba. Crippled, the U-boat heads for the Louisiana bayou, where a clan of greedy Cajun trappers will provide whatever the crew members need-for a price. While the crew repairs their submarine, officer Erich Bock meets and falls in love with Jolene, a young Cajun woman who's about to come of age. Papa Luc, the controlling clan leader and Jolene's prospective husband, emerges as the villain and is one of the few stereotyped characters in the book. Indeed, Mannock has made a concerted effort to break stereotypes here, particularly the stereotype that German officers were all cold, autocratic supporters of Hitler. Although Mannock pads his prose with mundane details, readers will appreciate this book's unusual perspective and true-to-life characters.
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Top customer reviews
The characterization is outstanding. When well into the story, ask yourself whom you're pulling for! Each character lives in full color, interacting to keep you spellbound to the last page. The conclusion is satisfying, but you will hate for the book to end!
This is one of the truly memorable books I'll always carry in the special library inside my mind!
The great strength of this novel is its involved but smooth plotting, which the author, John Mannock, handles very well. Mannock introduces many characters from many backgrounds, included a British officer, a Cajun witch, a German U-boat captain, and a war-wounded American tug boat captain in a downward spiral of self-destruction, together very nicely. Although the book takes many turns and surprises (and I do mean many), Mannock brings the reader along at just the right pace so the work never feels either rushed or sluggish. This might be considered a "techno-thriller" as the technical aspects of sub life are important in the telling of the story (and interesting to a Submarine fan like me), but really the characters, not the gadgets, are the focus and interest of this author (unlike Clancy who always casts hardware in the starring roles). Mannock is too much of an old-fashioned storyteller to spend too much ink on the metal.
This book delivered on the interesting back cover blurb in spades. I found myself very much caught up and pulling for several of the characters at once. There are interesting stories-within-stories here that really make this a great, meaty summer read - and maybe just a bit more. - Mykal Banta
Allied shipping.This submarine has sank Allied ships in the North Sea,the Gulf of Mexico and in other shipping routes.The
Nazi submarine is caught refueling and getting resupplied off of
the coast of Cuba.American Navy Catalinas strafe and dept charge
the boats involved.Two of the boats are sunk but one manages to escape.The U-boat finally is able to locate refuge in an inlet
in the swamps of Louisiana.Once there they have to deal with the local natives who are called les Isolates.The leader of this
group is named Papa Luc.He has a young girl named named Jolene
that he has raised and inrends to make his wife.You also have a
witch named Estelle who definitely adds to the story.Papa Luc
turns out to be the villain in this story.After being paid by the Nazi submarine crew in gold for food products Luc decides that he wants all of their gold and money.You also have two more
characters in the story.The Nazis have to hire a diving crew to get parts off of a sunken submarine in the Gulf of Mexico to do
do repairs on their own submarine damaged by the attack on the coast of Cuba.They hire a boat through Papa Luc to do the job.There are two men who are on the boat named Lucius and Mike Holt who play a role in the story.There is an exciting finish
as well as a surprise ending.This is the second book that I have read by John Mannock and it is outstanding.Buy this and read it.It is great.