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Mutiny on the Bounty by John Boyne

Mutiny on the Bounty (2008)

by John Boyne

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3593346,904 (4)33
HISTORICAL ADVENTURE FICTION. December 23, 1787, Portsmouth: A 14-year-old boy, John Jacob Turnstile, has got into trouble with the police and is on his way to prison when an offer is put to him - a ship has been refitted over the last few months and is about to set sail with an important mission. The boy who was expected to serve as the captain's personal valet has been injured and a replacement must be found immediately. The deal is struck and he finds himself onboard just as the ship sets sail.The ship is HMS Bounty, the captain is William Bligh, and their destination is Tahiti. The first novel to explore all the events relating to the Bounty's voyage, from their long journey across the ocean to their adventures on the island of Tahiti and the subsequent 48 day expedition towards Timor. A vivid recreation of the famous mutiny, the story is packed with humour, violence and historical detail, while presenting a very different portrait of Captain Bligh and Mr Christian.… (more)

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English (27)  Dutch (6)  Catalan (1)  All languages (34)
Showing 1-5 of 27 (next | show all)
John Jacob Turnstile earns his living on the streets of Portsmouth as a petty thief. He has no real life, no real friends, employed in the services of Mr Lewis and used periodically to feed the sexual desires of propertied gentlemen. When the theft of a pocket watch leads to the arrest of young Master Turnstile it seems he is destined to spend a year incarcerated until an unexpected opportunity results in a change of fortune. John Turnstile is informed that if he joins the crew of the Bounty, on her mission to Otaheite, better known as Tahiti, he will on his return be a free man. On the Bounty he is of little importance his main role attending to the whims and desires of none other than Captain William Bligh.

What follows is a rollicking adventure as we sail the high seas in the company of a motley crew including the infamous Christian Fletcher. It of course comes as no surprise for me to tell you that a mutiny takes place and young Turnstile together with 18 crew members are set adrift in the Pacific ocean. Every page of John Boyne's extraordinary novel bristles with the taste and feel of what it was like to sail the high seas at the end of the 18th century. The crew faces the constant battering of inclement weather, the fear of pillaging pirates, and the threat of Scurvy, the disease of discovery, which ravaged both body and mind, and was caused by chronic vitamin C deficiency, brought on by lack of fresh fruit and vegetables. In the second part of the book when the mutiny takes places our survivors, under the remarkable leadership of Bligh, cling to life on a minuscule diet in the hope that they can replenish and refuel at the numerous Polynesian islands in the vicinity of Tahiti. This in turn leads to further turmoil when hostile inhabitants seem content on killing our brave sailors and cannibalizing their remains.

From the opening paragraph to the very satisfactory, poignant and just conclusion once again John Boyne has proved himself a master storyteller. Every page of his fictional account (but based on the known facts) sparkles with energy and a vibrancy that is so often missing in writing today. It is not only a boys own adventure but a beautiful coming of age story as John Turnstile uses opportunity offered to turn himself from a worthless street urchin into a man of some standing. Readers and admirers of Boyne will be delighted at this change in direction, if the art of a storyteller can be measured in his ability to create a narrative and compose a picture out of any situation then surely John Boyne has no equal. Wonderful colourful writing by one of my favourite authors and oh so highly recommended. ( )
  runner56 | Sep 30, 2018 |
Een andere kijk op het verhaal van de 'Bounty'. Kende het verhaal gezien vanuit de muiters, maar nu dus ook door de ogen van de Scheepsjongen die deze muiterij meemaakte, en uiteindelijk overleefde.

( )
  EdwinKort | Mar 23, 2017 |

This book tells the story of the Mutiny on the Bounty in 1789. Before I read this book, I hadn't really heard about it. But that made it more thrilling for me, as I didn't know how it was going to end and all.

Boyne has a very pleasant way of telling stories, I really like it. Even though I'm usually not that into boats and sailing, I did enjoy this book.

I also really liked the fact that at the beginning there is a reference to another book by John Boyne; The Thief of Time ( )
  Floratina | May 26, 2016 |
This might not be the most historically accurate book, but it is a really enjoyable read. ( )
  LouieAndTheLizard | Jul 29, 2015 |
From a fictional mutiny to perhaps the most famous of all mutinies - sadly underplayed by lazy writing. After reading The Absolutist and now this, I'm starting to doubt that John Boyne even bothers with research when writing historical fiction.

The facts of the famous mutiny, in which Lieutenant William Bligh and eighteen loyal crew were forced from the HMS Bounty in April 1789 and set adrift, are commandeered by Boyne's obnoxious narrator, an Oliver Twist style urchin who is made the captain's 'servant boy' rather than serve time for petty theft. John Jacob Turnstile - Boyne is so taken with his character's name that he regularly drops the full moniker into the narrative - is a good-looking youth, oddly well spoken for an orphan with no education, and Bligh is naturally taken with him. Instead of letting the captain speak for himself, which would have suited Boyne's vigorous defence of Bligh, we are subjected to the Turnip's rather modern take on events (he objects to slavery and can't understand his low ranking on the ship). The mutiny, and Captain Bligh's heroic efforts to sail his reduced crew to safety, are thereby reduced to a bildungsroman for a cheap copy of a Dickens street urchin (dressed up as a child prostitute in a molly house, because being an orphan just isn't dramatic enough).

The anachronisms distracted me from the Turnip's narrative, however, which I am actually grateful for in this instance. Considering that Boyne decided to bestow such an unsavoury childhood on his young protagonist, I am surprised that he couldn't be bothered to check the meaning of the slang term 'molly', which an eighteenth century man would have taken to mean 'an effeminate or homosexual male', not a young lady. Also, he has policemen - improbably concerned with raiding houses of ill-repute - in the late 1700s, a good thirty years before Robert Peel thought of them, and references to the polka and the foxtrot a century before those dances were popular.

Nitpicking aside, Boyne's dialogue is no better than his historical accuracy. Even presuming that Turnstile is recounting the mutiny from years later, where did the young 'molly' acquire his formal, educated speech, and why is his naval terminology so painfully inaccurate (C.S. Forester this is not)? Also, the pseudo-Dickens slang terms that Boyne peppers the narrative with - 'the scuts', 'every man-jack of us', 'gave me the motions' - become cliched by the end of the book. When Turnstile started throwing in phrases like 'sure as eggs is eggs' and 'the rest is history', I was ready to commit literary mutiny myself.

There is no denying that the mutiny on the Bounty is almost legendary, and for good reason, but Boyne does history - and Captain Bligh - no favours. He even ruins a good YA version of events by throwing in coarse language and sexual references. To get a better idea of what really happened, I would recommend reading the non-fiction sources that Boyne lists at the end of the book, because I'm not sure that the author did. ( )
  AdonisGuilfoyle | Jul 2, 2014 |
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There was once a gentleman, a tall fellow with an air of superiority about him, who made it his business to come down to the marketplace in Portsmouth on the first Sunday of every month in order to replenish his library.

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In English, this LT work is variously titled Mutiny on the Bounty, Mutiny: A Novel of the Bounty, and The King's Shilling: A Novel of the Bounty. Please distinguish this LT work by John Boyne from Nordhoff & Hall's work also titled Mutiny on the Bounty. Thank you
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