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The Open Boat and Other Stories

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Four prized selections by one of America's greatest writers: "The Open Boat," based on a harrowing incident in the author's life: the 1897 sinking of a ship on which he was a passenger; "The Blue Hotel" and "The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky," reflecting Crane's early travels in Mexico and the American Southwest; and the novella Maggie: A Girl of the Streets, a galvanizing por Four prized selections by one of America's greatest writers: "The Open Boat," based on a harrowing incident in the author's life: the 1897 sinking of a ship on which he was a passenger; "The Blue Hotel" and "The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky," reflecting Crane's early travels in Mexico and the American Southwest; and the novella Maggie: A Girl of the Streets, a galvanizing portrait of life in the slums of New York City.


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Four prized selections by one of America's greatest writers: "The Open Boat," based on a harrowing incident in the author's life: the 1897 sinking of a ship on which he was a passenger; "The Blue Hotel" and "The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky," reflecting Crane's early travels in Mexico and the American Southwest; and the novella Maggie: A Girl of the Streets, a galvanizing por Four prized selections by one of America's greatest writers: "The Open Boat," based on a harrowing incident in the author's life: the 1897 sinking of a ship on which he was a passenger; "The Blue Hotel" and "The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky," reflecting Crane's early travels in Mexico and the American Southwest; and the novella Maggie: A Girl of the Streets, a galvanizing portrait of life in the slums of New York City.

30 review for The Open Boat and Other Stories

  1. 4 out of 5

    Ted

    Read these stories in an edition combined with Red Badge two or three years ago. May have reviewed it then. At any rate, fine reading. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Previous review: In the Lake of the Woods Next review: New Hampshire Robert Frost Older review: ___ Previous library review: Science Fiction Hall of Fame Volume Two B Next library review: The Red Badge of Courage Read these stories in an edition combined with Red Badge two or three years ago. May have reviewed it then. At any rate, fine reading. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Previous review: In the Lake of the Woods Next review: New Hampshire Robert Frost Older review: ___ Previous library review: Science Fiction Hall of Fame Volume Two B Next library review: The Red Badge of Courage

  2. 4 out of 5

    Dan

    The Open Boat is one of the best short stories that I have read. If you want to know how to write 50 heart wrenching and dramatic pages essentially about floating in the surf between a sand bar and a rocky shore then this is the right book for you. Crane's naturalism style is not one of plot twists but still dramatic because his use of imagery and especially his knack for writing engaging characters are so superb. An interesting note is that this story is autobiographical. The Open Boat is one of the best short stories that I have read. If you want to know how to write 50 heart wrenching and dramatic pages essentially about floating in the surf between a sand bar and a rocky shore then this is the right book for you. Crane's naturalism style is not one of plot twists but still dramatic because his use of imagery and especially his knack for writing engaging characters are so superb. An interesting note is that this story is autobiographical.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Muna

    Once, in a royal fit of frustration, I jumped up on the bed in the middle of night, the mattress balanced precariously on stolen cinder blocks, and yelled: Just put me on a boat in the middle of the ocean with one gallon of water and one box of biscuits and let me die there and then I'll tell you what life is like. My boyfriend was speechless. And half asleep. Stephen Crane, as a young journalist, was actually stranded in a boat in the middle of the sea, and this is the true story of that. He mad Once, in a royal fit of frustration, I jumped up on the bed in the middle of night, the mattress balanced precariously on stolen cinder blocks, and yelled: Just put me on a boat in the middle of the ocean with one gallon of water and one box of biscuits and let me die there and then I'll tell you what life is like. My boyfriend was speechless. And half asleep. Stephen Crane, as a young journalist, was actually stranded in a boat in the middle of the sea, and this is the true story of that. He made it home, married a beautiful girl, and died of TB at the age of 29. I'm 29.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Teresa

    I liked this story a lot more than I thought I would. The more I read of Crane, the more I like his style -- and wonder what else he might have produced if he hadn't died so young. This story fits in with the Crane poem: A man said to the universe: "Sir, I exist!" "However," replied the universe, "The fact has not created in me A sense of obligation." In "The Open Boat" the cadence of his words when the boat is on the water evoked the rising and falling of the rough waves that rock the open boat. I liked this story a lot more than I thought I would. The more I read of Crane, the more I like his style -- and wonder what else he might have produced if he hadn't died so young. This story fits in with the Crane poem: A man said to the universe: "Sir, I exist!" "However," replied the universe, "The fact has not created in me A sense of obligation." In "The Open Boat" the cadence of his words when the boat is on the water evoked the rising and falling of the rough waves that rock the open boat.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Vladivostok

    Tragic and suspenseful stories that rend the heart and fill with wonder. Intriguing characters imbue a variety of colorful American landscapes in this exceptional collection of realism. Stephen Crane is a gem; shame on me for not having read his works earlier.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    Am I still 16? No. Do I still love Naturalism and the whole idea of the individual powerless to the forces of nature and science? Apparently, yes. (My students thought "Open Boat" was repetitive and boring. For shame! Where is their angst?) Am I still 16? No. Do I still love Naturalism and the whole idea of the individual powerless to the forces of nature and science? Apparently, yes. (My students thought "Open Boat" was repetitive and boring. For shame! Where is their angst?)

