The Cruel Sea

  • by Nicholas Monsarrat
  • Narrated by Simon Vance
  • 17 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Based on the author's own vivid experiences, The Cruel Sea is the nail-biting story of the crew of HMS Compass Rose, a corvette assigned to protect convoys during World War II.
Darting back and forth across the icy North Atlantic, Compass Rose played a deadly cat-and-mouse game with packs of German U-boats lying in wait beneath the ocean waves. Packed with tension and vivid descriptions of agonizing U-boat hunts, this tale of the most bitter and chilling campaign of the war tells of ordinary men who had to master their own fears before they could face a brutal menace - one that would strike without warning from the deep.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

One of the best 2nd world war naval stories

It was good to get back to this book which I can remember sitting on my fathers book shelf and having seen the old movie many years ago. What was very clear from the start is the understanding the author has of life at sea and of the characters. I googled Nicholas Monsarrat to find that he actually served on the vessels he writes about. Although he states at the start it is a true story but all characters are fictionalized it is clearly based on his actual experiences. Having been at sea much rings very true.
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- Peter

A classic

What did you love best about The Cruel Sea?

A geat story, authentic and one which really stays with you after you put the book down.
The book is a memorial to the seamen of WW2 who died in the Atlantic.


Who was your favorite character and why?

The captain of the Compas Rose, a character both believable and a typical Royal Navy captain.


What does Simon Vance bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Vance certainly brings the characters to life. The book was published in 1951 and is still a great read.


If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

WW2 1939 to 1945


Any additional comments?

The book is factual ( I am 93 and lived through those days so I can vouch for that. It stays with you and you begin comparing the present with those days of the Greatest Generation.
Maybe I am getting too old!!!

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- A.N.Other

Book Details

  • Release Date: 01-29-2016
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.