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Old 03-04-2015, 06:42 PM   #101
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Probably because the studio heads tried reading the books.

Sorry, couldn't resist.


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Old 03-04-2015, 06:50 PM   #102
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Someone mentioned the movie Riddle of the Sands earlier. I haven't seen the movie or the TV series that were produced, but I read the book a number of years ago when it caught my eye in the marine store we use in Bellingham harbor.

Written in 1903, the writing style is different than what we are more used to today, but it is very good. What really intrigued me was that the author, a Britiish citizen I know nothing about, was astute enough to realize there was "something up with Germany" years before the accelleration of the arms race that helped spur WWI.

I have read that the book was immensly popular in Britain and remained so for some ten years. It helped raise the awareness in Great Britain the the country was very ill-prepared for a conflict with Germany (or anyone for that matter).

Speaking of a conflict with Germany, there are two books that in my opinon are among the very best histories of a specfic subject I have ever read in my life. Both are by the same author, a outstanding British historian named Robert K. Massie.

The books do not have to be read in order--- I read them the wrong way round--- as each one stands on its own.

The first one, titled Dreadnaught, chronicles the political, geographic, and naval armaments events that led to the start of the Great War.

The second book, titled Castles of Steel, is about the naval conflicts between Great Britain and Germany during the war.

There are a lot of books on these subjects and I 've read a fair amount of them. I have found none better than these two.
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Old 03-04-2015, 07:01 PM   #103
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Marin, I noted you liked Shadow Divers. I finally was able to muster the courage to read it after it sat on my bookshelf for many years. The book was actually quite good. I was active in tech diving in the early years and spent a lot of time on forums back in the day. I had been trading barbs with the Rouses just a few days before they were killed in the worst way possible. I had never met them in person, but that event was pretty horrific just the same. It really impacted the whole community. A few years later when my number finally came up and my own legs went out from under me in the doorway of the compressor room at Egmont, I suddenly thought a lot about Chris and his son. I got lucky, they didn't. I'll tell you one thing, when we get so passionate about our arguments, everyone stops learning. Always makes me wonder if things had to turn out the way they did.

Anyhow, good book. The sub history of u-who is cool, and it gives a pretty strikingly real description of the way things really were at that time. I did not find the accounts to be embellishments at all, that's pretty much how it was.



As far as movies, I think the sand pebbles is vastly under rated. Good show. I had to stop watching my copies of Das boot. You would think it would get less stressful over time. For me, it's just the opposite. That movie is hard core.
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Old 03-04-2015, 07:48 PM   #104
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Here is a decent movie I saw in high school days.

Pursuit of the Graf Spee

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Old 03-04-2015, 08:13 PM   #105
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Originally Posted by Marin View Post
Someone mentioned the movie Riddle of the Sands earlier. I haven't seen the movie or the TV series that were produced, but I read the book a number of years ago when it caught my eye in the marine store we use in Bellingham harbor.

Written in 1903, the writing style is different than what we are more used to today, but it is very good. What really intrigued me was that the author, a Britiish citizen I know nothing about, was astute enough to realize there was "something up with Germany" years before the accelleration of the arms race that helped spur WWI.
As you probably know, Erskine Childers met an early end at the hands of a firing squad.

The 1979 Riddle Of The Sands movie is actually pretty decent. It was directed by Tony Maylam, who also directed the Victory By Design documentary series on auto racing marques. Good footage and informative dialogue on some beautiful cars.
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Old 03-04-2015, 08:31 PM   #106
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Marin, I noted you liked Shadow Divers.
It was actually a title that my wife's book club read. She had it on her Kindle and as all our devices are on the same account I downloaded it to my Kindle based on her recommendation.

I took SCUBA lessons as a kid as a councilor trainee at a summer camp on Lake Michigan. It was a fun experience but I could not master the ditch and recovery excersise (I could not keep myself on the bottom to put the gear back on to save my life) so I finally gave up and took up another activity. (My "master," what I was taught to teach that summer, was canoeing).