  7. 4 out of 5

    Alyssa

    I was impressed with Crane's ability to write so fully and beautifully in a short story. The battle between the natural world and mankind and our apparent helplessness. Naturalism... I was impressed with Crane's ability to write so fully and beautifully in a short story. The battle between the natural world and mankind and our apparent helplessness. Naturalism...

  8. 4 out of 5

    Andrea

    Clear, crisp prose that doesn't turn sparse. Nature's brutality head-on. There is something about this stuff that I love, and it's somewhere between the words. Clear, crisp prose that doesn't turn sparse. Nature's brutality head-on. There is something about this stuff that I love, and it's somewhere between the words.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Mallory

    4.5 stars Stephen Crane is a master of the Realism genre, and its a shame that he died at 28; I would have loved to have more work from him. The four short stories in this collection are at varying degrees of success; the first story, Maggie: A Girl of the Streets, is a mixed bag of Crane's strengths and weaknesses. The story could have been twenty pages shorter and still have hit the mark of a piece about Irish American poverty and the struggles of class differences. The title story, The Open Bo 4.5 stars Stephen Crane is a master of the Realism genre, and its a shame that he died at 28; I would have loved to have more work from him. The four short stories in this collection are at varying degrees of success; the first story, Maggie: A Girl of the Streets, is a mixed bag of Crane's strengths and weaknesses. The story could have been twenty pages shorter and still have hit the mark of a piece about Irish American poverty and the struggles of class differences. The title story, The Open Boat, is the most prominent of the four, with characters representing different portrayals of human survival, sharp, invigorating prose, and a dangerously intriguing setting: the ruthless, unforgiving ocean. I believe this is his most critically acclaimed story, and rightfully so. The third story, The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky, is only ten pages, and is the most forgetful of the collection. I believe this is the case because Crane is a master of developing characters, and the people in this story weren't as well developed. The last story is my favorite. The Blue Hotel never lets you know which character you should root for, always surprising you with sympathy you never thought you'd feel for certain characters. This jumble of human emotion and grievance is set against the backdrop of a Nebraskan blizzard, the plot as unyielding and ruthless as the setting. And of course, Stephen Crane can bloody well write, a feature I cannot live without: "We picture the world as thick with conquering and elate humanity, but here, with the bugles of the tempest pealing, it was hard to imagine a peopled earth."

  10. 4 out of 5

    Ricks Eric

    The Open Boat is an intriguing short story by Stephen Crane that recognizes man's relationship to nature. This story portrays nature in sharp contrast to the romanticism of early American Romantic writers, who viewed nature as there nurturing mother. In many ways this story can be read as an allegory of mans loss of innocence due to the harsh reality of a changing world. This loss of innocence is portrayed as the men in the boat ship there view of nature from a romantic view to that a realist vi The Open Boat is an intriguing short story by Stephen Crane that recognizes man's relationship to nature. This story portrays nature in sharp contrast to the romanticism of early American Romantic writers, who viewed nature as there nurturing mother. In many ways this story can be read as an allegory of mans loss of innocence due to the harsh reality of a changing world. This loss of innocence is portrayed as the men in the boat ship there view of nature from a romantic view to that a realist view. Written at the height of the Guided age in America this story provides great commentary to the then accepted views of social darwinism. This is by far once of the best short stories I have ever read.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Lizette

    This book contains 4 short stories. Maggie: a Girl of the streets, which is good. Then The Open Boat, also good. The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky, which is my favorite. And The Blue Hotel, which I don't remember much of. This book contains 4 short stories. Maggie: a Girl of the streets, which is good. Then The Open Boat, also good. The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky, which is my favorite. And The Blue Hotel, which I don't remember much of.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Myles

    Read to color in a reference in "A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again." Not really my kind of reading, but Wallace is right. The sea is "primordial nada, bottomless, depths inhabited by cackling tooth-studded things rising toward you at the rate a feather falls." Read to color in a reference in "A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again." Not really my kind of reading, but Wallace is right. The sea is "primordial nada, bottomless, depths inhabited by cackling tooth-studded things rising toward you at the rate a feather falls."

