Erskine Childers Geoffrey Household
The Riddle of the Sands: A Record of Secret Service
September 21, 2019 Comments.. 507
The Riddle of the Sands: A Record of Secret Service Erskine Childers Geoffrey Household This book is widely regarded as the first classic spy novel Two unlikely sailing companions stumble into intrigue off the North Sea coast of pre World War I Germany.. The Riddle of the Sands A Record of Secret Service This book is widely regarded as the first classic spy novel Two unlikely sailing companions stumble into intrigue off the North Sea coast of pre World War I Germany
  • Title: The Riddle of the Sands: A Record of Secret Service
  • Author: Erskine Childers Geoffrey Household
  • ISBN: 9780140009057
  • Page: 475
  • Format: Paperback
  • The Riddle of the Sands: A Record of Secret Service Erskine Childers Geoffrey Household

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      Posted by:Erskine Childers Geoffrey Household
      Published :2019-09-21T01:17:04+00:00

    1 Blog on “The Riddle of the Sands: A Record of Secret Service

    1. Jeffrey Keeten says:

      I have read of men who, when forced by their calling to live for long periods in utter solitude save for a few black faces have made it a rule to dress regularly for dinner in order to maintain their self respect and prevent a relapse into barbarism It was in some such spirit, with an added touch of self consciousness, that, at seven o clock in the evening of September 23 in recent years, I was making my evening toilet in my chambers in Pall Mall I thought the date and the placed justified the p [...]

    2. Paul says:

      2.5 stars rounded upThis novel is quite an oddity a very early example of the spy genre and very influential amongst later writers like Le Carre, Follett and Fleming and comparable to Haggard and Buchan Its author a traditional example of the stuff that made the Empire Of course, nothing is that simple and Childers went from being an ardent supporter of the British Empire, serving in the Boer War and being decorated in the First World War to being an ardent supporter of Irish independence and me [...]

    3. David says:

      Erskine Childers was shot by firing squad during the Irish civil war in 1922 According to , his last words were a joke at the expense of his executioners Take a step or two forward, lads It will be easier that way His son was subsequently elected fourth president of Ireland in an upset election in the 1970 s, sadly to die in office a year or so later Whatever the circumstances of his life and death, this story is a cracking good read , one of the earliest novels in the genre of spy fiction Don t [...]

    4. Cphe says:

      A bit misleading, the cover of this historical thriller Initially thought that this novel was set in Egypt instead of the German Coast pre WW1 Found this to be a slow read indeed, had a boys own adventure feel to it.A bit of a slow burner for sure but some wonderful atmosphere and dialogue A lot of nautical terms which I wasn t familiar with but I do enjoy novels where the underdog triumphs against all odds.A seafaring adventure but takes some patience to get through with an abrupt ending.

    5. Jane says:

      This book and the movie adaptation was much loved in my family home Childers wrote it pre WWI and it s based on a sailing trip he took around the Frisian sands.The book is told from Carruther s perspective He is wasting away summer in London s Foreign Office when he receives a missive from an old university friend, Davies, who is sailing in the Baltic Sea and is in desperate need of supplies Cheered up with the thought of spending a few weeks pleasure cruising, Carruthers packs his trunks to joi [...]

    6. Shovelmonkey1 says:

      I read this book because I totally thought it was about something else This is what happens when you see a book on a list, in this case the 1001 books to read before you die list, and run off at a tangent because it has the word sand in the title Did I pause to read the 1001BTRBYD entry concerning this book Nope I bought it in a second hand store, motored home and curled up on the sofa with the vague and woolly notion of getting some sort of desert based mystery, possibly with an archaeological [...]

    7. Laura says:

      It was quite interesting to read which inspired the modern espionage books.According to Mark Valentine,he ranked it in the top five spy stories of the 20th century, along with Buchan s The 39 Steps, Conrad s The Secret Agent Somerset Maugham s Ashenden and the now unjustly overlooked Bretherton, a Great War tale by Major W.F Morris.This was the only fiction book written by Childers who was unfaithful charged by treason since he was found in possession of a firearm a capital offense by the Irish [...]

    8. El says:

      I m not sure I ve ever been so happy to finish a book.From what I understand The Riddle of the Sands is considered one of the first spy stories at 1903 , though the validity of that statement is easily debatable Regardless, I m glad to see spy stories have improved significantly Remember in Moby Dick unabridged there are all those chapters about the history of whaling, and whaling boats, and the anatomy of a whale, and what parts can be used for food and candlemaking and whatever else That s sor [...]

