Rate this book

Batavia (2011)

by Peter FitzSimons(Favorite Author)
4.13 of 5 Votes: 5
1864710403 (ISBN13: 9781864710403)
Random House
review 1: An account of the wrecking of the VOC Flagship the Batavia off the WA coast in the 1600s, and what happened when hundreds of people were stranded on tiny unprotected islands with dwindling food and water supplies. This book was so interesting I read it in one 6-hour sitting. When I went to Perth in 2012 I went and saw the remains of the Batavia in one of the maritime museums in Fremantle, but at that time I knew nothing about it. This book is written in a dramatised style based on the journals and letters of survivors. As such it is as accurate as possible, but still has a narrative. The series of events culminates in an exciting convergence of circumstances that I would probably have called contrived if I saw it in a movie, but that's the way it was. That's what kept me g... moreoing even though it was 4 am. What is of greatest interest here is how different people respond to such extreme circumstances and what it reveals about us as a species. I couldn't help imagining what I would do in that situation.
review 2: The first third of the book was pretty slow and hadn't quite found its narrative pace(or maybe I just found it boring), but starting with the shipwreck, it became a fast paced and gripping tale. While I enjoyed it, I did have a hard time reconciling in my head the factual story and the highly embellished narrative style in which it was told. Whole conversations were made up, people's feelings were recounted in detail and characters developed in a way you only find in fiction. Clearly, there just wasn't enough historical material to make a compelling tale without the embellishments, but the author did a good job of painting a picture of how and why all the mass murders could have gone down. Because it read so much like fiction, I kept having to remind myself that the killings did actually happen and stop myself from questioning WHY the author decided to kill off this or that character in that manner. I was also greatly dissapointed to not find out what had happened to certain characters (I mean historical figures) after the survivors made it back to Batavia. less
Reviews (see all)
This book was great and to think that it was real, for the most part. I really enjoyed it.
a very enjoyable book.. author did a great job of fleshing out the story of the Batavia.
Fascinating - a rare piece of early Dutch-Australia history!
A very good read of something I knew very little about.
Fantastic Read, would recommend this book to all
Write review
Review will shown on site after approval.
(Review will shown on site after approval)