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Stories of the Sea

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A gathering of the best maritime fiction from the last two hundred years: tales of shipwrecks and storms at sea, of creatures from the deep, of voyages that test human limits on the wild and limitless waters. Classic adventures stories by Joseph Conrad, Rudyard Kipling, Stephen Crane, Robert Louis Stevenson, and Jack London mix with marvelously imaginative tales by Isak Din A gathering of the best maritime fiction from the last two hundred years: tales of shipwrecks and storms at sea, of creatures from the deep, of voyages that test human limits on the wild and limitless waters. Classic adventures stories by Joseph Conrad, Rudyard Kipling, Stephen Crane, Robert Louis Stevenson, and Jack London mix with marvelously imaginative tales by Isak Dinesen, Patricia Highsmith, and J. G. Ballard. Robert Olen Butler explores the memories of a Titanic victim who has become part of the sea that swallowed him; Ray Bradbury’s “The Fog Horn” summons something primeval and lonely from the ocean depths; John Updike’s vacationing lovers retrace the route of Homer’s Odyssey on a cruise ship. From Edgar Allan Poe’s dramatic “A Descent into the Maelstrom” to Ernest Hemingway’s chilling “After the Storm” to Mark Helprin’s heartbreaking “Sail Shining in White,” the stories here are as wide-ranging and entrancing as the sea itself.


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A gathering of the best maritime fiction from the last two hundred years: tales of shipwrecks and storms at sea, of creatures from the deep, of voyages that test human limits on the wild and limitless waters. Classic adventures stories by Joseph Conrad, Rudyard Kipling, Stephen Crane, Robert Louis Stevenson, and Jack London mix with marvelously imaginative tales by Isak Din A gathering of the best maritime fiction from the last two hundred years: tales of shipwrecks and storms at sea, of creatures from the deep, of voyages that test human limits on the wild and limitless waters. Classic adventures stories by Joseph Conrad, Rudyard Kipling, Stephen Crane, Robert Louis Stevenson, and Jack London mix with marvelously imaginative tales by Isak Dinesen, Patricia Highsmith, and J. G. Ballard. Robert Olen Butler explores the memories of a Titanic victim who has become part of the sea that swallowed him; Ray Bradbury’s “The Fog Horn” summons something primeval and lonely from the ocean depths; John Updike’s vacationing lovers retrace the route of Homer’s Odyssey on a cruise ship. From Edgar Allan Poe’s dramatic “A Descent into the Maelstrom” to Ernest Hemingway’s chilling “After the Storm” to Mark Helprin’s heartbreaking “Sail Shining in White,” the stories here are as wide-ranging and entrancing as the sea itself.

30 review for Stories of the Sea

  1. 4 out of 5

    Elena Sala

    A collection of 18 stories of adventures, storms, shipwrecks where the sea is usually a menacing presence. Ray Bradbury, Edgar Allan Poe, Ernest Hemingway, Joseph Conrad, Kurt Vonnegut, Isak Dinesen, Herman Melville are some of the featured authors. I loved most of the stories, but I feel that some are particularly memorable for me: "Sail Shining in White", by Mark Helprin, about an aged retiree who sails into a massive hurricane, most likely to die, is one of then. Then, Stephen Crane's "The Ope A collection of 18 stories of adventures, storms, shipwrecks where the sea is usually a menacing presence. Ray Bradbury, Edgar Allan Poe, Ernest Hemingway, Joseph Conrad, Kurt Vonnegut, Isak Dinesen, Herman Melville are some of the featured authors. I loved most of the stories, but I feel that some are particularly memorable for me: "Sail Shining in White", by Mark Helprin, about an aged retiree who sails into a massive hurricane, most likely to die, is one of then. Then, Stephen Crane's "The Open Boat", a classic story about the loneliness and the struggle to survive of a group of shipwrecked sailors, in a cold, uncaring sea; Saki's "The Treasure Ship", an exploration of justice and blackmail written in Saki's humorous, inimitable style; and "The Merry Men", Robert Louis Stevenson's novella, a horror story of a life of hypocrisy and duplicity set on the Scottish coast. STORIES OF THE SEA (2010) is a great collection of short fiction, some classic, some less known, for readers who love the sea, and reading stories about the sea.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Charles

