Monday 12 March 2012

Review - Mutiny on the Bounty by John Boyne

This is my March Just for Fun Reading challenge.

My copy of Mutiny on the Bounty has sat on my book shelf since July 2009, so it was time I dusted off the cobwebs. And I'm so glad I did, as I have been engrossed in this adventure story since I started reading it. I finished the story this afternoon, and was really sorry to say good bye to characters I had come to know, and love.

Mutiny on the Bounty 
John Boyne

Mutiny On The Bounty

John Boyne is such a talented storyteller, that for me at last, the story of Captain Bligh, and the mutiny on the Bounty finally makes sense. Our narrator of the story is  fourteen year old John Jacob Turnstile, not so affectionately known on board ship, as "Turnip". Turnstile finds himself on the wrong side of the law, and when given the choice of serving a twelve month sentence in gaol, or spending time as a sea servant, he takes the latter option, with little thought of what may lie ahead for him. Disregarded by most of the crew, and seen as the lowest of the low, Turnstile strikes up an unlikely alliance with Captain Bligh, and whilst their relationship is still that of master and servant, a common respect grows between them.
The description of life on board ship is without ambiguity, the depredations and hardships are well explained  but for me the story starts to come alive once the Bounty reaches the island of Otaheite, and the sailors begin their interaction with the native islanders.When the mutiny takes place, and Captain Bligh and his valiant supporters are dispatched to sail into the Pacific Ocean with little more than a 25ft rowing boat at their disposal, the story becomes a more sinister and uncomfortable account of life at sea, and their fight for survival is as valiant , as it is, heart breaking.

This is a real boys own adventure - a cross between Treasure Island and Pirates of the Caribbean but well worth a read if you like historical adventure.


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