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Dead Men Tell No Tales

E. W. Hornung

Book Overview: 

Hornung was the third son of John Peter Hornung, a Hungarian, and was born in Middlesbrough. He was educated at Uppingham during some of the later years of its great headmaster, Edward Thring. He spent most of his life in England and France, but in 1884 left for Australia and stayed for two years where he working as a tutor at Mossgiel station. Although his Australian experience had been so short, it colored most of his literary work from A Bride from the Bush to Old Offenders and a few Old Scores, which appeared after his death.

After he returned from Australia in 1886, he married Constance Doyle, the sister of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in 1893. (Wikipedia)

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .If you have seen the sun set in the tropics, you would despise my description; and, if not, I for one could never make you see it. Suffice it that a petrel wheeled somewhere between deepening carmine and paling blue, and it took my thoughts off at an earthy tangent. I thanked God there were no big sea-birds in these latitudes; no molly-hawks, no albatrosses, no Cape-hens. I thought of an albatross that I had caught going out. Its beak and talons were at the bottom with the charred remains of the Lady Jermyn. But I could see them still, could feel them shrewdly in my mind's flesh; and so to the old superstition, strangely justified by my case; and so to the poem which I, with my special experience, not unnaturally consider the greatest poem ever penned.

But I did not know it then as I do now—and how the lines eluded me! I seemed to see them in the book, yet I could not read the words!

"Water, water, everywhere, Nor any d. . . Read More

Community Reviews

This classic begins with the whole sea tragedy after an ocean love episode then slips into the survival then rescue adventure, and becomes a tad bit confusing until the mystery eventually plays out.

E.W. Hornung's "Dead Men Tell No Tales" is not a bad book, but its relatively slight plot is overwhelmed by its overwrought language -- the type often found in books from the Victorian era. In the Sherlock Holmes stories by Arthur Conan Doyle (who happened to be Hornung's brother-in-law), that type

The classic story ties together themes of adventure and romance. Hornung’s traditional writing style is incredibly descriptive and can be often relaxing to read. The story of Dead Men Tell No Tales doesn’t rush but rather takes it’s time to develop characters and provide indulgent details for reader

Delizioso libro di un autore per me ingoto, che è comunque riuscito a sorprendermi. Devo assolutamente approfondire la sua conoscenza!!! Grazioso il "colpo di scena" finale ...more

Entertaining story with so much time-period-appropriate-I-guess racism and misogyny that it was a bit of a slog.

I'm surprised that the ratings are so low and that the reviews tend towards the negative for this book.

I thought it was a very engaging story and revealed quite a bit about English mores and manners at around the turn of the (20th) century.

There's a hard-boiled plot that starts with a disaster at se

I finished this a week ago and forgot to enter it onto my completed list

I find that with these old mysteries I have no idea where the story will go. This one started with a steam and sail powered cruise, a love story, gold and notorious bad guy guys who will do anything to keep their gold.

Not a bad story. I did enjoy it more than the Raffles tales but that's just me.

The title of this book is way more interesting than the actual book. I love saying it with a graveling voice and no inflection at all (maybe I mean monotone). There were moments though in this book where the tempo would pick up and something exciting would happen, but for the most part it was rather

Okay. It is exactly what you expect from the period and the genre, no more and no less.

Add another 1/2 star for coining or using a most excellent phrase in the title.

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