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Nautical Fiction Index

Authors Jo - Ju

Johnson, Charles R. (1948- )

Middle Passage. Atheneum, 1990. 209 pages

Rutherford Calhoun, freed slave, con man and n'er-do-well, escapes creditors and and blackmailers in 1830s New Orleans by stowing away on THE REPUBLIC, a slaver bound for the coast of Africa. Crewed by an assortment of social misfits, THE REPUBLIC takes on the last remants of the Allmuseri, a tribe of mystics (some say sorcerers), and a large, mysterious crate with the aura of the supernatural. The story is told through Calhoun's eyes, and traces his transformation as he confronts his private demons during what could only be described as the sea voyage from Hell. An engaging book which unfortunately suffers from sloppy editing, particularly in historic details.



Johnson, Gerald S.

Tropical Furlough. Harrap, 1964. 264 pages

Lieutenant Jim Bradford is appointed supernumerary in the Royal Indian Navy freighter BANGALORE at Colombo in 1944. As the only other white man he shares the accommodation of the huge Russian captain on the voyage to Diego Garcia. She is caught by a typhoon, her machinery and radio destroyed. Left with a permanent list she is only afloat because of timely precautions. Six of her people are still alive and they drift, trying to escape the Great Oval Current of the Indian Ocean, for months. A Japanese raiding submarine sails from Singapore destroying any enemy commerce in her path including the steamer, CORAL QUEEN, that connects Diego Garcia with Mauritius leaving only a handful of survivors, aboard a lifeboat close to death. The scene is now set for the novel's conclusion.



Johnson, James Leonard (1927- )

The Nine Lives of Alphonse. Lippincott, 1968. 256 pages

2nd novel in the "Code Name Sebastian" series. Rev. Raymond Sebastian attempts to rescue Cuban defectors using an untested midget sub.



Johnson, Walter Reed

Oakhurst. New American Library, 1978. 343 pages

American Jeremy Beaufort is pressed into the RN, fights French, and becomes slaver in War of 1812.



Johnston, Mary (1870-1936)

1492. Little, Brown, 1922. 315 pages

This is the story of Columbus, but it is not told through the eyes of an academic or an historian. It is told by a simple sailor-a Christian of secret Jewish ancestry-whose hopes and fears not only makes the story more engaging, but all the more realistic.


The Slave Ship. Little, Brown, 1924. 330 pages

In the 17th century a Scotsman is shipped off to a Virginia plantation, escapes, signs onto slaver and takes up the trade.



Johnston, Ronald (1926- )

Inoco fleet series:

  1. Collision Ahead. Doubleday, 1965. 232 pages

    INOCO MONARCH, on her maiden voyage, collides with a T-2 Tanker in the English Channel in clear weather during daylight. Was the collision caused by the T-2's drunken captain or mechanical failure, or did the MONARCH's retiring captain show bad judgement?

  2. The Angry Ocean. Harcourt, Brace & World, 1968. 222 pages

    A revolutionary 500,000 ton tanker is on its shakedown cruise when a nearby volcanic island erupts creating a 300-foot high tsunami. Survival is complicated by the need to rescue nearby Japanese fishermen, rather than running away from the wave at flank speed, and also by a structural flaw in the new supertanker and the fact that mangaement has saddled her with two captains!

  3. Sea Story. Atheneum, 1980. 309 pages

    James Bruce, forced out at INOCO and suffering a busted marriage, returns to the sea as the second officer of a gas tanker, SEAGAS II to salve his wounds. He discovers that the Seagas line is operating on a shoestring and cutting safety corners. After an accident aboard that kills the captain, he is put in command, and sets about both whipping his command in shape and saving Seagas.


Disaster at Dungeness. Collins, 1964. 225 pages

A supertanker makes her way up the English Channel on the completion of her maiden voyage. We follow her every move until the incident the title suggests occurs. This part is well done but at nearly forty years distance it already has an historic aspect. The ship itself is just over thirty thousand tons gross, there are no separation lanes, no Anglo-French Control and nowhere in the book do the words "ecological" and "environment" occur. The last third, and least satisfactory part of the book, deals with the Court of Enquiry that follows.


Red Sky in the Morning. Collins, 1965. 191 pages

A gun running yacht runs onto a reef on a tiny Caribbean island during a hurricane. The rescued Cuban crew prove more dangerous to the islanders than the weather.


