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Der Kaplan von Malta. by Nicholas Monsarrat
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Der Kaplan von Malta. (original 1973; edition 1977)

by Nicholas Monsarrat

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
200399,879 (3.69)16
'One of the most memorable characters of post-war fiction' Daily Express A classic novel set in the siege of Malta 1940-1942 from the bestselling author of The Cruel Sea Father Salvatore was a simple, lumbering priest, a Kappillan serving the poor Valetta, when war came out of the blue skies to pound the island to dust. Now amid the catacombs discovered by a chance bomb, he cared for the flood of homeless, starving, frightened people who sought shelter from the death that fell unceasingly from the sky. His story, and the story of Malta, is told in superbly graphic pictures of six days during the siege. Each of those days brought forth from the Kappillan a message of inspiration to keep them going - the legendary tales of six mighty events of Malta's history which shone through the centuries and gathered them together in a fervent belief in their survival.… (more)
Member:schmechi
Title:Der Kaplan von Malta.
Authors:Nicholas Monsarrat
Info:Rowohlt TB-V., Rnb. (1977), Broschiert, 516 Seiten
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:Zweiter Weltkrieg, Malta, Zeitgeschichte, Bombardierung, Blockade, Hunger

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The Kappillan of Malta by Nicholas Monsarrat (1973)

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This isn't the kind of novel I would normally pick, but having booked a holiday to Malta, about which I know very little, thought I would give this a go...
It's very very good and really leaves the reader with a handle on every aspect of the island. Basically a fictionalized account of the terrible suffering endured by Malta in WW2, as the enemies seek to blitz it to smithereens, bombing every supply convoy that the Allies try to send. The subject of the story- a likeable, independently-minded priest (kappillan)- superintends the huge underground shelter created in the catacombs, in which thousands hid from the continual bombardment. And alongside his work, he has his own concerns- his elderly, titled mother; his unhappily married sister and her teenage children....and a trouble making fellow priest.
Monsarrat breaks up his narrative with sections taking the reader - very readably- through Malta's past- from the first Phoenecians, the arrival of St Paul, the terrible siege (Knights of St John v the dastardly Turks)...
So while I doubt I'd have picked it in the normal course of events, I'm very glad I did! ( )
  starbox | Feb 5, 2020 |
I absolutely love The Kappillan of Malta, though it is often overlooked and forgotten these days. It is a fantastic work of historical fiction. Using the real life event of the population hiding in the ancient catacombs during the bombings in WWII, Nicholas Monserrat does a masterful job illuminating the entire history of Malta. It is a Michenerian-feat worthy of great praise.

I was originally suggested this book by my grandfather. He considered it one of the best historical fictions around, alongside James Michener and Thomas Costain, and of contemporary character-political-thriller finesse like Morris West or Herman Wouk. Few people could create better, more unexpected heroes. I can't thank my grandfather enough for introducing me to all these great authors.

I highly recommend this book. Though long, you will appreciate the read. ( )
1 vote kurvanas | Mar 19, 2011 |
2456 The Kappillan of Malta, by Nicholas Monsarrat (read 31 Jul 1992) This is a novel of Malta from June 10, 1940, to August 1942 centered on a priest who is of an old Malta family though the son of an English naval officer killed at the battle of Jutland. The book is laced with accounts of Malta in 1500 B.C., of St. Paul coming to Malta in 60 A.D., of Count Roger in 1090, of the Great Siege of 1565, and of Malta in Napoleonic times. It is an inspiring story but a little long. Sex scenes, while handled discreetly and non-blatantly, were still offensive. ( )
  Schmerguls | Apr 30, 2008 |
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The man in the bar of the Phoenecia Hotel, by the main gate of Valletta, gave me more mis-information, in the space of two hours, than even six gins and tomics could really justify.
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ISBN 0854565647 is for a Reader's Digest condensed [abridged] book. Do Not combine with this book that contains the complete story.

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'One of the most memorable characters of post-war fiction' Daily Express A classic novel set in the siege of Malta 1940-1942 from the bestselling author of The Cruel Sea Father Salvatore was a simple, lumbering priest, a Kappillan serving the poor Valetta, when war came out of the blue skies to pound the island to dust. Now amid the catacombs discovered by a chance bomb, he cared for the flood of homeless, starving, frightened people who sought shelter from the death that fell unceasingly from the sky. His story, and the story of Malta, is told in superbly graphic pictures of six days during the siege. Each of those days brought forth from the Kappillan a message of inspiration to keep them going - the legendary tales of six mighty events of Malta's history which shone through the centuries and gathered them together in a fervent belief in their survival.

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