The Cruel Sea

  • Read by: Simon Vance
  • Runtime: 17.8 Hours
  • Recording: Unabridged
  • Release date: 2.9.2016
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio
  • Genre: Fiction/War & Military
  • 17.80 hrs2/9/2016Unabridged
  • ISBN-13: 978-1-5047-0169-3
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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 which would strike without warning from the deep.

Editorial Reviews

“Powerful…The dominant quality of this sturdy novel is compassion.”


“An impressive novel, portraying the war at sea with emotion, drama, tenderness, and terror.”

Chicago Tribune

“A book that speaks to you and makes you part of its story.”

Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Author Biography

Nicholas Monsarrat (1910–1979) was born in Liverpool and was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge. He served in World War II, first as a member of an ambulance brigade and then as a member of the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve. His lifelong love of sailing made him a capable naval officer, and he served with distinction on a series of small warships. Resigning his wartime commission in 1946, he entered the diplomatic service. He turned to writing full time in 1959, settling on the Mediterranean island of Gozo until his death.

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Reader Biography

Simon Vance (a.k.a. Robert Whitfield) is an award-winning actor and an AudioFile Golden Voice with over forty Earphones Awards. He has won thirteen prestigious Audie Awards and was Booklist’s very first Voice of Choice in 2008. He has narrated more than eight hundred audiobooks over almost thirty years, beginning when he was a radio newsreader for the BBC in London.

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