The Castaways

Published: 1870
Language: English
Wordcount: 46,155 / 139 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 71.6
LoC Category: PN
Downloads: 1,510
Added to site: 2007.04.28
mnybks.net#: 16704
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Excerpt

old upon his fevered brain, producing a quick reaction of reason; and his cries for help, now in piteous tones sent back to the boat, showed that he understood the peril in which he had placed himself.

They were not unheeded. Murtagh and the Malay rushed, or rather tottered, to the oars; while the captain threw himself into the stern, and took hold of the tiller-ropes.

In an instant the pinnace was headed round, and moving through the water in the direction of the swimmer; who, on his side, swam toward them, though evidently with feeble stroke. There seemed not much doubt of their being able to pick him up. The only danger thought of by any of them was the zygaena; but they hoped the shark might be still occupied with its late prey, and not seeking another victim. There might be another shark, or many more; but for some time past one only had been seen in the neighbourhood of the boat; the shark, as they supposed, which had but recently devoured the dead body of the sailor. Trusting to

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Average Rating of 3 from 1 reviews: ***
2014.08.27
Henry L. Ratliff
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(1870) Adventure (Survival) / Young Readers / Nautical (Ship wreck)





Plot bullets


  • Seven persons survive a ship wreck during a typhoon in the Celebes Sea. Soon, only five will be left to find their way to land or starve.

  • Those in the ships small boat are: Captain Robert Redwood his two children (a girl fourteen and a boy sixteen), an Irishman (the ships carpenter and family friend), and a Malay pilot (navigator) named Saloo.

  • A makeshift mast and sail aid them in landing on the East coast of Borneo. The captain can handle his ship at sea, but it is the Malay who knows this region and will keep them alive.

  • The father is constantly, but unintentionally, letting his children get into trouble, which presents action of a continual run of peril and salvation.

  • They learn to survive on the coast and head inland to find a settlement as they fear being detected by Malay pirates.

  • The Malay continues to provide wise council and prompt action to increase the survival chances of 'The Castaways'.


Reid's adventures are in the vein of those young reader adventure stories that supply fast and continuous perils to the brave, honest and upright characters. In all cases there is at least one person who has an almost encyclopedic knowledge of most of the new things they encounter, and takes a rather lecture-like approach to explain things to the others. I believe I will start calling them 'Encyclopedic Survival Adventures'.


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