    9. Susan says:

      This book was given to me with the enticement of its being the first spy novel This may be true, but just as the first submarine was clunky and didn t submerge much, The Riddle of the Sands is heavy, outmoded and pretty much no fun to read Like some of the John Buchan novels Buchan was a fan of Childers , it is part propaganda, meant to spur on the Brits to prepare themselves against a German attack Published in 1903, it was later seen as prescient so, historically, it has interest It is also su [...]

    10. ^ says:

      Not to be missed.The publisher states on the back cover that this thrilling adventure is now regarded as the first and one of the best spy novels ever written, inspiring later masters of the genre from John Buchan to John le Carre The premise of the storyline is not so far fetched as one might initially suppose, given that the First World War broke out only eleven years later.First published in 1903, part of the charm of this book lies in remembering the naval technologies of that day Sailing bo [...]

    11. Tim says:

      This is a great model for the kind of fiction I love to read a mostly forgotten novel that evokes a very different place and time It is billed as one of the first spy novels ever written 1903 , a template for the modern thriller, but that s not what I like about it It s the way it transports us to a time that is now forgotten.You see, the future always updates the past We know the end of the story, and we interpret the beginning through the lens of the end So we know all about WWI and the strugg [...]

    12. Mikela says:

      Considered to be the first of the modern spy espionage thriller genre, this book set prior to World War I, was purported to have given the British Admiralty a wake up call about the vulnerability of England should the Germans wage a surprise attack and to take action to prevent that from happening Davies, a young man with considerable sailing knowledge and love of the sea is convinced that while sailing near the German Frisian Islands, an attempt was made to kill him in order to stop Davies from [...]

    13. DeAnna Knippling says:

      A novel of British sang froid and spycraft, full of too many details and completely convincing Enjoyed.

    14. Alan says:

      This is a gripping, fascinating account of sailing and running aground on the sandbars of the marshy reaches in Frisia and Holland I read this maybe a dozen years ago, after I had crewed on the midnight watch watch and watch, four hours each coming up from Jacksonville, FLA to Westport, MA And I had crewed for a week in Penobscot Bay, ME, where I learned from charts that Maine has 3500 islands and they all look alike, though they do vary from rocks with one pine to rocks and rocks with pines and [...]

    15. Peter says:

      This is one of those books where you don t want the plot to unravel too quickly because you are enjoying the journey so much When a competent seaman with frustrated Naval aspirations stumbles across suspicious German activity on the Friesian coast, he invites his German speaking friend, a sophisticated but minor civil servant to help him investigate under the pretext of a shooting holiday The bored city gent Carruthers accepts and discovers the multiple challenges of impromptu, amateur espionage [...]

    16. Evan says:

      This is a richly detailed yachting novel that happens to have a spy plot, the author s vision of spying as real as the vision boys with wooden swords in a treehouse might have of piracy There is an admirable sense of atmosphere in the book, but hardly ever a sense of suspense The complexity of characterization is far deeper than Childers s ability to make his characters interesting Many passages stink of a florid, Victorian prose, and the much praised dinner scene near the end of the book is jus [...]

    17. Jenny (Reading Envy) says:

      Up for free in audio from Forgotten Classics.

    18. Perry Whitford says:

      They ve got no colonies to speak of, and must have them, like us When all is said and done, is there a clearer, simpler way to explain why a war between Germany and her imperial rivals in Europe was certain to happen For the prescient Erskine Childers WWI was an inevitability than a decade before it finally took place, which prompted him to write this wake up call for the British government, which also turned out to be the first modern day espionage novel.Davies, an English yachtsman indulging [...]

    19. Darcy says:

      Erskine Childers The Riddle of the Sands not to be confused with Geoffrey Knight s The Riddle of the Sands is an odd Edwardian book that can t really be classified as non fiction, but doesn t read much like novel, either Childers himself wanted it that way had it not been for the publisher, even the weak love plot would have been stripped away entirely, and the book mostly would have consisted of maps of the German coastline and log entries such as wind WNW, steered ENE, fifty knots Riveting stu [...]

