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Nautical Fiction

Nautical fiction is about as close to sailing the high seas as you can get these days. If that sounds a little depressing, remember that real sailors had to contend with all manner of disease, loneliness, bugs, pirates (who were not fun and not glamourous), shipwrecks, storms, mutiny, madness, poor (or non-existent) sanitation, frequent injury....basically, really bad stuff was lurking behind every coil of rope or powder keg, sometimes in them.

From that perspective, living vicariously through Horatio Hornblower, Jack Aubrey, Fletcher Christian, Ishmael, and Nathaniel Bowditch seems like a pretty great alternative. The fact that many of those characters were the inventions of seafaring men who knew what it was like out there on the blue and harsh ocean simply makes these stories all the more believable and fascinating.

It's usually not a good idea for writers to clutter their fiction with jargon—it can distract us from the narrative, frustrate us because we don't know exactly what's going on, or slow us down because we have to look up every other word. Stories about sailors, ships and the sea, however, need the technical terminology to help establish the authentic atmosphere, and in most cases it does exactly that whether you know the terms or not.

These are some of our favorite books at Exodus. Sailing maintains a romantic appeal that steamships and automated consoles have failed to render obsolete, and these writers give us exactly the elements we want: the danger, the fear, the glory. If you've got enough imagination to imagine running away and serving as cabin boy aboard a man o' war, you've got enough to imagine similar adventures on these pages.

Some of the best writers of all time wrote sea stories. Rudyard Kipling, Robert Louis Stevenson, Joseph Conrad, Herman Melville—men whose love of words enabled them to transcribe their love of the water for generations to come. As long as they're read, the creaking of masts and the crack of sails will remind us of the days before man believed he'd mastered the sea, when the sea clearly still mastered him.

Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he is a husband and father, teaches adult Sunday school in his Presbyterian congregation, and likes weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur. Read more of his reviews here.

 

