Pickpocket John Jacob Turnstile is on his way to be detained at His Majesty's Pleasure when he is offered a lifeline, what seems like a freedom of sorts - the job of personal valet to a departing naval captain.
Little does he realise that it is anything but - and by accepting the devil's bargain he will put his life in perilous danger.
For the ship is HMS Bounty, his new captain William Bligh and their destination Tahiti.
From the moment the ship leaves port, Turnstile's life is turned upside down, for not only must he put his own demons to rest, but he must also confront the many adversaries he will encounter on the Bounty's extraordinary last voyage.
Walking a dangerous line between an unhappy crew and a captain he comes to admire, he finds himself in a no-man's land where the distinction between friend and foe is increasingly difficult to determine.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 544 pages, maps
- Publisher: Transworld Publishers Ltd
- Publication Date: 07/05/2009
- Category: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
- ISBN: 9780552773928
Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.
Review by fredalss
A more balanced, albeit fictional, view of the famous mutiny from the viewpoint of a young cabin boy. I really enjoyed being able to immerse myself in this story.
Review by john257hopper
A marvellously entertaining read. John Jacob Turnstile is a pickpocket in Portsmouth who, to avoid going to prison for a year, accepts a berth as Captain Bligh's servant aboard the HMS Bounty. The novel is Turnstile's account of his life on the voyage and on Otaheiti (Tahiti) and on the small launch on which he, Captain Bligh and the rest of those loyal to him are set adrift after the mutiny led by Fletcher Christian. Turnstile himself is fictional, but the other characters on board the ship all real and the events follow closely those recorded in the captain's logbook and other accounts. Bligh emerges as a largely sympathetic man, genuinely concerned for the welfare of his crew, if sometimes failing to understand them at an individual, human level. A great read.