The Wager by David Grann

The Wager by David Grann

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From the international bestselling author of KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON and THE LOST CITY OF Z, a mesmerising story of shipwreck, mutiny and murder, culminating in a court martial that reveals a shocking truth.
On 28th January 1742, a ramshackle vessel of patched-together wood and cloth washed up on the coast of Brazil. Inside were thirty emaciated men, barely alive, and they had an extraordinary tale to tell. They were survivors of His Majesty’s ship the 
Wager, a British vessel that had left England in 1740 on a secret mission during an imperial war with Spain. While chasing a Spanish treasure-filled galleon, the Wager was wrecked on a desolate island off the coast of Patagonia. The crew, marooned for months and facing starvation, built the flimsy craft and sailed for more than a hundred days, traversing 2,500 miles of storm-wracked seas. They were greeted as heroes.
Then, six months later, another, even more decrepit, craft landed on the coast of Chile. This boat contained just three castaways and they had a very different story to tell. The thirty sailors who landed in Brazil were not heroes – they were mutineers. The first group responded with counter-charges of their own, of a tyrannical and murderous captain and his henchmen. While stranded on the island the crew had fallen into anarchy, with warring factions fighting for dominion over the barren wilderness. As accusations of treachery and murder flew, the Admiralty convened a court martial to determine who was telling the truth. The stakes were life-and-death—for whomever the court found guilty could hang.


"The story of The Wager is, like many of its antecedents - from Homer's Odyssey to Mutiny on the Bounty - a testement to the depths of human depravity and the heights of human endurance, and you can't ask for better than that from a story... The Wager will keep you in its grip to its head-stratching, improbable end." ― The Los Angeles Times

"A tour de force of narrative nonfiction, Mr. Grann’s account shows how storytelling, whether to judges or readers, can shape individual and national fortunes—as well as our collective memory... The Wager is likely to cast a powerful spell on modern readers as well." ― Wall Street Journal

"Those who love yarns involving cannon fire, sea-chests, plum duff and mainmasts will find The Wager riveting, as will those less intrigued by the age of sail. In the hands of David Grann, the story transcends its naval setting... [Grann] is a master of exciting tales in far-flung places. He has produced a volume so dramatic and engrossing that it may surpass his previous books." ― The Economist

Trade Paperback
Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK
ISBN: 978-0385549868
Pages: 352