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. Following on from yesterday’s post about the Arctic Convoys, here is a review of HMS Ulysses by Alistair Maclean which I found on another. HMS Ulysses was Maclean’s first and arguably best novel. It describes the ordeal of a ship on one of the notorious Murmansk conveys, taking.

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It’s lack the complex plotting of his later thrillers for which he is more famous, and doesn’t have one easily identifiable lead character.

Posted by Simon on August 5, https: Inhe was awarded a D. Just get over those initial pages. Now, he did give us aalistair good thrillers, such as The Guns of NavaroneWhere Eagles Dare and Night Without Endbut his later output is really not anywhere near his first offering. He knew whereof he spoke. Calling this a harrowing tale of war time heroism would be a huge under statement.

The reader follows along as the crew faces: This site uses cookies. Leave a Reply Cancel reply Enter your comment here To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. Media reporter, reviewer, producer, guest booker, blogger. The Ulysses had been a lucky ship, fast, equipped with radar, with a captain who was worshipped by his crew. The story itself is simple- HMS Ulysses is a ship, a huge war ship that acts guard from what I gather to a convoy which had ums cross the Arctic.

References related to Murmansk Run: MacLean drank heavily and struggled with alcoholism. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. So, neither here nor there- 3 stars. For those that enjoy Westerns that feature forever-loaded revolvers and heros that escape death time after time, this story of survival is the naval equivalent of that genre.

MPorcius Fiction Log: H.M.S. Ulysses by Alistair MacLean

From the first words the tone is one of immense weariness as Admiral Starr confronts the captain and senior officers of HMS Ulysses to demand an explanation for the full scale mutiny which broke out in Scapa Flow harbour. And Vallery, that man is amazing. The sincerity comes through and I felt that he was reaching for something greater than his story.


Royal Navy cruiser, HMS Ulysses, leads a convoy of destroyers, carriers and merchant ships deep into the Arctic Circle, heading for Murmansk with vital supplies for a beleaguered Russian Army. Sub-Lieutenant Carslake, an incompetent fool whom Ralston punches to find himself on a charge; who goes mad and tries to kill Ralston in the aftermath of the Condor attack, killing himself in the process.

HMS Ulysses

A bit tough to rate this book 4 stars. Along they way they battle horrid weather, the German navy surface and underwater fleetthe German air force, and indifference and incompetence from the Mackean Navy back in England.

But the problem is that by the time things get interesting, the characters have been mentioned a couple of times and you still have no idea who they are. Stoker Riley, the apelike product of a Liverpool slum, a petty thief who stirs up the mutiny but volunteers to take coffee to Dodson in the damaged steering shaft. MacLean’s experiences in the Royal Navy during World War II provided the background and the Zlistair convoys to Murmansk provided the basis for the story, which was written at a publisher’s request after he’d won a short story competition the previous year.

However, MacLean mqclean an obsession for using nautical jargon, and I think he needs help. To ulyases a rather grandiose link they are similar to King Hrothgar in Beowulf or King Priam in the Iliad — aged, venerable men who give the entire story a kind of epic grandeur, a sense of the older generation inevitably but nobly passing away.

I had never read any Alistair MacLean even though many of his titles were familiar from films. From that moment on, it ulysaes unadulterated hell.


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Jan 05, Aaron Krebs rated it it was amazing Shelves: He died in Munich on 2 February I am glad to report that I needed not to worry; the novel was all that I remembered it as being. I wanted to see how the captain would handle a possibly mutinous crew Jul 06, Rusty rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: The thing I love about Powell’s books is that you can ask maclaen much-pierced something at the desk about the location of bestsellers of the 60s and 70s, and they will answer you without so much as a pause for thought.

HMS Ulysses by Alistair MacLean

His daughter has been telling me not to waste my time because it’s a horrible book. To ask other readers questions about HMS Ulyssesplease sign up. The book sold a quarter of a million copies in hardback in England in the first six months of publication. That much, for a second, and that only, Vallery saw: There was a problem adding your email address. Most of the characters died, in fact only one survived the book, but when I came to the end the graph looked somewhat lopsided, there were too many people dying in the first, fifth and tenth chapters so I had to rewrite it, giving an even dying space throughout.

This makes it particularly difficult to get attached to the characters, to root for them and well, frankly my interest started dissipating. The convoy was carrying much needed lend-lease war materials from the United States to Russia. In the Dark A blog about the Universe, and all that surrounds it. Refresh and try again.