So I know next to nothing about SCUBA diving other than you go under the water and breathe and don't come up too fast.

So Shadow Divers was a fascinating book to me because it exposed me to a world I know virtually nothing about. When I read it I had no idea how truthful the writiing, events, and opinions about the various characters and factions in the book were, and I still don't.

But as a book about a remarkable undertaking, I think it's terrific.
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Old 03-04-2015, 09:29 PM   #107
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Marin,
I'm with you on the Lord of the Rings trilogy. My all time favorite books. But i think you're way off on the O'Brian series. O'Brian went to great lengths to write an authentic account of how life was in the Royal Navy during the Napoleonic wars. He did his research and reportedly kept true to the dialogue of the time (or as true as he could make it based on available evidence and contemporaneous writings). In fact, the dialogue is what makes the books difficult to read because it is hard to figure out what the characters are saying sometimes.

I, too, am a stickler for believable dialogue in books. But I don't remember being put off by that in the O'Brian books. Unlike John MacDonald's Travis McGee series, in which the dialogue is so laughable I almost gave up. But, if I suspended belief and took those books for what they are -- pure pulp -- they are an entertaining read. Particularly the boating scenes.

Just my 2 cents... I realize that nothing anybody can say can convince you to enjoy those books. Nothing wrong with that!
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Old 03-04-2015, 10:01 PM   #108
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Just my 2 cents... I realize that nothing anybody can say can convince you to enjoy those books. Nothing wrong with that!
I don't doubt that O'Brian researched his subject very thoroughly. I've done the same things on the books I've written and the one I'm writing now. For me, it's half the challenge and satisfaction of the project, and I'm sure it was for him, too.

Where I run on the rocks with his stuff is how he conveyed what he'd learned.

But as Baltimore Lurker very correctly said, everyone has different tastes and different beliefs in what makes good writing. By my standards, which apply only to me, O'Brian was an ineffective writer for the reasons I've already conveyed.

Which is too bad because he picked a great subject and a great time period and he certainly had a staggering amount of accurate and interesting information in his arsenal. I was eager to start reading the series when my friend so highly recommended it and loaned me the first few books. I like series stories that follow the central characters, particularly well-written British mysteries. But i just couldn't deal with O'Brian's poor writing (by my standards, remember)

I've had no inclination to try them again, not when there is FAR too much truly good writing out there to be read. That's one of my real disappointments in the the length of a human life. I'm going to die knowing there is so much more great stuff to read and learn on this planet.

Bummer.
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Old 03-05-2015, 05:51 AM   #109
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[QUOTE=Marin;313647
[B]But as Baltimore Lurker very correctly said, everyone has different tastes and different beliefs in what makes good writing. By my standards, which apply only to me, O'Brian was an ineffective writer for the reasons I've already conveyed.
[/B]

Sorry, can't let that one go unchallenged.

When I was 14 years old I was made to study Shakespeare, hated it, couldn't understand the language, the plot was asinine, load of rubbish!

It was only later I learned that as Shakespeare said 'The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves'.The corollary of that is it is not really our personal likes or dislikes that determine a great writer, that is outside our ken.

'Good' writing is hard to define, I can only give you its anathema,it is he who goes by the name of Clive Cussler.

(well this should stir things up)
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Old 03-05-2015, 08:53 AM   #110
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Right Andy. You can find good writing in amazing places. I was an early reader of Sports Cars Illustrated which later became Car & Driver. I would wait each month for its delivery as much for the writing as the cars. I always got a good chuckle out of it. It was not stilted as was Road & Track.

I lifted the following from a website:

Car and Driver once featured Bruce McCall, Jean Shepherd, Dick Smothers, and Brock Yates as columnists, and PJ O'Rourke as a frequent contributor. Former editors include William Jeanes and David E. Davis, the latter of whom led some employees to defect in order to create Automobile Magazine.
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Old 03-05-2015, 08:59 AM   #111
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Right Andy. You can find good writing in amazing places. I was an early reader of Sports Cars Illustrated which later became Car & Driver. I would wait each month for its delivery as much for the writing as the cars. I always got a good chuckle out of it. It was not stilted as was Road & Track.

