©2001 Mary Daheim; (P)2002 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
"This is a book of great renown....Its beautifully sustained atmosphere...adds poetry, and...real mystery." (Ian Fleming)
"Simon Vance lends a mature sound and considerable technique to his narration, making Childers's seafaring not only apparent, but contagious." (AudioFile)
The publisher's description of this book as a "spy thriller" is, in my opinion, somewhat inaccurate!
It took me a lot longer to listen to it than it should have done because I kept falling asleep with the tedium and rather boring storyline.
Simon Vance gave a valiant performance but even his dulcet tones could not counteract the failure of the tale to fire my imagination.
The story is riddled (pun intended) throughout by seafaring & yachting jargon which, for a landlubber, I found quite incomprehensible and largely unecessary.
"A great perspective on the threat of war"
This book is not for those looking for an action-packed spy novel. I enjoyed it and was fascinated by the setting and the historical perspective - the book was written in 1903 to warn of the potential threat of German invasion of Britain. There is a lot of detail about sailing and tides on the northern coast of Germany. This detail can be a bit tedious at times, particularly if you can't imagine the geography. The printed book had a series of maps that help considerably, and these can be found online in the Project Gutenberg version. As a spy novel, it isn't particularly thrilling by today's standards, but it is a valuable perspective on the time before the first world war. Simon Vance's narration is wonderful.
"Only if you love sailing..."
Sounded interesting, but a real snoozer if you do not love sailing with all your heart and soul. I don't. The plot was lost in the interminable descriptons of sailing and shifting sandbars. A tremendous disappointment.
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