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The Night Boat by Robert R. McCammon
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The Night Boat (1980)

by Robert R. McCammon

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3.5
A German U-boat resurfaces after forty years thanks to a salvage attempt by a man running from his past.
The book has one of the longest set ups I have ever read - almost one third of this book. That is bit too long. The prologue is perfect. It takes place during the WWII when that U-boat had sunk a freighter and was sunk in return. Only one man survived.
Forty years later David Moore accidentally releases the submarine and with it its terrible cargo.

It takes quite some time for the story to move forward. Parts of the story are extraordinary and others are unnecessary slow. The parts of the book about the threat, the islanders' memories of war and the attacks in the present are what is making this book great. Childhood memories of voodoo make add to the mystique of the story. On the other hand, since I don't know anything about boats and their parts, it was a bit tedious reading about it. It took me out of the story. The constant reminders of skin colour don't help either. He didn't miss a lot of characters.

Still, Robert McCammon is a great writer. He even managed to make me feel sorry for them. That and I can't remember ever reading a description of a real Nazi officer (not the ones with conscience as in other books) that wasn't an attempt of finding the monster in his outward features. The man, before he died, was attractive. Somehow I don't think the author planned that, but there you go.

My reading of this book was a combination of ups and downs. One moment I was thinking how slow everything is going, the next I was almost overwhelmed in a good way. I don't even have to say the latter are parts of this book with zombies and they overcome the ones I didn't really care for.

I still can't decide on the role one particular female character has in this book. The woman appeared in the middle of the book, ended up being in the middle of everything and all that being completely unimportant.

Overall, The Night Boat is a great zombie story once it lets you see the monsters. ( )
  Irena. | Aug 26, 2014 |
I have just read this novel. A terrifying Nazi-U-boat. This book is very well written and l find the idea very original. l have never heard about other books like this. The story is engaging to those who like horror fictions. ( )
  joeyly | Jul 4, 2013 |
I picked up McCammon's Night Boat because I had previously read and enjoyed his novel Swan Song.While this book wasn't quite as good as that one, it was still a fun little 80s horror novel.

The book is set on a small Caribbean island. A man goes diving and accidentally unearths an old German U-Boat, which promptly floats back to the surface. This is rather unexpected since a submarine that has been sunk for decades shouldn't be able to do that. This being a horror novel, the reader will know that the boat is rising because the crew isn't quite dead and are out to exact some sort of horrible revenge.

This wasn't the best horror novel I've ever read, but it isn't as bad as some people say it is and is generally a fun read. ( )
  yoyogod | Aug 22, 2011 |
I have enjoyed McCammon's novels and went back to read one of his earlier works to see how he has developed as a writer. His main character David Moore is living on Coquina Island in the Caribbean, having lost his wife and son, and so this horror tale begins... McCammon obviously early on in his career paid attention to detail, and any fan of his work will appreciate his second book in the genre.
From McCammon's web pages:
http://www.robertmccammon.com/novels/the_night_boat.html
Here is a quick synopsis:
From the living hell of her watery grave she rises again...
THE NIGHT BOAT
Deep under the calm water of a Caribbean lagoon, salvage diver David Moore discovers a sunken Nazi U-boat entombed in the sand. A mysterious relic from the last war. Slowly, the U-boat rises from the depths laden with a long-dead crew, cancerous with rot, mummified for eternity.
Or so Moore thought.
UNTIL HE HEARD THE DEEP HOLLOW BOOM OF SOMETHING HAMMERING WITH FEVERISH INTENSITY...SOMETHING DESPERATELY TRYING TO GET OUT!
Beneath the waves she will seduce the living and devour the dead...
THE NIGHT BOAT ( )
  tobiejonzarelli | Apr 12, 2009 |
I have read most of his books and have found that his stories became better in his most recent printings. The Night Boat was a good story but it dragged a bit in some spots. The characters were interesting but only so. Recomennded readin only because of his later novels such as 'Speaks the nightbird'. ( )
  Tommie1 | Aug 28, 2008 |
Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
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God how the dead men -- Grin by the wall, -- Watching the fun -- Of the Victory Ball. -- Alfred Noyes, A Victory Dance
Evil . . . has infinite forms. -- Blaise Pascal, Pensees
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Robert Moore had a cushy life in Baltimore. The son of a bank president, he could have had the old man’s job if he’d just waited in line. But Moore isn’t the patient type, and rather than spend his life trapped behind a desk, he decamped for the Caribbean, to pass his days diving beneath the perfect blue sea. One day, diving deeper than usual, he spies a sunken ship. His investigations disrupt an unexploded depth charge, which hurls Robert to the surface with the sunken ship not far behind.

The U-boat, still seaworthy after all these decades, drifts towards the island and gets caught on the reef. A strange knocking echoes from inside the hull, as though something within is still alive. When Robert opens the long-closed hatch, he’ll learn that some sunken treasure is better left undisturbed.
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A salvage diver discovers a sunken Nazi U-boat under the waters of the Caribbean and unleashes a hideous, inhuman terror from beyond the grave.

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