  13. 4 out of 5

    Elise

    "The Open Boat" is great. Some funny dialogue. I liked it much better than "Maggie: A Girl of the Streets." "The Open Boat" is great. Some funny dialogue. I liked it much better than "Maggie: A Girl of the Streets."

  14. 5 out of 5

    Cassandra

    Read, "The Open Boat" Read, "The Open Boat"

  15. 4 out of 5

    Lori

    Stephen Crane is the man. He writes some of the best sentences ever. And then puts those awesome sentences together to write stories. Jealous!!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Mark

    Another great example of his descriptive ability of a situation. Crane puts you right there. It is a shame he died so young.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Seth Augenstein

    Hit and miss. When on, it's the best. Hit and miss. When on, it's the best.

  18. 5 out of 5

    stephanie suh

    Four men in a dinghy adrift on a sea for 30 hours. The tempest of waves and a great shark occasionally circling around the perimeter of the boat. And the men rowing endlessly as if it was their only tangible way of protesting against their fates. It all happened in reality because the author Stephen Crane himself experienced the ordeal as one of the four men from the sunk SS Commodore off the coast of Florida en route to Cuba, where Crane had been sent as a war correspondent. The story of the Op Four men in a dinghy adrift on a sea for 30 hours. The tempest of waves and a great shark occasionally circling around the perimeter of the boat. And the men rowing endlessly as if it was their only tangible way of protesting against their fates. It all happened in reality because the author Stephen Crane himself experienced the ordeal as one of the four men from the sunk SS Commodore off the coast of Florida en route to Cuba, where Crane had been sent as a war correspondent. The story of the Open Boat is as realistic as it can be based upon a factual event the author himself was fatefully partaken in. The four survivors of the vessel were aggregates in a dinghy bound by a remote hope of finding a rescue crew in the middle of the ocean that moved them with terrible grace of waves. The men were a captain, a cook, an oiler, and a correspondent, who was the author himself. There was a subtle brotherhood of men built in the boat who took care of each other. Crane surmised that the captain's heartfelt devotion to the safety of the motley crew resulted in comradeship, which the author himself had always regarded as a hypocritical concept of men until then. There were indeed moments of despair as their drifting became protracted, and the author saw this as nature not regarding human as important. He would jeer at any signs of nature in any deity form because thinking of the captain and the two other seamen who had worked so hard on the sea in such distress was the abominable injustice. Stephen Crane was a great American realist writer who later influenced Ernest Hemingway. Born in 1871 as a ninth child of Protestant Methodist parents in Newark, NJ, his literary talent began when he wrote his first poem at the age of eight. Although brilliant, Crane was not academically inclined, so he left University of Syracuse and became a kind of itinerant writer. It is said that Crane was a naturalist writer who emphasized observation in the portrayal of reality based on scientific principles of objectivity and detachment applied to the story of human characteristics. However, in my opinion, he was more of a realist writer who focused on objective, truthful presentations of details of the ordinary lives influenced by Gustave Flaubert and George Eliot. In this story, Crane's use of vocabulary was pity and straightforward with elegant expressions of emotions and feelings that so appropriately described the situations in which the characters were trapped. After Crane's untimely death at the age of twenty-eight in a Black Forest sanitorium in Germany, Crane's works began to gain their long overdue acclaim, one of which was this story of the sunk vessel and his own experience thereof. Stephen Crane's works should deserve wider readership because he's the first and foremost American writer in Realism literary movement who paid attention to the lives of the ordinary by being the experience of living among the ordinary and writing the existential presentations of the ordinary lives.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jimmy Lee

