Read The Phantom Ship by Frederick Marryat Online

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Title : The Phantom Ship
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781846375378
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 260 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Phantom Ship Reviews

  • Shawn
    2019-03-07 17:44

    So, at my day job, I was looking at material to include in a forthcoming GOTHIC story e-book collection (we like to throw in some novels as bonuses), and I decided to process this classic Gothic novel about the Flying Dutchman, as it was long on my reading list anyway so why not kill two birds with one stone?Prior to this, my knowledge of the Flying Dutchman myth was his appearance in an episode of LAND OF THE LOST when I was a kid, and general knowledge that a lush filmed version had been made at one time.It should be noted early on that despite curses and ghostly ships and magic rituals (and even a werewolf!), this is decidedly a Gothic novel and not a Horror novel (although the questions it raises about religion and the disposition of one's soul would have nudged it closer to the realm of disturbing for readers at the time of publication).And what a Gothic novel it is! It opens on a lurid, small scale scene with a mother's bloody death throes and the revealed secret of a sealed room. Our main character, Philip Vanderdecken - a brooding, violent youth, quick to anger - is told of an ages-old ghostly visitation to his mother by her seafaring husband. The Captain cursed God in the teeth of a storm and now is fated to sail the seas until Judgment Day, an ill omen to all sailors, unless his son can track him down in his spectral wanderings and present him a sacred relic, a piece of the True Cross, upon which he must weep in contrition. And so Philip swears to save his father's soul and sets forth on dangerous journeys around the world...Huge and sprawling, this book takes in many events and characters. Mynheer Poots (the greedy, conniving doctor) and his beautiful, exotic Arabic daughter Amine (raised as a Muslim and tutored in occult magic by her Mother), Schriften (a sardonic, one-eyed sailor - "It was not a man with one eye, but one eye with a man attached to it" - forever tittering and cruelly taunting, turning up like a bad penny at the worst of times and possessed of more knowledge than he lets on), Krantz (a stalwart friend of Philip, with his own mysterious background) and Father Mathias (who takes it upon himself to council and convert Amine). There are (as might be expected) shipwrecks and storms, desert islands and castaways and naval battles, but also skullduggery and greed and even...(not so unexpectedly)... the Spanish Inquisition!You'll get a history lesson about the Dutch East India shipping company, Christianity spreading in Japan and, in the climax, the cruel, corrupt and devious bureaucratic machinations of The Inquisition. You'll meet a quirky captain who keeps a bear as a shipboard pet, one who talks to his boat as if it were a living woman, there's desertion, mutiny, a hanging, a gunfight with robbers and an attempted poisoning (followed by an accidental one).Some memorable moments: Amine thinks Philip a ghost on his first return home from the sea; a ship's crew - spooked by sighting the Dutchman and driven by the prompts of the sinister Schriften - become deliberately intoxicated in the teeth of a dangerous gale and drunkenly wreck the ship; a prophetic, visionary dream of riding on a seashell and encountering a mermaid; a horrific scene of rafts coming apart in heavy seas with woman and children drowned and crushed; a ruse whereby Dutch sailors suffering from scurvy pretend to be English when finally reaching a Spanish port - Spain and Denmark being at odds at the time; the Flying Dutchman runs a pursuing ship aground by "sailing" onto dry land and later plunging straight *through* Vanderdecken's ship; a raft full of greedy, backstabbing wretches plot against each other as they sail on a quiet sea under a starry sky, later gambling away their worthless money and slaying each other when stuck on a desert island ("gold is a curse")...The characters and the moral/spiritual conundrums they face are also surprisingly interesting: Philip, aware that he is cursed, can't justify buying a ship to pursue and free his father, as he would knowingly be putting the crew at risk, but neither can he sign up as crew on another's craft until he contrives a way to compensate for and share the danger. Later, debate is made over whether Philip should pursue his father's spirit or just follow the Catholic prescription of lighting mass candles for him (Catholicism and the Papacy, as usual for Gothic novels, gets raked over the coals quite a bit - when Amine is stuck in a convent later in the book she finds it a hive of gossips).Amine Vanderdecken (nee Poots) is, in fact, is a fascinating character - bold, resourceful, forthright and courageous (she rallies the crew of a storm tossed ship at one point, purely through her strength of character) she is also "other" - a woman, a Muslim and a practitioner of "heathen" magic. While these aspects cause her endless problems (even until the shocking climax) one can't help but be impressed by her portrayal, constantly making well-reasoned arguments against the restrictive and reductive doctrine of the Catholic religion (Amine dares to believe in spirits as a source of positive guidance, not just infernal trickery, and her final fate is determined by hypocritical, pompous, arrogant men, not God). She even argues the case for suicide at one point! A scene where she renounces Christianity (after honestly considering it but judging the religion by the actions of its followers) as she is cast adrift in the ocean, is well done.The twin climaxes are also extremely powerful and quite satisfying, even poetic (the reveal of Schriften's true identity took me by surprise), after the epic ordeal of the narrative.Two minor notes - a chapter from this book is often excerpted as "The White Wolf Of The Hartz Mountains" (when sailor Krantz reveals his own background involving evil forest spirits and werewolves) and appears in many anthologies - it was nice to finally read it in context here, although the final disposition of Krantz in the narrative following his story is surprisingly perfunctory. Also, I really liked that the cursed Flying Dutchman, when finally engaged and not just encountered in a storm, sends over a seaman carrying the ship's mail to ask if it can be delivered as they have all been "a long while out" and their loved ones must be worried (not realizing that decades have passed)...In all honesty, this was one of the most entertaining Gothic novels I have ever read!

