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WRECK OF MARY DEARE by Hammond Innes
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WRECK OF MARY DEARE (original 1956; edition 1978)

by Hammond Innes

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3191152,177 (3.86)17
Member:Linkmeister
Title:WRECK OF MARY DEARE
Authors:Hammond Innes
Info:Ballantine Books (1978), Paperback
Collections:Your library
Rating:
Tags:suspense, adventure

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The Wreck of the Mary Deare by Hammond Innes (1956)

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Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
Classic Hammond Innes thriller from the mid-1950s, with the usual implausible and overcomplicated plot, in this case concerned with a cargo ship that may or may not have been wrecked deliberately. The captain (move over, Lord Jim) is being blamed and is trying to save his reputation, helped rather reluctantly by the narrator. There's a long and rather tedious courtroom section, and a female character who is pathetic and irrelevant to the plot to an extent extraordinary even by Innes's macho standards.

As usual, and despite these faults, it's worth reading for a couple of really excellent adventure sequences. The initial battle to save the Mary Deare and the epic, Moby-Dick style, chase in the final section of the book are both remarkably convincing, despite the hugely improbable premises they are built on. We are really made to feel we know what it's like to be on a ship that's breaking up on submerged rocks. ( )
  thorold | Jun 8, 2015 |
Classic thriller, well told. Set in, around and on the Minkies. Especially good for anyone interested in the Channel Islands and marine matters! ( )
  jvgravy | Jan 11, 2015 |
Was laid up after surgery, so pulled this book off my shelf. Since then, I am trying to read every Hammond Innes book I can get my hands on. ( )
  JoeShields | Feb 26, 2014 |
Read this years ago but remember liking it very much. ( )
  ecw0647 | Sep 30, 2013 |
A sailing yacht, crossing the English Channel at night, is nearly run down by the Mary Deare: an aging freighter seemingly abandoned but still under power. The yachtsmen are small-time salvage divers, and one (dreaming of a contract with her owners, and a check from their insurers) climbs aboard . . . and discovers wild-eyed, half-mad Captain Gideon Patch. Joining forces, they begin a desperate battle to save the Mary Deare and themselves.

Those events, which take up roughly the first third of The Wreck of the Mary Deare are among the best that Innes, a superb adventure-story writer, ever crafted. His experience as a deep-water yachtsman and his familiarity with the Channel translate into a vivid sense of place, and the scenes aboard the dying freighter are gripping. The scenes of Patch and the narrator in the stokehold of the Mary Deare, shoveling coal as if their lives depended on it (which, indeed, they do), are a vivid reminder that action need not be violent to be thrilling.

The Wreck of the Mary Deare, however, is as much a mystery as a sea story—why did the crew abandon ship? why was Patch aboard? what happened to her original captain?—and as a mystery it falters. The courtroom scenes and amateur detective work that make up the long middle section of the book are competent but uninspired, and they dissipate much of the narrative momentum. The final section returns to the Channel, and delivers more of Innes’ superbly written men-against-the-sea action scenes, but the need to wrap up the mystery drags like a sea-anchor. Taken as a whole, The Wreck of the Mary Deare is only adequate, but the good parts are more than good enough to make it essential reading for fans of modern sea stories. ( )
2 vote ABVR | Sep 6, 2013 |
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To the mate and crew of Triune of Troy and the memory of a gale off the Minkies
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I was tired and very cold; a little scared, too.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 033034241X, Paperback)

The Mary Deare was a 6000-ton freighter, which for forty years had tramped the seas, been shipwrecked and torpedoed during the war. Then one night she emerges from the Bay of Biscay after severe gales and is propelled into the newspaper headlines as a ship of mystery and tragedy.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:05:21 -0400)

The battered hulk of a huge ship looms out of the stinging spray of a furious gale. Only one man, half-mad, remains aboard, working without sleep or sustenance to save her from sinking. But this man is no hero, and this ship was not meant to be saved. As Hammond Innes' classic tale moves from desperate struggles on the sea to a nail-biting courtroom controversy, the murky truth about the last voyage of the Mary Deare finally comes to light.… (more)

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