Mutiny on the Globe: The Fatal Voyage of Samuel Comstock
Thomas Farel Heffernan
Penguin, 2003 (2002)
Reviewed by David Pitt
am Comstock came out of a wealthy family; an ambitious young fellow, he signed aboard a whaling vessel, the Globe, in 1822. Among his personal effects were some medical supplies, some weapons, and various tools. Two years into the voyage of the Globe, Comstock engineered a mutiny, taking over the ship and setting course for the Marshall Islands, where he planned to live out his dream of ruling over his own island kingdom.
ut there was a hitch: barely had he reached his new home when Comstock himself was murdered, by the very men he'd recruited to help him in his mutiny. What happened next is ... well, it's best left to Heffernan to tell. Let's just say this story would make a terrific film: it's got danger, excitement, suspense, and real-life characters as compelling as anyone who stepped off the pages of fiction.
effernan, an expert in the history of whaling, tells the story with a close attention to detail, plunking us firmly down on the Globe with the mutineers, making us feel like our lives, too, are in danger. I love stuff like this -- history told with flair, as though it were high drama, or perhaps opera -- and I gobbled up
Mutiny on the Globe
as fast as I could. You will, too.
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