    Brought this with me on vacation and read it within days, between beach walks and seafood feasts. Only a couple of stories in there for which I truly didn't care, in contrast to plenty of fun little finds by Ray Bradbury, Jack London, Robert Olen Butler and J. G. Ballard, among others. A joy to stumble upon John Updike, at some point. If anything, I could have used a little less boating and a little more beach scavenging or treasure hunting, in the end. As I finished the book, I was thinking that Brought this with me on vacation and read it within days, between beach walks and seafood feasts. Only a couple of stories in there for which I truly didn't care, in contrast to plenty of fun little finds by Ray Bradbury, Jack London, Robert Olen Butler and J. G. Ballard, among others. A joy to stumble upon John Updike, at some point. If anything, I could have used a little less boating and a little more beach scavenging or treasure hunting, in the end. As I finished the book, I was thinking that Anthony Doerr's "The Shell Collector" would've been a perfect fit among this assortment.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jason Furman

    Like other Everyman Pocket Classics stories, this is a well done collection--a mixture of standards and less common stories (at least for genre collections). The stories are divided into four sections: Dangers of the Deep, Voyages of Discovery, Survival at Sea and The Call of the Sea (mostly about madness and suicide or attempted suicide). The authors include Robert Louis Stevenson, Edgar Allen Poe, Stephen Crane, Ray Bradbury as well as J.G. Ballard, Mark Helprin and John Updike. My favorites w Like other Everyman Pocket Classics stories, this is a well done collection--a mixture of standards and less common stories (at least for genre collections). The stories are divided into four sections: Dangers of the Deep, Voyages of Discovery, Survival at Sea and The Call of the Sea (mostly about madness and suicide or attempted suicide). The authors include Robert Louis Stevenson, Edgar Allen Poe, Stephen Crane, Ray Bradbury as well as J.G. Ballard, Mark Helprin and John Updike. My favorites were almost all of them.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Brett Mclay

    BEST: Kurt Vonnegut, "The Cruise of the Jolly Roger" (Voyages of Discovery) Jack London, "House of Mapuhi" Saki, "The Treasure-Ship" BEST: Kurt Vonnegut, "The Cruise of the Jolly Roger" (Voyages of Discovery) Jack London, "House of Mapuhi" Saki, "The Treasure-Ship"