  • Guzzo
    2019-03-07 20:24

    A pesar del título, se trata de un libro clásico de aventuras más que de otra cosa. Me hubiera gustado que fuera tétrico y negro, quizá pesa demasiado "Piratas del Caribe", no sé. De todas formas, me sobra un poco la relación amorosa, la verdad.Recomendable.

  • Xfi
    2019-03-15 14:46

    Interesante libro de aventuras sobre el mito del "Holandés Errante".La prosa de inicios del XIX se hace un poco pesada y grandilocuente. La primera parte del libro puede llegar a aburrir por los vaivenes del argumento pero la segunda mitad se convierte en un relato de aventuras marineras que enganchan.Del lado del terror realmente lo que más miedo da es la descripción de la Inquisición católica más que la historia de espectros malditos.Debo ser un tipo bastante rarito pero lo que más me gustó es la crueldad con la que el autor trata a sus personajes, sin demasiada piedad, es broma, pero creo que Games Of Thrones tuvo aquí una interesante inspiración.

  • Betty
    2019-03-23 18:47

    Libro de aventuras y misterio, aunque lo más interesante es cómo retrata perfectamente la sociedad pensante de principios del siglo XIX, el racismo, la intransigencia De la Iglesia, la xenofobia... Los personajes más interesantes de la historia sin duda Amina y Krantz, sin ellos el libro sería un tostón.

  • Helmut
    2019-03-05 15:26

    Wer segelt so spät durch Nacht und Wind?Der Fliegende Holländer - eine alte Legende, die schon unzählig oft bearbeitet wurde. Von Richard Wagner bis Spongebob findet sich dabei für jeden Geschmack etwas; Frederick Marryats Werk aus 1839 erzählt eine Fassung der Legende ausführlichst und mit vielen seemännischen Details.Einerseits hat Marryat vereinzelt einen wunderbar lakonischen Witz, meist aber einen heutzutage schwer lesbaren schwülstigen Stil, vor allem, wenn es um die breitgetretenen Gefühle der Hauptpersonen geht. Schneller und leichtgewichtiger wird er dann in den Seepassagen, die unendlich viel besser sind als die Kapitel, die zu Lande spielen. Trotzdem ist der Roman mit zuviel Ballast beladen - jeder Lektor der letzten 100 Jahre hätte den Roman auf allerhöchstens die Hälfte gekürzt. So wird man als Leser gequält mit seitenlangen Monologen über wenig interessante Themen, die auch nur am Rande mit der Handlung zu tun haben, mit kaum zielführenden Nebenhandlungssträngen, einem endlos scheinenden Spannungsaufbau und schließlich, gegen Ende, sogar mit einer eingeschobenen Werwolf-Geschichte, deren Zweck in diesem Roman völlig unklar bleibt.Stark moralisierend ist dann auch letztlich die Abfolge der Plotteile - die Bösen werden ziemlich zeitnah für ihre schlimmen Handlungen bestraft, kein Böser kommt in diesem Roman ungeschoren davon. Selbst die eine Überraschung, die der Roman für den modernen Leser bereithält, nämlich das Schicksal von Amine, passt dabei in die Weltsicht des Autors und sehr gut zum Grundtenor des gesamten Werks. Ein toller Schluss versöhnt letztlich über viele Stolpersteine hinweg.Wenn Marryat sich dann noch seine Meinung über die "Hottentotten" mit "offensive, greasy attire, their strange forms, and hideous features" und ihrer halbmenschlichen Lebensart hätte sparen können, wäre ich dankbar gewesen.Die eBook-Aufbereitung ist als gelungen zu bezeichnen - einige falsch gesetzte Absatzwechsel sind zu verkraften.So bleibt mir ein Fazit - "The Phantom Ship" ist ein Roman, der heute wohl nur noch auf Grund seines Rufs und der beliebten Legende gedruckt wird, gewiss aber nicht aufgrund irgendwelcher Qualitäten des Texts selbst.

