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Monsarrat, Nicholas

story malta set war

(British, 1910–79)

Born in Liverpool, after graduating from Cambridge Nicholas Monsarrat worked in a solicitor's office before becoming a full-time writer in 1934. Begin with his best-seller, The Cruel Sea (1951), which is vividly based on his wartime experiences as a corvette commander. The force and directness of his writing are maintained throughout a sucession of episodes in the war against the U-boats. The Nylon Pirates (1966) is an entertaining crime story about a gang of stylish confidence tricksters who exploit the gullible rich on ocean cruises. The Kappillan of Malta (1973) is set during the siege of Malta in the Second World War. Richly evoking the island and its history, the story concerns Father Salvatore and his heroic endeavours during the continual bombings. Much of the novel is set in catacombs where the priest cares for those made homeless.

Alistair MacLean, Patrick O'Brian, C. S. Forester  DH

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