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The Riddle of the Sands: A Record of Secret…

The Riddle of the Sands: A Record of Secret Service. Erskine Childers… (original 1903; edition 2008)

by Erskine Childers

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1,614454,504 (3.61)163
Title:The Riddle of the Sands: A Record of Secret Service. Erskine Childers (Read Red)
Authors:Erskine Childers
Info:Penguin Books (2008), Paperback, 352 pages

Work details

The Riddle of the Sands by Erskine Childers (1903)

  1. 60
    The Thirty-Nine Steps by John Buchan (simon_carr)
    simon_carr: Similar in many ways: plucky Englishman chances upon a dastardly German plot. Thoroughly enjoyable.
  2. 30
    Thirst for the Sea: The Sailing Adventures of Erskine Childers by Erskine Childers (John_Vaughan)
    John_Vaughan: The actual sailing logs and articles of Childer's real cruises, and smuggling!
  3. 10
    The riddle of Erskine Childers by Andrew Boyle (John_Vaughan)
    John_Vaughan: To know the man even better, read his now famous novel - the other riddle.
  4. 01
    Kim by Rudyard Kipling (ed.pendragon)
    ed.pendragon: More spying and skulduggery
  5. 01
    The Zeal of the Convert by Burke Wilkinson (John_Vaughan)
  6. 01
    The English Channel by Nigel Calder (John_Vaughan)
    John_Vaughan: Cruises in the same water
  7. 02
    Biggles and the Black Peril by W. E. Johns (simon_carr)
    simon_carr: Espionage and dastardly Germans aplenty in both.

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» See also 163 mentions

English (42)  German (2)  All languages (44)
Showing 1-5 of 42 (next | show all)
The "first modern spy novel', the book was an interesting description of the north German coast. Much of the detail was hard to follow, but the conclusion became more and more obvious as the book progressed. An interesting book. Read April 2015. ( )
  untraveller | May 29, 2015 |
I don't know if any other reviewer has mentioned that this book is funny as well as suspenseful. I had no idea what was going on (what with the nautical terminology) half the time. Even so, I still enjoyed it on its own merits. Really charming. And funny! And British!

Might better be titled Two Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Germans). ( )
1 vote sansmerci | Nov 30, 2014 |
An adventure story written with a serious purpose (Wake up England!)
Illustrations are four maps which give context to the narrative.
No violence or sex (only a minimal female love interest). ( )
  supersnake | Nov 24, 2014 |
We shall be able to throw them overboard,' said Davies, hopefully

'I believe,' said Davies, 'that Dollmann did it off his own bat'

A charming book. Read to me originally my my mother, and listened to this past month while on my way back from dropping my oldest at school.
  ben_a | Nov 5, 2014 |
A remarkable mix of Richard Hannay and Swallows and Amazons. A bored young Foreign Office clerk joins a former university friend who is sailing a small yacht (basically crewed only by himself) along the coasts of Denmark and Germany, investigating what ultimately turns out to be a German plan for a naval attack on Britain under the direction of the Kaiser himself --who is seen in this book (as in Rolfe's Hadrian VII) as a much more serious and capable leader than he turned out to be in the real World War I. The author was a clerk in the House of Commons, a British naval reserve officer in World War I, and then a leader of the Irish Republican Army who was shot by he Free Staters during the Irish Civil War. ( )
  antiquary | Oct 18, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 42 (next | show all)
Apart from the political significance of the book, "The Riddle of the Sands" is fiction of a high quality. Its style and its permeating atmosphere of the sea suggest Conrad; and, like Conrad, the author takes us so thoroughly with him that our hearts beat with those of the perplexed voyagers, and we even share the smells and flavors of their cramped little yacht.

» Add other authors (25 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Erskine Childersprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Childers, Erskine C.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Drummond, MaldwinIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lesser, AntonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
O'Connor, JohnIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Whistler, DanielIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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I have read of men who, when forced by their calling to live for long periods in utter solitude - save for a few black faces - have made it a rule to dress regularly for dinner in order to maintain their self-respect and prevent a relapse into barbarism. It was in some such spirit, with an added touch of self-consciousness, that, at seven o'clock in the evening of 23rd September in a recent year, I was making my evening toilet in my chambers in Pall Mall.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0140621431, Paperback)

Childers' lone masterpiece, "The Riddle of the Sands", considered the first modern spy thriller, is recognizable as the brilliant forerunner of the realism of Graham Greene and John le Carre. Its unique flavor comes from its fine characterization, richly authentic background of inshore sailing and vivid evocation of the late 1890s - an atmosphere of mutual suspicion and intrigue that was soon to lead to war.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:33 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

The Riddle of the Sands is set during the long suspicious years leading up to the First World War and is a classic of spy fiction.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 8 descriptions

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10 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

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Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141031271, 0143106325

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