Best 1932 Adventures (2)

By: Joshua Glenn
April 6, 2017

One in a series of 10 posts identifying Josh Glenn’s favorite 1932 adventure novels. Happy 85th anniversary!

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Charles Nordhoff and James Norman Hall’s historical seafaring adventure Mutiny on the Bounty.

In 1787, the Bounty sets sail for the West Indies. Captain Bligh, we realize in the first part of the story, is not a kind-hearted man, and the life of a British sailor is brutal; by the time the ship arrives in Tahiti, a beautiful land populated by noble savages, the crew has become restive. In the book’s dramatic third section, Bligh begins to demean his officers, particularly Mr. Christian — who leads a mutiny against Bligh and eighteen of his loyal followers. Bligh and his men must make a desperate trek — across thousands of miles of open sea — in an open boat, before they arrive safely home. The Bounty returns to Tahiti, where several of the non-mutineers and a few of the mutineers decide to stay. Five years later, the Tahitian colonists are captured and brought back to England, where they face a dramatic trial. The book’s narrator, Roger Byam, wasn’t a mutineer — yet he may hang…

Fun facts: Loosely based on a true story. The Bounty Trilogy continues with Men Against the Sea and Pitcairn’s Island. Mutiny on the Bounty was adapted as movie in 1935 (with Charles Laughton and Clark Gable) and 1962 (with Marlon Brando, Trevor Howard, and Richard Harris).

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Let me know if I’ve missed any 1932 adventures that you particularly admire. Also, please check out these additional lists. The 200 Greatest Adventure Novels of All Time. THE OUGHTS (1904–13): 1905 | 1906 | 1907 | 1910 | 1911 | 1912. THE TEENS (1914–23): 1915 | 1916 | 1917 | 1920 | 1921 | 1922. THE TWENTIES (1924–33): 1925 | 1926 | 1927 | 1930 | 1931 | 1932. THE THIRTIES (1934–43): 1935 | 1936 | 1937 | 1940 | 1941 | 1942. THE FORTIES (1944–53): 1945 | 1946 | 1947 | 1950 | 1951 | 1952. THE FIFTIES (1954–63): 1955 | 1956 | 1957 | 1960 | 1961 | 1962. THE SIXTIES (1964–73): 1964 | 1965 | 1966 | 1967 | 1970 | 1971 | 1972. THE SEVENTIES (1974–83): 1975 | 1976 | 1977 | 1980 | 1981 | 1982. The goal, eventually, is to publish a Top 10 Adventures list for every year of the 20th century.

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Adventure, Lit Lists

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