In a harbour town long ago, a boy is entranced by his uncle's stories of adventure in lands far away.
Ignoring the crazy talk of the harbour pilot's son about the uncle being the Devil, the boy boards a ship with his uncle.
But the uncle soon makes enemies of the captain and crew and, in frustration at their superstition, kills an albatross that has befriended the ship.
As the ship sails on, madness and death ensue, and the boy and the crew face unimaginable horrors.
A superbly gripping and haunting tale for fans of all classic horror.
- Format: Hardback
- Pages: 224 pages
- Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
- Publication Date: 12/09/2013
- Category: General
- ISBN: 9781408841730
Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.
Review by passion4reading
A young boy dreams of going to sea, but after the death of his father his mother is protective of him and won’t let him sail again. One day his uncle, a seasoned mariner and adventurer, returns, and the boy is determined to seize his chance of a seafaring life. At first everything goes smoothly, but then the ship is cast adrift after a storm and the crew finds itself stranded in the frozen wasteland of the Antarctic. In their despair, an albatross becomes a symbol of hope, but, in a moment of madness, the boy’s uncle shoots the bird with his crossbow and thereby condemns everyone on board to a series of inconceivable horrors.Based on Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s poem ‘The Rime of the Ancient Mariner’, this story has several key points in common, with the addition of the unnamed boy, the narrator. As all of Chris Priestley’s stories, this novella is tense and atmospheric, and draws the reader into its spell. It is easy to forget that the voice behind the boy is that of a grown man, so successful is he in choosing the language and perspective of a child, and young readers will no doubt identify with him. There are comparatively few physical horrors compared to some of his other works, but the real terror in my opinion is the psychological impact the curse has on the boy; aimed at confident readers (10-13 years), I wonder whether they will fully appreciate or understand the torment the boy experiences, or the reason behind and significance of the uncle's rededemption, especially as there is not much else happening during the last 40+ pages, and they might lose interest. The ending is not entirely successful and to me doesn’t make a lot of sense, but then children may view it differently.(This review was written as part of Amazon's Vine programme.)
Review by BruceGargoyle
Pre-Release Mini-Review: The Dead Men Stood Together Read it if:<br/>&nbsp;<br/>* you can&rsquo;t resist a rollicking tale set on the high seas<br/>&nbsp;<br/>* you have ever been held captive by an elderly person as they regale you with far-fetched stories from the distant past<br/>&nbsp;<br/>* you are inclined to complain heartily and predict impending doom should the weather stray more than a couple of degrees either side of your preferred temperature<br/>&nbsp;<br/>* you have an objectionable uncle (or indeed any type of irritating relative) and you would love to witness their come-uppance&hellip;particularly if that come-uppance involves the wearing of something large, ridiculous and foul-smelling as a means of public ridicule