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142 Items found Print
21
Aubrey/Maturin #21
by Patrick O'Brian
from W. W. Norton and Co.
Nautical Fiction for 9th-Adult
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: CLT-20C)
Admiral Hornblower in the West Indies
Hornblower Series #11
by C. S. Forester
from Little, Brown & Company
Nautical fiction for 8th-Adult
in Historical Fiction (Location: A05-01A)
$12.00
Admiral Hornblower in the West Indies
Hornblower Series #11
by C. S. Forester
from Little, Brown & Company
for 9th-Adult
in Historical Fiction (Location: A05-01A)
$8.50 (1 in stock)
African Queen
by C. S. Forester
from International Collectors Library
for 9th-Adult
$3.00 (1 in stock)
AIO Imagination Station Book #08
by Marianne Hering & Wayne Thomas Batson
from Focus on the Family
for 1st-3rd grade
in Imagination Station (Location: A10-01H)
$4.99
AIO Imagination Station Book #14
by Marianne Hering, Nancy I. Sanders
from Focus on the Family
for 1st-3rd grade
in Imagination Station (Location: A10-01H)
$4.99
All But Lost - Volume I
by G. A. Henty
from Robinson Curriculum
for 6th-10th grade
in G. A. Henty Books (Location: A06-02A)
All But Lost - Volume II
by G. A. Henty
from Robinson Curriculum
for 6th-10th grade
in G. A. Henty Books (Location: A06-02A)
All But Lost - Volume III
by G. A. Henty
from Robinson Curriculum
for 6th-10th grade
in G. A. Henty Books (Location: A06-02A)
All Sail Set
by Armstrong Sperry
from David R. Godine
Nautical Fiction for 4th-8th grade
1936 Newbery Honor Book
in Historical Fiction (Location: A05-01A)
$14.95 $10.00 (2 in stock)
Attack of the Turtle
by Drew Carlson
from Eerdmans
for 4th-8th grade
$2.00 (1 in stock)
Barbary Jihad
Monroe Family Chronicles #4
by Douglas Wilson
from Veritas Press
for 4th-6th grade
in Historical Fiction (Location: A05-01A)
$12.00
Beat to Quarters
Hornblower Series #6
by C. S. Forester
from Little, Brown & Company
Nautical fiction for 10th-Adult
in Historical Fiction (Location: A05-01A)
$12.00
Big Six
Swallows and Amazons #9
by Arthur Ransome
from David R. Godine
for 5th-9th grade
in Adventure Stories (Location: A04-01A)
$14.95
Billy Budd
Signet Classics
by Herman Melville
from Signet Classics
Realistic Nautical Fiction for 10th-Adult
in 19th Century Literature (Location: CLT-19C)
$4.95
Billy Budd, Sailor, and Other Stories
by Herman Melville
from Bantam Books
Realistic Nautical Fiction for 10th-Adult
in 19th Century Literature (Location: CLT-19C)
$4.95
Blackthorn Winter
Monroe Family Chronicles #1
by Doug Wilson
from Veritas Press
Nautical fiction for 4th-6th grade
in Historical Fiction (Location: A05-01A)
$12.00 $8.00 (1 in stock)
Blackthorn Winter
Veritas Maritime Series #1
by Doug Wilson
from Veritas Press
Nautical fiction for 4th-6th grade
in Historical Fiction (Location: A05-01A)
$8.00 (1 in stock)
Blue at the Mizzen
Aubrey/Maturin #20
by Patrick O'Brian
from W. W. Norton and Co.
Nautical Fiction for 9th-Adult
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: CLT-20C)
Bounty Mutiny
Penguin Classics
by William Bligh & Edward Christian
from Penguin Classics
Historical Non-fiction for 10th-Adult
in 18th Century Literature (Location: CLT-18C)
$14.00
Bounty Trilogy
by Charles Nordhoff & James Norman Hall
from Little, Brown & Company
Nautical Fiction for 10th-Adult
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: CLT-20C)
Bounty Trilogy
by Charles Nordhoff & James Norman Hall
from Little, Brown & Company
Nautical Fiction for 10th-Adult
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: CLT-20C)
$24.00
Bounty Trilogy
by Charles Nordhoff & James Norman Hall
from Little, Brown & Company
Nautical Fiction for 10th-Adult
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: CLT-20C)
$20.00 (1 in stock)
Boy Sailor with John Paul Jones
by H. C. Thomas
from Whitman Publishing Company
for 5th-7th grade
$3.00 (1 in stock)
Caine Mutiny
by Herman Wouk
from Back Bay Books
for 10th-Adult
1952 Pulitzer Prize Winner
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: CLT-20C)
$15.99
Caine Mutiny
International Collectors Library
by Herman Wouk
from International Collectors Library
for 10th-Adult
$3.00 (1 in stock)
Captain Blood
Penguin Classics
by Rafael Sabatini
from Penguin Classics
Historical Romance for 7th-Adult
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: CLT-20C)
$16.00
Captain Caution
by Kenneth Roberts
from Doubleday, Doran & Company Inc.
for 9th-Adult
$3.00 (1 in stock)
Captains Courageous
by Children's Classics, Rudyard Kipling
from Dover Publications
for 4th-6th grade
in Adventure Stories (Location: A04-01A)
$1.50 (1 in stock)
Captains Courageous
Junior Deluxe Editions
by Rudyard Kipling
from Nelson Doubleday, Inc.
for 5th-10th grade
in Adventure Stories (Location: A04-01A)
$5.00 (1 in stock)
Captains Courageous
Signet Classics
by Rudyard Kipling
from Signet Classics
Nautical Fiction for 7th-10th grade
in 19th Century Literature (Location: CLT-19C)
$3.95
Carry On, Mr. Bowditch
by Jean Lee Latham
from Houghton Mifflin
Biography for 5th-9th grade
1956 Newbery Medal winner
in Historical Fiction (Location: A05-01A)
$7.99
Carry On, Mr. Bowditch - Audio CD
by Jean Lee Latham
from Greathall Productions
for 5th-8th grade
in Historical Fiction (Location: A05-01A)
$28.50
Commodore
Aubrey/Maturin #17
by Patrick O'Brian
from W. W. Norton and Co.
Nautical Fiction for 9th-Adult
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: CLT-20C)
$6.50 (1 in stock)
Commodore Hornblower
Hornblower Series #9
by C. S. Forester
from Little, Brown & Company
Nautical fiction for 10th-Adult
in Historical Fiction (Location: A05-01A)
$12.00
Commodore Hornblower
by C. S. Forester
1st edition from Little, Brown & Company
for 9th-12th grade
in Historical Fiction (Location: A05-01A)
$14.00 (2 in stock)
Coot Club
Swallows and Amazons #5
by Arthur Ransome
from David R. Godine
for 5th-9th grade
in Adventure Stories (Location: A04-01A)
Cruise of the Arctic Star
by Scott O'Dell
from Beautiful Feet Books
for 6th-Adult
in Adventure Stories (Location: A04-01A)
$13.95
Cruise of the Jeanette
from Dodd, Mead
for 5th-9th grade
$3.00 (1 in stock)
Curse of Carne's Hold
by G. A. Henty
from Robinson Curriculum
for 6th-10th grade
in G. A. Henty Books (Location: A06-02A)
Dark Frigate
by Charles Boardman Hawes
from Little, Brown & Company
Historical Fiction for 5th-8th grade
1924 Newbery Medal winner
in Adventure Stories (Location: A04-01A)
$7.99
Desolation Island
Aubrey/Maturin #5
by Patrick O'Brian
from W. W. Norton and Co.
Nautical Fiction for 9th-Adult
in Historical Fiction (Location: A05-01A)
Far Lands
by James Norman Hall
from Little, Brown & Company
for 8th-Adult
$3.00 (1 in stock)
Far Side of the World
Aubrey/Maturin #10
by Patrick O'Brian
from W. W. Norton and Co.
Nautical Fiction for 9th-Adult
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: CLT-20C)
$6.50 (1 in stock)
Far Side of the World
Aubrey/Maturin #10
by Patrick O'Brian
from W. W. Norton and Co.
Nautical Fiction for 9th-Adult
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: CLT-20C)
$8.00 (2 in stock)
Flint's Island
by Leonard Wibberley
from Bethlehem Books
Nautical Fiction for 5th-8th grade
in Adventure Stories (Location: A04-01A)
$11.95
Flying Colours
Hornblower Series #8
by C. S. Forester
from Little, Brown & Company
Nautical fiction for 10th-Adult
in Historical Fiction (Location: A05-01A)
$12.00 $8.00 (2 in stock)
Fortune of War
Aubrey/Maturin #6
by Patrick O'Brian
from W. W. Norton and Co.
Nautical Fiction for 9th-Adult
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: CLT-20C)
$6.50 (1 in stock)
Golden Admiral
by F. Van Wyck Mason
from Doubleday & Company
for 7th-9th grade
$2.00 (1 in stock)
Golden Ocean
by Patrick O'Brian
from W. W. Norton and Co.
Nautical Fiction for 9th-Adult
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: CLT-20C)
$7.50 (1 in stock)
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