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The Wreck of the Mary Deare

Narrated by: Bill Wallis
Length: 9 hrs and 8 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (5 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

They dismissed the Mary Deare as ‘a piece of leaking ironmongery taken off the junk heap’. For 40 years this 6,000-ton freighter had tramped the seas, suffered shipwreck twice, and been torpedoed three times in two world wars. Then one March night, battered and bruised and empty, she emerged from severe Biscay gales into the English Channel - and into the newspaper headlines. Here was a ship of mystery and tragedy... in one of the greatest sea stories of all time.

©1956 Hammond Innes (P)2010 BBC Audiobooks Ltd

What members say

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great book

the plot is revealed to the ready in such a great way, feels realistic as well.

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Good traditional writing translated to audio

I have read the book several times and I thought that this was a brilliant audio version of the book. 3 cheers

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  • Richard
  • 03-07-2010

Sea tale

First, I dimly remembered seeing the movie "Wreck of the Mary Deare" about 50 years ago with Gary Cooper as John, and Charlton Heston as Patch. I could not for the life of me remember the ending and not much of the story came back to me but I vaguely remember enjoying the movie so I downloaded this book. I am so glad I did. I do love a good tale and really love a good sea tale and this book does not disappoint. It is a very good tale of the sea, of men and ships and treachery of course. I enjoyed it so much I listened straight through and missed a nights sleep. I am in awe of the sea and know some of the things it can do. I am no sailor but have crossed to Bimini a couple of times in a very small boat and it can be scary when it kicks up and gets rough. This is a great adventure story well narrated. I do not think it could be better told.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Ian
  • 03-05-2011

What a great audio book!

If you like a classic adventure story, and are at all interested in the sea and ships, you will appreciate this book. I read it years ago in print and really liked it, but the audiobook is even better. Bill Wallis is a superb narrator and his reading of this novel is among the best I've ever heard.
If you get the opportunity, try to listen to the first 2.5 hours in one sitting - as a sustained piece of nautical adventure writing, I don't think it could be bettered.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jane
  • 05-08-2010

great read

I remember reading this as a teenager -- it was the sort of book one could not put down. How would the same book appear after so many decades? Answer: it is still a riveting, beautifully written evocation of man and the wild oceans. The reader, Bill Wallis, was first rate: he didn't read this book it was a telling, a personal recounting....there is an immediacy about this presentation.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • Essam Shabana
  • 15-01-2015

A wonderful novel by a master storyteller

The beauty of the novel is only exceeded by the captivating performance of the narrator. An immersive atmosphere. Strongly recommended.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Thomas O. Danner
  • 21-08-2013

Best Rugged old sea story

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

This is my favorite sea story, because it captures so well the feel of a tramp steamer and it's supersticious crew, in the wake of a terrrible storm, and the underlying story, sealing the fate of the Mary Deare, culminating in a well told court room drama. A great mixture of adventure and drama masterfully told by the master, Hammond Innes.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Wreck of the Mary Deare?

The first encounter at the very start of the book, has you gripped right away, which continues to build through part one.

Which character – as performed by Bill Wallis – was your favorite?

Higgins, the first mate. A great voice! Hard to believe it's Bill's voice, perfect for the character.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

The book was made into a film with Charlton Heston as Sands, and Gary Cooper as Captain patch. It is a classic called, aptly, "The Wreck of the Mary Deare". Although not following exactly the same as the book, it is still a well done Movie, a classic old movie well worth seeing. I actually saw the movie first, and had to read the book. Neither disappointed me.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Rebecca
  • 08-08-2013

Old sea adventure!

What made the experience of listening to The Wreck of the Mary Deare the most enjoyable?

The best author for adventure on the seas. I read all of this author I could get my hands on in the 80's and was thrilled that I found it here. You won't be able to stop listening.

What did you like best about this story?

Pure adventure and suspense.

Which character – as performed by Bill Wallis – was your favorite?

