September 18 , 2007

The Ocean

A Novel


Five shipwrecked passengers fight panic, thirst, and the sea itself

One minute, sailor Joseph Curtain is in his bunk. The next, he is submerged in the ocean. A German torpedo has struck the Aurora, and she is sinking fast. Curtain makes his way to a lifeboat and guides the survivors aboard. There are only six of them, and when the submarine’s machine gun rakes the side of their boat, the number dwindles to five. Alongside Curtain are three men of various character and an elderly chaplain who is too sick to speak. Hope is slim, but Curtain will do what he must to survive.

He organizes the party into watches, rationing their food and enforcing strict discipline. But as their time in the boat stretches on, Curtain realizes that this tiny craft and its flagging crew are hardly a match for the power of the ocean.

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