The Wrecking of Offshore Five. Harcourt, Brace & World, 1968. 191 pages

A WW II mine emerges from the ooze of the North Sea and drifts down on a veteran oil rig with disastrous results.


The Flying Dutchman. Macdonald, 1983. 221 pages

She was the first of her class; a nuclear powered big gas tanker. To her master and owners she was the ultimate and their future depended on her. But to the world's politicians she was vote and attention grabber supreme, and that made her a pariah hounded from port to port, never allowed to drop anchor.



Johnstone, Charles

Chrysal, or the Adventure of a Guinea : Wherein are exhibited views of several striking scenes, with curious and interested anecdotes of the most noted persons in every rank of life, whose hands it passed through. T. Becket, 1760. 2 volumes

Burlesque of Smollett's The Adventures of Roderick Random.



Jonas, Carl

Beachhead on the Wind. Little, Brown, 1945. 212 pages

Tensions on a US Navy ship as it heads home.



Jones, J. Farragut [pseud. Len Levinson] (1935- )

Silent Service:

  1. Waters Dark and Deep. Dell, 1981. 363 pages

    Brilliant engineer Lt. Cdr. Ben Mount has two obstacles to overcome in his dream of being a submarine commander: he's Jewish in the American Navy of 1940, and he suffers from claustrophobia! He is ordered to England to work with the RN sub service. At the climax of the book, he sees his British friend get wounded, boards his British sub, takes over command(!), and accomplishes the mission in a way that truly defies suspension of disbelief.

  2. Forty Fathoms Down. Dell, 1981. 378 pages

    Fictionalized account of a US sub that sinks during pre-WW II peacetime operations, requiring rescue of its crew. Based *very* loosely on the SQUALUS incident.

  3. The Scourge of Scapa Flow. Dell, 1981. 352 pages

    Fictionalized account of Gunter Prein's raid on Scapa Flow, including assistance by German agent's ashore.

  4. Pearl Harbor Periscopes. Dell, 1981. 332 pages

    The USS STICKLEBACK is off to attack the Japanese fleet in home seas, create illusion of entire killer pack.

  5. Tracking the Wolfpack. Dell, 1981. 319 pages

    Germany's leading submarine ace versus a Royal Navy bent of revenge.



Jones, Robert F. (1934-2002)

Blood Tide. Atlantic Monthly, 1990. 272 pages

Young woman and her ex-Vietnam War POW father sail a schooner to the Philippines to recover her stolen ketch, encountering pirates and drug smugglers in the treacherous Flyaway Islands.



Jones, Tristan (1924-1995)

Dutch treat: a Novel of World War II. Andrews and McMeel, 1979. 271 pages

Thames barge at Dunkirk.


Aka. Macmillan, 1981. 205 pages

Dolphins try to save drowning solo yacht racer.



Jordan, Humfrey (1885-1963)

The Commander Shall --. Angus & Robertson, 1934. 280 pages

On Captain Gaunt's first voyage to Australia as commander of a fast passenger liner he has to deal with murder, a fire etc.


This Island Demands. Hodder & Stoughton, 1941. 320 pages

The Second World War has just started and Captain Pell is bound to Australia, in his cargo ship, where he embarks passengers anxious to return to the UK. Now familiar with the foibles and quirks of the passengers and crew, we read how, in the Indian Ocean, a German surface raider destroys the radio and damages the ship's propeller. Pell and his crew struggle to save the drifting freighter so she can continue her voyage to Britain. A novel of the time and for the time.


Decency of Hate. Hodder & Stoughton, 1943. 192 pages


Day Without Evening. Hodder & Stoughton, 1944. 240 pages



Joseph, Mark

To Kill The Potemkin. D.I. Fine, 1986. 255 pages

Submarine thriller, set in 1968, about conflict between a US SKIPJACK-class submarine and the first Soviet Alfa-class boat. Poor on technical detail, but some good characterisation and a nicely twisted plot.


Typhoon. Simon & Schuster, 1991. 300 pages

Russian faction plans nuclear incident to regain Soviet power. Other Russian sub commander tries to prevent it, while US sub watches and tries to figure out what's going on.



Judd, Denis (1938- )

The Adventures of Long John Silver. St. Martin's, 1977. 219 pages

A dying John Silver finds an adult Jim Hawkins, and tells the good doctor of his exploits prior to the events in Treasure Island.


Return to Treasure Island. St. Martin's, 1978. 209 pages

During a reunion with Jim Hawkins, Long John Silver tells of his tireless quest to recover the remaining treasure from Treasure Island.