    20. booklady says:

      I ve had this book on my shelves for so many years and then delayed reading it I was worried my edition might not be pictured here on Of course I needn t have feared Riddle of the Sands is such a classic and the folks here on so resourceful, every edition of this early English spy novel is bound to be listed though I wouldn t know them all.I read and listened to this book and I m not sure I would have gotten through it any other way It s very technical for this non sea faring gal Over and over a [...]

    21. Chris says:

      I don t normally seek out thrillers, even classic ones such as The Riddle of the Sands, and though this has historic interest set just before the Second Boer War and scant years before the death of Victoria it s not a period I m particularly interested in Add to this that it s about sailing on the North Sea coast of Germany when dismal autumnal fogs abound and it sounds like a novel I would normally pass over But after an initially slow but deliberately drab beginning the story picks up, starts [...]

    22. Scott says:

      Often described as the first English spy novelist, Erskine Childers wrote The Riddle of the Sands 1903 some ten years before the outbreak of World War I to awaken the British public to the dangers posed by an increasingly aggressive Germany The plot starts off simply while yachting in the Frisian islands, two young English gentlemen Davies Carruthers become entangled in an odd series of events involving a dangerous captain, his lovely daughter, and sunken treasure But in spite of these romantic [...]

    23. Tim Robinson says:

      Don t read the official review, as it is a spoiler.Caruthers works in the foreign office and is stranded in London while all his friends are off on holiday Suddenly, he gets an unexpected invitation to do some yachting and duck shooting on the Baltic with old school acquaintance Davies.The first half of the book is Three Men in a Boat meets Three Men on a Bummel, messing about in a tiny vessel off the coast of Germany This part is rather too long, but persist It transpires that Davies has a stor [...]

    24. John says:

      This really didn t rock my boat pun fully intended If I had had many years of direct nautical experience and knew by heart the meanings of the plethora of nautical terms used here, things may have been different I didn t like myself or the author by the end of the book, though the book s two central characters I found appealing The most interesting factor here for me was that this book was published in 1902, 12 years before the outbreak of the Great War Anyone reading the novel, prior to the out [...]

    25. Lobstergirl says:

      This is Childers only novel, written as propaganda to urge the British government to develop defenses against a possible German invasion pre World War I, or at least mandatory naval service Yachtsman Davies has persuaded his Oxford acquaintance Carruthers, not entirely forthrightly, to accompany him as mate on a meandering journey through the North Sea waters and sands of the German East Frisian Islands, at high tide and low, on the cramped Dulcibella We soon find out that Davies needs Carruther [...]

    26. Bethan says:

      If you are interested in sailing, READ THIS Lots of sailing terminology and even maps provided And if you like that very classic British feel from the early twentieth century the fact that Childers was embarrassed to put in a love story because his publisher made him kind of says it all and a spy story It s two chaps finding themselves together on a decrepit old boat on the German shores and trying to find out what is going on there espionage It was just OK for me but it s an early classic in th [...]

    27. Manray9 says:

      Erskine Childers Riddle of the Sands is interesting as a historical specimen than a novel The plot develops too slowly and is, ultimately, rather far fetched It was a popular sensation when published in 1903 and hence Childers is often credited with creation of the first spy novel Many critics see him as the predecessor of John Buchan and Eric Ambler The lengthy sections of the novel dealing with the minutiae of small craft navigation under canvas may not be of interest to those without familia [...]

    28. Mieczyslaw Kasprzyk says:

      I read this in my youth, enjoyed it, bought a copy to read again, enjoyed it and passed it one then repeated the whole process a few years later It s a reasonably good spy story but it s also nicely intertwined with a book about sailing which actually turns out to be quite interesting.

    29. Kim says:

      The Riddle of the Sands A Record of Secret Service is a 1903 novel written by Erskine Childers According to the back of the book it is regarded as the first important British spy novel and one of the best examples of the genre ever written I m not sure who regarded it as those things it just says by many critics on the back and that could be just about anybody, although I guess it means those people who sit around telling us how horrible or wonderful, usually horrible, a book is and I don t pay [...]

    30. Dave says:

      One problem with reading the first of something is how annoying it can be when it doesn t give you what you expect Anyone who already likes mystery stories can be disappointed by reading Poe s Murders in the Rue Morgue or Collins s The Moonstone because the authors break the rules that didn t yet exist This is like that This is an early Spy Story, but really it s mostly a novel about two friends getting to know one another while sailing around the sandy northern coast of Holland and Germany I me [...]

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