    I have to admit that Stephen Crane is not my favorite author. I read "Red Badge of Courage" because everyone else had to in high school - but I already knew war was harrowing and bloody. And I read "Maggie, a Girl of the Streets" later in life - I'd been carrying it in my luggage for a while and was already a bit down in the mouth because I had a airplane issue, and so the story of this poor girl, horrifically treated by everyone who should have loved her, did not make me any happier. But then, m I have to admit that Stephen Crane is not my favorite author. I read "Red Badge of Courage" because everyone else had to in high school - but I already knew war was harrowing and bloody. And I read "Maggie, a Girl of the Streets" later in life - I'd been carrying it in my luggage for a while and was already a bit down in the mouth because I had a airplane issue, and so the story of this poor girl, horrifically treated by everyone who should have loved her, did not make me any happier. But then, making the reader happy is not where Stephen Crane made his mark. His literary innovation was wrenching authenticity, at a time when pains were taken to shield the average reader from the unpleasant truths of grime, blood, sex (and birth) out of wedlock, penury, prostitution, and loveless death (no doubt in the gutter). He's not one for escapism. For the time it was written, his work was a stark introduction to the rude realities; for us today, it's a literate reminder of the hard times of the late 19th century. "The Open Boat" is a particularly interesting story; although technically fiction, the story was based on Crane's own experience, when the USS Commodore on which he was traveling to Cuba hit a sand bar near Jacksonville, Florida. Survivors Crane and three others made their way to Daytona Beach in an open dinghy, a desperate journey as they continually hoped for assistance from land. Crane's experience didn't end there; he had quite a time of it finding money in order to continue his journey. The other stories in this book (in addition to "Maggie") - "The Bride Comes to Yellow Skies," and "The Blue Hotel" - are Interesting in the juxtaposition; the former is a story showing how the rules of the old west are changing, while the later shows how human vanities have not changed and perhaps never will. Stephen Crane died at 28; I wonder how his desire to write accurately about Bowery residents and war might have evolved, if he was allowed to mature along with the 20th century. I don't find his turn of phrase, or the flow of his stories, to stand above others of his time; but when you add in the happenings of the world around him, and the literary innovation he offered in subject matter - then, his work is highly significant.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Connie

    “'If I am going to be drowned – if I am going to be drowned – if I am going to be drowned, why, in the name of the seven mad gods who rule the sea, was I allowed to come thus far and contemplate sand and trees?' During this dismal night, it may be remarked that a man would conclude that it was really the intention of the seven mad gods to drowned him, despite the abominable injustice of it. For it was certainly an abominable injustice to drowned a man who had worked so hard, so hard. The man felt “'If I am going to be drowned – if I am going to be drowned – if I am going to be drowned, why, in the name of the seven mad gods who rule the sea, was I allowed to come thus far and contemplate sand and trees?' During this dismal night, it may be remarked that a man would conclude that it was really the intention of the seven mad gods to drowned him, despite the abominable injustice of it. For it was certainly an abominable injustice to drowned a man who had worked so hard, so hard. The man felt it would be a crime most unnatural. Other people had drowned at sea since galleys swarmed with painted sails, but still – When it occurs to a man that nature does not regard him as important, and that she feels she would not maim the universe by disposing of him, he at first wishes to throw bricks at the temple, and he hates deeply the fact that there are no bricks and no temples. Any visible expression of nature would surely be pelted with his jeers. Then, if there be no tangible thing to hoot, he feels, perhaps, the desire to confront a personification and indulge in pleas, bowed to one knee, and with hands supplicant, saying, 'Yes, but I love myself.' A high cold star on a winter’s night is the word he feels that she says to him. Thereafter he knows the pathos of his situation. The Open Boat

  21. 5 out of 5

    M.

    I've read this collection to understand Eudora Welty's On Writing. I have enjoyed the Bride Comes to Yellow Sky, The Open Boat and The Blue Hotel. When I got to Maggie, A Girl of the Streets, initially I was moved, reminded of Twain's Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer. But unlike them, there's no hope of improvement for Maggie Johnson. Born in a poor and unloving family, her fate is to remain used, abused and die alone. Not a big fan of naturalism for its deterministic nature. The story is well cr I've read this collection to understand Eudora Welty's On Writing. I have enjoyed the Bride Comes to Yellow Sky, The Open Boat and The Blue Hotel. When I got to Maggie, A Girl of the Streets, initially I was moved, reminded of Twain's Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer. But unlike them, there's no hope of improvement for Maggie Johnson. Born in a poor and unloving family, her fate is to remain used, abused and die alone. Not a big fan of naturalism for its deterministic nature. The story is well crafted, and I don't ask necessarily for a happy ending, but there is a slightly "she had it coming" sensation as one reads this. Pete and her family are of no help to her. Her mother and brother are abusive, her father wasn't bad towards her but was really cruel with her son and wife. She had a terrible relationship with her perpetually angered mother. Maggie's only distinctive quality that would apparently give her a better social standing was beauty, but that's where she by lack of education, commits a fatal mistake.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Paul S.