  • Pedja
    2019-03-03 21:40

    As a tale of the Flying Dutchman, it drags, and drags, and drags, in a way completely impossible in modern fiction. My previous candidate for toneless dragging, Joseph Conrad's Victory, is not even in the same league. Mind you, the despair is well done indeed.

  • წიგნების შესახებ
    2019-03-07 21:36

    სიკვდილის მუდმივი შიში, საყვარელი ადამიანის დაკარგვის შიში, ეს წიგნი საოცარი საზღვაო თავგადასავალია. ყველაზე მეტად კრანცის ამბავი მომეწონა, რაღაც მისტიკური და საშიში იყო. დასასრული კი იმდენად მოულოდნელი და გამაოგნებელი იყო, რომ აღმაფრთოვანა.

  • Helen
    2019-02-23 14:46

    Oh!! One of the best novels I have ever read! It had a great impact on my heart. It causes very great emotion and I loved the end of the story too. I definitely recommend it!!

  • Brett
    2019-03-24 20:22

    In The Phantom Ship, Marryat brings us a wonderfully fulfilling re-imagining of the legend of the Flying Dutchman. Phillip Vanderdecken, Captain of the Flying Dutchman, has committed a transgression against God and is doomed to sail forever off the southwest coast of Africa in a never-ending attempt at weathering The Cape. The Captain's strapping young son, a devout Catholic, receives a supernatural letter from his curséd dad pleading for help to free him from his torment. The younger Phillip swears an oath and sets about fulfilling his destiny. On the way, he meets, falls in love with and marries the lovely Amine, an Arabic woman of surpassing beauty, bravery, and wisdom. Amine never fully embraces Catholicism, and continues to practice some of her ancestral religion's rites.I love the degree to which Marryat embraces the supernatural in this book. The ship, the magic which Amine practices, the side story with the werewolf: awesome! And I have to say this, Amine belongs on the stand along with Bathsheba Everdene and Diana Villiers as the three most compelling female characters in all of literature. What a powerful character! I also appreciate the unflinching look into the dark heart of The Inquisition. I am interested in knowing how accurate the descriptions were of actual procedure.Usually books like these lose their way and never really pay off in the end. Not so with this one! I was fully satisfied by the ending which was both tragic and beautiful at the same time.

  • Clifdisc
    2019-02-28 15:40

    The Phantom Ship is Marryat's re-telling of the Flying Dutchman legend and, while it was slow to get going, the payoff was really worth it. The Phantom Ship, tells the story of Phillip Vanderdecken's quest to free the soul of his father who has been damned to sail the seas for all eternity as captain of The Flying Dutchman. Being a gothic novel, the book lacks Marryat's characteristic sense of humor and, while the scenes set at sea are as gripping as everything else I've read by Marryat, there is a subplot involving Phillip's Muslim wife and her struggles with Catholicism that took a while to pick up speed. This subplot really went in an interesting direction, however, and the novel's exploration of themes relating to religion, faith and morality is thought provoking and non-didactic. While the first half of this novel was easily my least favorite thing I've read by Marryat, the second half is right up there with his better works. As a bonus, there is a fun, grisly werewolf story slipped in towards the end as well

