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The Disastrous Voyage of the Santa Margarita

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The Disastrous Voyage of the Santa Margarita

Post by Astrodene on Thu 29 Oct 2009, 21:55

Must have missed this new novel when it came out at the end of last year.

It's based on the factual journey of a Galleon wrecked near the phillipines. I've added it to the website here

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Re: The Disastrous Voyage of the Santa Margarita

Post by reb01501 on Thu 29 Oct 2009, 22:35

bounce Is it a new Drinkwater? I thought he had ended that series ...

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Re: The Disastrous Voyage of the Santa Margarita

Post by Astrodene on Thu 29 Oct 2009, 22:44

No it seems to be a stand alone book. It's classed as fiction but from the reviews it seems to be closely woven into the factual history of the voyage set in 1601.

I'm surprised it was not mentioned in the interview he did with McBooks for the last quarterdeck

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Re: The Disastrous Voyage of the Santa Margarita

Post by pipester on Tue 10 Nov 2009, 12:11

This is one of the grimmest (and, yes, boring) sea stories I have ever read. A Galleon leaves Manila bound for Panama and encounters a seemingly endless series of typhoons. The despotic soldiers in command of the ship clash with the sailing masters and crew. The perfervid priests/monks/nuns wail ceaseless prayers and the pampered passengers stir up bad feelings on every side. Potentially interesting back stories remain underdeveloped. There are long, repeated discussions about God's will and man's initiative. Are the serial disasters punishment for this or that person's sins? Misery and death mount to unimaginable heights and the resolution (such as it is) is unsatisfactory -- I suppose that's Woodman's point, but it doesn't make for an enjoyable read.


Last edited by pipester on Tue 10 Nov 2009, 12:13; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : typos)

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Re: The Disastrous Voyage of the Santa Margarita

Post by Paul-B on Tue 11 Oct 2011, 18:08

I hope it's better than pipester seems to think - I've just acquired this as an audiobook, read by Terry Wale and am looking forward to listening to it.

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Re: The Disastrous Voyage of the Santa Margarita

Post by Joolz on Tue 11 Oct 2011, 21:24

we await your report Smile

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Re: The Disastrous Voyage of the Santa Margarita

Post by Joolz on Sat 05 May 2012, 18:57

@Paul-B wrote:I hope it's better than pipester seems to think
No, it isn't! I have at last got around to reading it and agree with Pipester's assessment. It is unremitting doom, gloom, turmoil and conflict with few likeable characters. And, you just know from an early stage that it will have a nasty ending. Woodman never fails to write well, but this was not an enjoyable read for me. It's based on a real wreck, but it's unclear how much of the novel is actually true.

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Re: The Disastrous Voyage of the Santa Margarita

Post by 80 Winters on Mon 04 Jun 2012, 04:33

Hey, what the heck. I'm a glutton for punishment (and I've already professed that Richard Woodman is my favorite author), so I'm making this the next "take" out of the stack. I've done a bit of "historical research" and found there seem to be more than one Santa Margarita involved in sea disasters (or maybe not). "I shall return"......

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Re: The Disastrous Voyage of the Santa Margarita

Post by 80 Winters on Mon 04 Jun 2012, 15:42

Time to put this one down for today, but at the 1/3 point I can say that, while it's not all "singing and dancing" at the fo'c'sle, it is a story to be told and Richard Woodman, I believe, tells them as good as any.

More to come.

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Re: The Disastrous Voyage of the Santa Margarita

Post by 80 Winters on Wed 06 Jun 2012, 03:12

Finished this one "late" last night. It wasn't that "I couldn't put it down", but more that I needed to get to the end, so that I could sleep undisturbed.

While I have nothing to counter the reviews by Joolz or Pipester above, and I agree that Woodman's easily recognizable style and readability are there from start to finish, I do search for the author's "message". Is it as Pipester believes? If so, then what I searched for was not the message, but the "root cause(s)" of the primary conflict on board this ill fated voyage.

The ceaseless confrontation, violence and tragic consequences, while not boring to me, did appear to be "more of the same" filling or padding as I guess there wasn't much that was different happening during the "fortnight" times that are passed over with little or no comment.

It all finally comes together in the last chapters and "if you're still with it" you too feel like one of the "survivors". That being said, the aftermath is not one that you would predict.

While this is not a "warm and comfortable" read, it is "pure Woodman" and shows his expansive capability for writing.

It's in my library.

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