I lifted the following from a website:

Car and Driver once featured Bruce McCall, Jean Shepherd, Dick Smothers, and Brock Yates as columnists, and PJ O'Rourke as a frequent contributor. Former editors include William Jeanes and David E. Davis, the latter of whom led some employees to defect in order to create Automobile Magazine.
Car & Driver was some outstanding reading and entertainment back in the day! It's still my go-to car mag, but, it just ain't the same.
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Old 03-05-2015, 09:04 AM   #112
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Greetings,
I haven't read the whole thread but I doubt my FAVORITE movie has been mentioned...The Russians are coming, the Russians are coming. It DOES start off on a boat and there IS a nice Chris Craft (can't remember the model) shown near the end. Norwegians......Hahahaha....

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Old 03-05-2015, 09:54 AM   #113
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Old 03-05-2015, 01:56 PM   #114
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'Good' writing is hard to define, I can only give you its anathema,it is he who goes by the name of Clive Cussler.

(well this should stir things up)
I agree with that. I read a Clive Cussler book once and found his writing style very "See Spot Run." That and his computer-programmed plots make for a very easy and fast read which is why his stuff is so popular.

O'Brian at least had a unique and original plot line but I thought his telling of the story was so poorly done that I simply could not justify wasting any more time with his stuff after that first book.

I got my degree in drama and theatre in college and I had to deal with a fair amount of Shakespeare. His stuff is a bitch to read, no question, but what I grew to appreciate were the complexity of his characters and the fascinating situations and relationships he put them in.

O'Brian's stuff is an easy enough read but he fell flat on his face when it came to making his characters interesting enough to care about. They were two-dimensional, predictable, and uninspiring people (to me) and after the first book I could not have cared less what happened to them after that.

To me, creating characters the reader doesn't care about is very bad writing no matter how well the writer might use the language itself.
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Old 03-05-2015, 05:32 PM   #115
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Not movies, but a couple of entertaining books (not necessarily great literature) about ships, boats and the sea:

The Grey Seas Under and The Boat Who Wouldn't Float by Farley Mowat.

HMS Ulysses By Alistair McLean.

The Cruel Sea by Nicholas Monsarrat (there is a 1953 movie).

The several sailing novels by Bernard Cornwell.
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Old 03-05-2015, 05:44 PM   #116
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If you can find it, this is a really nice entertaining movie.

Dove and Robin Lee Graham - The Voyage of the Dove Round The World
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Old 03-05-2015, 08:59 PM   #117
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If you can find it, this is a really nice entertaining movie.

Dove and Robin Lee Graham - The Voyage of the Dove Round The World
I read his book at a young, impressionable age. Since then, it has been my lifelong dream to sail around the world. Didn't know there was a movie. Your link is to the book. Was there a movie?
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Old 03-05-2015, 09:55 PM   #118
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Not movies, but a couple of entertaining books (not necessarily great literature) about ships, boats and the sea:

The Grey Seas Under and The Boat Who Wouldn't Float by Farley Mowat.

HMS Ulysses By Alistair McLean.

The Cruel Sea by Nicholas Monsarrat (there is a 1953 movie).

The several sailing novels by Bernard Cornwell.
Hear! Hear! Grey Seas Under is a great non fiction book about an ocean going tug and its rescues. Mowat died last May. Other books are good reads too. That movie is darn good as well.
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Old 03-06-2015, 01:06 AM   #119
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Probably not the right place for my first post but topic is relevant. Previous owners of my 73 CHB say that this boat was originaly owned by Ernest Borgnine and that it made a cameo appearance in one of his movies. Anybody recall seeing one in his movies?
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Old 03-06-2015, 02:03 AM   #120
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If your CHB boat has a green glowing nuclear reactor it might be the film Ice Station Zebra, when Earnest proclaims that "It looks so benevolent'.

However, if it has a Ford Lehman, it was probably a different movie.
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