HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: The Blood Ship
Author: Norman Springer
Publisher: Qontro Classic Books, republished in 2010
Related website: http://www.Qontro.com (publisher)
Language level: 3
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing and/or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing and/or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Recommended reading level: Ages 16 and up
Rating: **** 4 stars (GOOD)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Springer, Norman. The Blood Ship (originally published in 1922 by W. J. Watt and Company; republished in 2010 by Qontro Classic Books, a division of Filiquarian Publishing LLC, Middletown, DE). In answer to a request by a writer for a story about the mysterious “King” Waldon of Samoa, old Captain Jack Shreve relates the story of his first voyage out of San Francisco, CA, as a nineteen year old able bodied seaman on the Golden Bough with the devilish Captain Angus “Black Yankee” Swope. One of Shreve’s crewmates was “A. Newman,” who is later revealed to be Roy Waldon. Swope had deceived Roy’s beloved Mary into thinking that Roy had abandoned her. He then killed Mary’s father, framed Roy for the murder, and married Mary. After getting out of prison, “Newman” ships aboard the Golden Bough to get his revenge. What will happen to Swope? What will happen to Newman? What will happen to Mary? And what role will Shreve play in everything?
The Blood Ship is a well told sea adventure. There is some rough language. Not only do numerous references to blasphemies, cursing, and swearing occur, but the “d” and “h” words are found rather frequently and the Lord’s name is taken in vain quite often. While I do not care for such language in any book, to be fair, this one was not written for children but for adults. However, for those who are willing to put up with it, the colorful, believable characters, such as the evil mate Fitzgibbon and the dutiful, but also hard, Lynch, along with a fiendish spy, a woe-begone parson, and a mutinous crew, and a credible, intriguing plot, make this a very readable story of love lost, treachery, treasure, and murder on a fast clipper ship. A newer version was published in 2016 by Leopold Classic Library. The book was made into a 1927 silent drama film directed by George B. Seitz and starring Hobart Bosworth.