He is good at telling this tale and keeps you interested.

Any additional comments?

Hope there will be more from this author! I would like to revisit them all.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Kim S.
  • 30-05-2019

A Truly Exceptional Sea Story

When I was a kid, looking for something good to read, my father would suggest that I try The Wreck of the Mary Deare by Hammond Innes. "It's a terrific sea story," he would tell me. Of course, I ignored his recommendation, dismissing it as "Dad" literature.

Fast forward 50 years. I have just finished listening to The Wreck of the Mary Dear on Audible. I feel I owe my Dad an apology because it is, indeed, a ripping good sea story. Innes creates an immersive atmosphere of elemental tension and danger from the very first paragraph and doesn't let up until the final page. This is old-fashioned adventure writing at its best, firmly grounded in reality with ordinary men placed in extraordinary circumstances.

To make the package complete, the narration is extraordinary. Each character is well-defined and the narrator's pitch and modulation perfectly suit every aspect of the story. I cannot recommend this highly enough (thanks Dad)..

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  • Railbird
  • 03-05-2019

The Wreck of the Mary Deare

This is a great sea story well deserving an excellent rating. Narration was also excellent.

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  • R
  • 21-01-2015

A great Seafaring Yarn

Where does The Wreck of the Mary Deare rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

It was well written and is a good tale. I would rank this high in the lists of books and typical of Innes

Who was your favorite character and why?

Bill Wallis has bought the story alive by clever characterization. The main character brings the story together and draws the best from the story.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

The saving of the ship by starting the boiler and trying to keep her afloat as the storm destroys the ship. A picture is painted that puts you in the centre of the struggle for survival.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

The sea does give up it's secrets.

Any additional comments?

It has reminded me of the work of Hammond Innes and I want to listen to some more of his work

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Peter Thomas
  • 15-07-2010

Surprsingly Good

Chose this because of the narrator, was very pleasantly surprised very well written beautifully narrated a gripping thriller with many twists and turns perhaps too much nautical detail but I really did enjoy it.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Robin B
  • 16-01-2012

Hammond Innes The Wreck of the Mary Deare

This is a wonderful tale, woven by Hammond Innes and brilliantly narrated by Bill Wallis. He conveys the hardship and completely brings to life the tough and miserable conditions through which the main characters endure - a truly great story teller. For anyone who has ever sailed around the Channel Islands area then this is a must. I really wish that there were more of these classic books (set in the late 40s early 50s) by authors such as Hammond Innes and Neville Shute on audio book. Please record some more Hammond Innes

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • StephenM
  • 30-01-2018

First Hammond Innes Novel

Really enjoyable, wanted to keep on listening full of suspense and mystery.
Narrator was really good made for easy listening.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Amy
  • 05-11-2017

Age shall not weary them.....

I thought this would seem a bit dated, but I was so wrong! Hammond Innes is a master storyteller.

Bill Wallis reads beautifully- he really took me to those places.

Thoroughly recommended.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Lee
  • 08-06-2017

A superb listen

Or so my husband says. Good story and plot. Worth a credit :) well read by the narrator.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Mrs G
  • 08-06-2019

Great story

I enjoyed reading this book many years ago and wasn’t too sure about listening to it. The story was vividly brought to life by wonderful narration . I thoroughly recommend this !

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  • Lola67
  • 13-11-2018

Hammond is truly the best

This book is a typical story from a Genius author ,his descriptions of every moment in this book makes the reader really live with patch and sands. Hammond s works may be old, but never out dated. My favourite author.

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  • R
  • 13-06-2018

Brilliant!

Very atmospheric. Captures the locations and draws the reader in, Hammond Innes books are riveting and this is one of the best I have listened to. Performance excellent.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 29-04-2018

An enthralling yarn, brilliantly narrated!

I enjoyed this audio book very much and thoroughly recommend it. The narrator was excellent.