DEMON OF THE WATERS: The True Story of the Mutiny on the Whaleship Globe

Gregory Gibson, Author, Erik A. R. Ronnberg, Jr., Illustrator, Gary Tonkin, Illustrator . Little, Brown $24.95 (320p) ISBN 978-0-316-29923-7

In 1978, a sailor's log of apparently little value surfaced in Vevay, Ind., and the notebook was eventually discovered to have been penned in 1827 by a 17-year-old sailor named Augustus Strong, stationed aboard the Dolphin, a U.S. Navy schooner dispatched to rescue surviving members of a mutiny in the South Pacific. Using Strong's 150-page record as a primary source, Gibson (Gone Boy), a collector of rare maritime books, retells the shocking tale of the gore-drenched mutiny aboard the whaler Globe. The mutiny was led by rogue Samuel Comstock so the 21-year-old could sail to the remote Marshall Islands, where he intended to build a kingdom for himself and enlist the natives in his private army. Word of the mutiny prompted the rescue voyage of the Dolphin and Strong's personal ledger. While Gibson diligently recounts the building of the Globe and the history of Nantucket whaling—as well as the life and hard work aboard a whaler—the chronicling of the mutiny lacks punch and the key figures are devoid of significant character. By the time Gibson personally visits the isle of Comstock's landing and death, readers might find it difficult to share the author's interest in what comes across as a bloody though bland story. Illus. (May)

Reviewed on: 04/01/2002
Release date: 04/01/2002
Show other formats
Hardcover - 533 pages - 978-0-7862-4459-1
Paperback - 328 pages - 978-0-316-73867-5
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