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I read this collection due to the fact that 2 of the stories were listed on the Hemingway List: Open Boat and The Blue Hotel. I really enjoyed both of these stories especially since the Open Boat was written about a true event that happened to Crane. The other two stories, Maggie: A Girl of the Streets and The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky were not as good. Probably why they are talked about as much and they got left off of the HL. The Blue Hotel really impressed me with the imagery and the descript I read this collection due to the fact that 2 of the stories were listed on the Hemingway List: Open Boat and The Blue Hotel. I really enjoyed both of these stories especially since the Open Boat was written about a true event that happened to Crane. The other two stories, Maggie: A Girl of the Streets and The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky were not as good. Probably why they are talked about as much and they got left off of the HL. The Blue Hotel really impressed me with the imagery and the description of emotions among men when a fight is getting ready to take place. Crane really nailed it and described one night around a gambling table at a hotel in such vivid detail as to take the reader there whether he wanted to go or not. Really impressive stuff and easy to see why a young writer should read it without fail. Hemingway knew what he was talking about.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Scott

    The one I read on audible had more than these four stories. Thank you audible for allowing us to stream this for free during the pandemic. Some of the stories actually were really dumb, but some were very good. I probably would have raided lower if it was a modern author, but it's an old classic author and written in a very clear and modern style. It had the classic language you would expect for a period piece, but I guess he wrote a contemporary story or two in his time. It shows the quality of The one I read on audible had more than these four stories. Thank you audible for allowing us to stream this for free during the pandemic. Some of the stories actually were really dumb, but some were very good. I probably would have raided lower if it was a modern author, but it's an old classic author and written in a very clear and modern style. It had the classic language you would expect for a period piece, but I guess he wrote a contemporary story or two in his time. It shows the quality of this author. I'd never heard of the author Northeast stories. Like I say some definitely more interesting than others. But a great read of the old West

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jerry

    4 short stories from American author Stephan Crane, all taking place in the 1800s. Very different from each other: "The Open Boat" - an exciting story of shipwreck survivors trying to get to shore in a small dingy "Maggie: a Girl of the Streets" - a very sad story about the slums in NY "The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky" - a Texas marshall brings his new bride home to a dangerous situation. "The Blue Hotel" - strange happenings in a small Nebraska town during a blizzard. A lot of drunken brawls in the l 4 short stories from American author Stephan Crane, all taking place in the 1800s. Very different from each other: "The Open Boat" - an exciting story of shipwreck survivors trying to get to shore in a small dingy "Maggie: a Girl of the Streets" - a very sad story about the slums in NY "The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky" - a Texas marshall brings his new bride home to a dangerous situation. "The Blue Hotel" - strange happenings in a small Nebraska town during a blizzard. A lot of drunken brawls in the last three. Crane's characters seem constantly unhappy and hostile toward each other. Perhaps this is how he perceived them in his life.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Ian McHugh

    I absolutely loved reading this. So glad to have (re-)discovered Crane whilst reading this. I had read "The Red Badge of Courage" whilst studying the Civil War as an undergraduate and it gave such a vivid account of warfare. The four stories here are all excellent, the language used is superb and the descriptions brought to mind the very best of Dickens. My favourite was the suspenseful "The Blue Hotel" which was tremendous. I may very well re-visit "The Red Badge of Courage" again now and much I absolutely loved reading this. So glad to have (re-)discovered Crane whilst reading this. I had read "The Red Badge of Courage" whilst studying the Civil War as an undergraduate and it gave such a vivid account of warfare. The four stories here are all excellent, the language used is superb and the descriptions brought to mind the very best of Dickens. My favourite was the suspenseful "The Blue Hotel" which was tremendous. I may very well re-visit "The Red Badge of Courage" again now and much else that Crane wrote. Super stuff.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Courtney

    American Literature II is a class that I am currently taking. During this class we are required to read novels, poems, and short stories that we might not have ever read otherwise. Some are good and some are bad; however, all are legendary and useful for the overall growth of literature everywhere.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Andy2302

    Four short stories from the 1890s. I might give the collection 4 if the author didn't repeat dialog as dialog. I read Open Boat first which was good enough to try A Bride comes to Yellow sky, fun story. Maggie: a Girl of the Street was harder to read with slang & violence. The last was the Blue Hotel which left me unsure what to say. Four short stories from the 1890s. I might give the collection 4 if the author didn't repeat dialog as dialog. I read Open Boat first which was good enough to try A Bride comes to Yellow sky, fun story. Maggie: a Girl of the Street was harder to read with slang & violence. The last was the Blue Hotel which left me unsure what to say.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Adaset

    The Open Boat: 4 stars The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky: 3 stars Maggie: 2 stars

  29. 4 out of 5

    Johnny Kennedy

    Brutal. Tense. Human Failure. Human toughness. Father of Hemingway.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Henry Kline

    The Open Boat was an ok story but the rest were less than interesting.

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