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HMS Ulysses Audiobook

HMS Ulysses

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Publisher's Summary

The novel that launched the astonishing career of one of the 20th century's greatest writers of action and suspense - an acclaimed classic of heroism and the sea in World War II.

The story of men who rose to heroism, and then to something greater, HMS Ulysses takes its place alongside The Caine Mutiny and The Cruel Sea as one of the classic novels of the navy at war.

It is the compelling story of Convoy FR77 to Murmansk - a voyage that pushes men to the limits of human endurance, crippled by enemy attack and the bitter cold of the Arctic.

©1955 HarperCollins Publishers (P)2017 HarperCollins Publishers

What the Critics Say

"A brilliant, overwhelming piece of descriptive writing." (Observer)
"A story of exceptional courage which grips the imagination." (Daily Telegraph)
"It deserves an honourable place among 20th-century war books." (Daily Mail)
"HMS Ulysses is in the same class as The Cruel Sea." (Evening Standard)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.7 (38 )
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4.7 (35 )
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4.7 (35 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Steve 06/04/2017
    Steve 06/04/2017 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    "Finally!!!! An unabridged version of this classic!"
    What made the experience of listening to HMS Ulysses the most enjoyable?

    Although this is fiction the Arctic convoys to Murmansk really happened in WW2. I first read this book as a teenager and have always loved it. The book empersizes the harsh conditions and the extreme cold and whether conditions in the Arctic, and life on board HMS Ulysses, a cruiser and flagship of the escort force for Convoy FR77 to Murmansk North Russia. At times the story is very moving and you feel for the characters. Of all the books Alistair MacLean wrote this should have been a movie!!!!!


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The ships Captain ' Captain Richard Vallery. He was a leader and he was empathetic to his crew


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    The storm in the Arctic Ocean was very dramatic


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    If I could I would


    Any additional comments?

    Reading this as a teenager the book made me aware of the Convoys and the hell those crews went though and so many were lost to U boats and air attack. Again although HMS Ulysses is fiction the convoys and their escorts isn't. I like this as much as The Cruel Sea. The Merchant Seamen in these convoys even today are so unrecognised. Thank you Audable for releasing this Gem as an unabridged audio book as it should be listened to. The Abridged version is a waste of time...

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amy 14/09/2017
    Amy 14/09/2017 Member Since 2016
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    "Outstanding rendition"

    HMS Ulysses is, in my humble opinion, the greatest book ever written. I've read more books in my lifetime than I can recall and not one of the has the absolute, heart-rending power of this one.

    Maclean produced something beyond that of most writers, of most people, in HMS Ulysses he made a story which grips you tightly from the first paragraph and never for one second lets go.

    I still don't know who the main character is in this book; is it Vallery, Nicholls, Turner? Or is it the Ulysses herself? Either way it doesn't really matter, the semantics and structure of the book pale into insignificance compared with the subject itself.

    I wasn't on the Atlantic convoys, I've never been to the Arctic, but HMS Ulysses describes both with the utmost clarity and depth. I feel cold when I read/listen to this book, I feel the snow and the ice and I hear the ship's crashing down into troughs between towering waves. Maclean was a master of description and I doubt he will ever be bettered.

    I defy anyone not to cry when reading/listening to HMS Ulysses. To become so attached to characters we only meet for a few pages is bizarre, but become attached you do and each character death is more heart-breaking than the last. I sob my eyes out every single time, the book is so damned powerful.

    I know others will disagree when I say this is the greatest book ever written and that's good, differing opinions are always interesting, but I personally think that HMS Ulysses is the one book that every single person should read at least once in their lifetime. Really properly read and understand, because it's the most powerful anti-war story I've ever seen. Nothing can touch it, it stands alone, in my opinion, at the very pinnacle of literary genius.

    If you want to listen to a book that you will never forget, listen to HMS Ulysses. It is quite simply superb.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Q 31/08/2017
    Q 31/08/2017 Member Since 2016
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    "Heartbreaking"

    One of the best stories I've ever hear brought me to tears at points and I felt ashamed
    Gut wrenching all the young men in this kind of conflict show what real courage is
    Thanks to MacLean what a writer
    HEROs every last one
    Q

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    alexander 14/08/2017
    alexander 14/08/2017 Member Since 2011
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    "British navy as it really was in the 1940s"

    this story needs to be heard when sitting comfortably by a warm fire. it is about the cold and the north Atlantic when Russia needed Great Britain's help with fuel, tanks, etc to keep Germany on their side.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    I WHITE 07/08/2017
    I WHITE 07/08/2017 Member Since 2013
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    "Fantastic read."

    I read this book over 50 years ago (when I could still see to read) I had forgotten what a great & exciting story it is! Starts off at a sprint & keeps going to the climatic finish. No time to get your breath. Alistair Maclean was a great loss to readers of all ages. If you like naval fiction, this is not one to miss!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lynne 15/06/2017
    Lynne 15/06/2017 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "HMS Ulysses"

    Excellent reproduction of the novel. Jonathan Oliver's performance was first-rate, bringing all the characters to life.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrswal 12/06/2017
    Andrswal 12/06/2017
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    "Best naval book I have read"

    He dragged it out in a couple of story lines but the descriptive narrative and way he got into the men's minds and fellowship were. Brilliant and finally he doesn't see the need to introduce a token mindless liason with the opposite sex

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Brian67
    Courtice, ON, Canada
    15/04/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Amazing but heartbreaking and sad."

    One of the most heartbreaking, saddest books I've ever read. The novel has stuck with me for over 50 years, reading it first at the age of 15 and now as an audiobook. I am fascinated by the nature of leadership, heroism, and our human response to extreme physical and psychological environments. Amundsen, Shackleton, and Bligh come to mind in listening to MacLean's imaginary Captain Vallery of the HMS Ulysses.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Fred Simpson
    08/10/17
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    "Misery personified. INCREDIBLE story."

    War was only half the battle. If you're looking for an engaging gem about WWII, this is it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Alec Drumm
    Weston, CT, USA
    13/09/17
    Overall
    Performance
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    "Suspenseful but bleak and unrealistic"

    I wanted to enjoy this book. I was looking forward to a thriller about the arctic convoys in WWII, which is a subject I'm somewhat knowledgeable about. Almost from the beginning though the story of HMS Ulysses felt not real. A mutiny on a Royal Navy cruiser during the war? Everyone involved would have been severely punished.

    I don't want to give any spoilers which makes describing the rest of the book difficult. However, readers will probably realize that HMS Ulysses falls into the "everybody dies" category. As soon as you develop an affinity with a character, the story line changes. Perhaps that is the reason that this book was never filmed.

    Even a plot like that might not be a big obstacle, but the events described during the escorting mission are far worse than anything experienced in reality by a convoy, even PQ-17 which was almost entirely destroyed. The characters are never more than caricatures. One doesn't get to know the eventual survivors in any detail.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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