  5. 4 out of 5

    Thomas

    Excellent collection of stories related to the sea by an amazing number of well known classic and modern authors.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    The book was passed to me with some stories recommended. I intended to read a very few before the book went back to the library but actually read quite a lot. One story 5 star (Jack London) and others all the way to 1 star - but a good collection to dip into. Updike's 'Cruise' was very good. I feel sure I must have read a book by Updike a long time ago but none of the titles sound familiar, I've never heard of the Rabbit series and I didn't realise he wrote the 'Witches of Eastwick'. Has a similar The book was passed to me with some stories recommended. I intended to read a very few before the book went back to the library but actually read quite a lot. One story 5 star (Jack London) and others all the way to 1 star - but a good collection to dip into. Updike's 'Cruise' was very good. I feel sure I must have read a book by Updike a long time ago but none of the titles sound familiar, I've never heard of the Rabbit series and I didn't realise he wrote the 'Witches of Eastwick'. Has a similar langourous tone to Liz Williams 'Century to Starboard' which also features a cruise. Kipling's 'A Matter of Fact' was not recommended but I still loved it. Had read it years ago when I was reading lots of Kipling. It's dated since he wrote it, but has a marvelous sense of the deep sea and ends with an interesting take on the media. There's something wrong with Doris Lessing's 'Through the Tunnel'. Might be well written but to me the vignette is like a description of a painting. The attempt to enter the mind of a boy rings very false to me and the other people who appear are 2 dimensional. Nice descriptions of sand. Saki's 'The Treasure Ship' Unnecessarily wordy. Shan't bother with anything else he has written. J. G. Ballard's 'Now Wakes The Sea' - loved it, even if the rich wife's character was treated unfairly. Might have read one of his books back in my teens but none of the titles sound familiar. Shall look out for one in the library. Mark Helprin's 'Sail Shining in White' is more about aging and death than about the sea. The writing engaged me but not the content - and perhaps all the stories are really about something else than the sea. Kurt Vonnegut's 'The Cruise of the Jolly Roger' an illustrated lecture - not of much interest to me. Conrad's 'Youth' was very good. Captivating. Have read this before. Patricia Highsmith's 'One for the Islands' was wiffle waffle. Good job it was short. Jack London's 'The House of Mapuhi' was absolutely the best so far. A riveting physical description of a hurricane and a host of interesting characters. I'm in love with Mapuhi's mum [spoiler] who survives on coconuts, reconstructs a broken canoe, nearly paddles it home and swims the rest of the way, fighting off a fifteen foot shark as she goes. A whole book in just a few pages! Isak Dinesen's The Young Man With The Carnation' DNF.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Georges Alexandre

    A nice anthology, where I'll admit I'm positively biased as I love everything about the topic... I have to admit that the short stories are uneven but all very pleasant and well written. On the positive side, the least known writers are definitely whetting our appetite and are curiously more interesting than the well known ones in this book. Ray Bradubury's Fog Horn is the first and in my opinion best story in the book, which sets the bar unusually high. I don't know if I would have put it first... A nice anthology, where I'll admit I'm positively biased as I love everything about the topic... I have to admit that the short stories are uneven but all very pleasant and well written. On the positive side, the least known writers are definitely whetting our appetite and are curiously more interesting than the well known ones in this book. Ray Bradubury's Fog Horn is the first and in my opinion best story in the book, which sets the bar unusually high. I don't know if I would have put it first...

  8. 4 out of 5

    Clint

    These are fun. There are some that are great adventures and others that are beautiful for their description.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Brewer

    Some stories were excellent, and some made me yawn!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Francesca

    Found the stories extremely boring but hey, that’s just my personal judgement: I see hat most people loved it so don’t let my review stop you from reading it.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Diana Babii

    One of the best Everyman collections I have ever read. I specifically enjoyed: -Through the tunnel (Dorris Lessing) -The cruise of the Jolly Roger (Kurt Vonnegut)

  12. 4 out of 5

    Greg

    Personal highlights include the evocative, atmospheric tales by Bradbury, Poe, Stevenson, Crane, and Ballard; and the rich character studies of Lessing, Updike, Conrad, and Dinesen.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Michael

    Read about half of the stories and not a single one interested me, except the one that was already one of my all time fave stories. Soooo meh. Authors of a certain age can be so tediously wordy. The Updike is nice.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    Only 4 stars because I didn't read all the stories. Loved the ones I read, though. Only 4 stars because I didn't read all the stories. Loved the ones I read, though.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kenneth

    As with any short story collection, particularly one comprised of stories by different authors, any rating is basically going to be an average of one's feelings for each story. The brilliance of Bradbury, Lessing, Vonnegut, Butler, and Ballard are lessened by the inflated timelessness of Kipling and Stevenson, and though I normally like Melville, "John Marr" is a wasted endeavor. All in all, a strong and enjoyable collection, but defined almost more by its failings than by its successes. As with any short story collection, particularly one comprised of stories by different authors, any rating is basically going to be an average of one's feelings for each story. The brilliance of Bradbury, Lessing, Vonnegut, Butler, and Ballard are lessened by the inflated timelessness of Kipling and Stevenson, and though I normally like Melville, "John Marr" is a wasted endeavor. All in all, a strong and enjoyable collection, but defined almost more by its failings than by its successes.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Robt.