  • Clifdisc
    2019-03-21 16:34

    The Phantom Ship is Marryat's re-telling of the Flying Dutchman legend and, while it was slow to get going, the payoff was really worth it. The Phantom Ship, tells the story of Phillip Vanderdecken's quest to free the soul of his father who has been damned to sail the seas for all eternity as captain of The Flying Dutchman. Being a gothic novel, the book lacks Marryat's characteristic sense of humor and, while the scenes set at sea are as gripping as everything else I've read by Marryat, there is a subplot involving Phillip's Muslim wife and her struggles with Catholicism that took a while to pick up speed. This subplot really went in an interesting direction, however, and the novel's exploration of themes relating to religion, faith and morality is thought provoking and non-didactic. While the first half of this novel was easily my least favorite thing I've read by Marryat, the second half is right up there with his better works. As a bonus, there is a fun, grisly werewolf story slipped in towards the end as well.

  • Surreysmum
    2019-03-23 21:38

    [These notes were made in 1983:]. Rather to my amusement, I got hooked into this one, even after the ostensible reason for reading it (it influenced Stevenson in Ballantrae) had passed. It's about the Flying Dutchman, of course, but the Dutchman himself only flits in and out of the story until the climactic scene where the protagonist (his son) manages to meet him and save him from his torment. Then, with a grand rush of waves, they go down together. Marryat plays with a lot of supernatural stuff in this novel, but he shares with some the lesser Gothicists a somewhat slapdash ambiguity over the relation between God, supernatural happenings, and evil spirits. The Inquisition gets bad press, as usual, but in this case they are actually exercising their function correctly in killing our heroine! Nonetheless, despite holes in logic you could drive a bus through, the novel does rather well as an entertaining adventure story.

  • Rich
    2019-03-19 17:44

    Excellent gothic thriller/nautical adventure as Phillip,the young hero, sets out to save his father's soul, stolen by The Phantom Ship.The plot moves through the years very quickly as Phillip makes voyage after voyage, battles greed, murder, shipwreck, the Spanish Inquisition, sometimes taking along his Arabian wife, who has her own part to play in the grand scheme of things.What amazes me about the book is the strong message for religious tolerance. The plot has some surprisingly grim twists, especially towards the end.

  • Adam Gravano
    2019-02-26 17:48

    Not especially impressive. The comforting religious message undercuts the setting of a world intersecting with forces from the great beyond, at first glance, capable of rationalization by man, but ultimately inexplicable and potentiality hostile. Suspense is present, but not pervasive. The characters' development is obscured; it seems like tge Phillip we start with is whom we're with until the last few pages. The book is worth reading, and at times subtle, but be prepared for a heavy dose of religion.

  • Ray Downton
    2019-03-02 21:22

    Although supposedly a supernatural novel it mostly covers such subjects as belief and religion(Catholicism, spiritualism) with characters that you soon empathise with. There's also plenty of interesting historical information regarding countries' allegiances at the time(1650s).There was some dated grammar/language but I was able to get my head round it.I'm sure i will read another novel by Marryat in due course

  • Natia
    2019-03-07 17:43

    სიკვდილის მუდმივი შიში, საყვარელი ადამიანის დაკარგვის შიში, ეს წიგნი საოცარი საზღვაო თავგადასავალია. ყველაზე მეტად კრანცის ამბავი მომეწონა, რაღაც მისტიკური და საშიში იყო. დასასრული კი იმდენად მოულოდნელი და გამაოგნებელი იყო, რომ აღმაფრთოვანა.

  • Marian
    2019-03-04 21:43

    Magisk realisme fra 1800 tallet, hehe. En ganske rar, men morsom bok. Nå vet jeg hva klassikeren handler om. Men tror neppe jeg anbefaler å bruke tid på denne fremfor andre bøker. Den lå bare så lagelig til på Ordflyt

  • calypso
    2019-03-03 20:29

    Eh. Yeah, eh.This was just eh. I expected something more from this book.

  • Jeff Zimmel
    2019-03-05 13:22

    This is the original story of the Flying Dutchman. It's a great, easy book to read.

  • Brent
    2019-03-02 13:37

    Some flashes of brillance here, but becomes long winded in parts also. A must read for the werewolf chapter.

  • Keith
    2019-02-27 16:28

    Read to by The Classic Tales Podcast.