    A fine book to read by the sea. Highlights include Joseph Conrad on an ill-fated collier ("Youth"), Jack London on a South Seas hurricane ("The House of Mapuhi"), John Updike retracing the Odyssey ("Cruise"), and Isak Dinesen on a strange night in the port of Antwerp ("The Young Man with the Carnation"). Less satisfying for me were Patricia Highsmith ("One for the Islands") and Mark Helprin's cloying exercise in self-satisfaction ("Sail Shining in White"). A fine book to read by the sea. Highlights include Joseph Conrad on an ill-fated collier ("Youth"), Jack London on a South Seas hurricane ("The House of Mapuhi"), John Updike retracing the Odyssey ("Cruise"), and Isak Dinesen on a strange night in the port of Antwerp ("The Young Man with the Carnation"). Less satisfying for me were Patricia Highsmith ("One for the Islands") and Mark Helprin's cloying exercise in self-satisfaction ("Sail Shining in White").

  17. 5 out of 5

    C

    Lovely collection of stories, includes many famous authors. You are brought along to rob a sunken ocean liner, to dive so deep that your ears bleed while on vacation, to plunge into a maelstrom - and that's only the first section. Whether above, below, or just nearby the waves - these short stories all have an impact. Lovely collection of stories, includes many famous authors. You are brought along to rob a sunken ocean liner, to dive so deep that your ears bleed while on vacation, to plunge into a maelstrom - and that's only the first section. Whether above, below, or just nearby the waves - these short stories all have an impact.

  18. 5 out of 5

    C.M. Stultz

    An excellent anthology of some of the finest stories ever written about the sea and its effect on people. True classics like Joseph Conrad's "Youth" and Jack London's "The House of Mapuhi," mixed with more recent classics like Ray Bradbury's "The Fog Horn" and Mark Helprin's "Sail Shining in White." More than half of the 18 stories were new to me. An excellent anthology of some of the finest stories ever written about the sea and its effect on people. True classics like Joseph Conrad's "Youth" and Jack London's "The House of Mapuhi," mixed with more recent classics like Ray Bradbury's "The Fog Horn" and Mark Helprin's "Sail Shining in White." More than half of the 18 stories were new to me.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Alison

    Some were a little rough to get through, but some of them were beautiful. Welcomed perspectives - the sea and the role of the sea in everyday lives of sailors and those whose professions relied on the sea, who no longer really exist ...

  20. 4 out of 5

    Ben

    While there are certainly a few worthwhile stories in this collection, it is bogged down with lengthy, largely uninteresting works that are difficult to trudge through. I went in expecting stories of adventure and longing and came out with a sense of disinterest and aged boredom.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Greg Tatum

    A nice collection of short stories. I was a little disappointed that more didn't take place completely at sea. A lot of them were told from shore looking out at the ocean. I just wanted to go on a sailing adventure :) A nice collection of short stories. I was a little disappointed that more didn't take place completely at sea. A lot of them were told from shore looking out at the ocean. I just wanted to go on a sailing adventure :)

  22. 5 out of 5

    Dan Yingst

    A lot of stories of the shore, but good nonetheless.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Hilda

    Best anthology I've ever come across. Best anthology I've ever come across.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Corey

    An enjoyable read, an intriguing variety of stories, a mixture of horror, adventure, and philosophy.

  25. 4 out of 5

    kyliemm

    I loved almost every single story in this collection, but a few stories in particularly make it worthy of a five-star rating, including John Updike's I loved almost every single story in this collection, but a few stories in particularly make it worthy of a five-star rating, including John Updike's

  26. 4 out of 5

    Mimi

  27. 4 out of 5

    Danly

  28. 5 out of 5

    Toni Earling

  29. 4 out of 5

    Eric Robinson

  30. 5 out of 5

    Rose

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