With cautious optimism, I’m hoping to make this post the first in series of posts featuring books about the former Soviet Union. I’m kicking things off with Mutiny: The True Events That Inspired The Hunt For Red October. Published in 2008, I was introduced to Mutiny through Book TV, when it aired a lecture by the two authors as part of the book’s promotional tour. After watching their presentation I was intrigued to learn that in 1975 a mutiny occurred on the Soviet navy ship Storozhevoy, and that mutiny would eventually inspire Tom Clancy to write The Hunt for Red October. However, intrigued as I was, I never made any attempt to read Gindin and Hagberg’s book even though I would spot an available copy of it from time to time during my weekend visits to the public library. Then one afternoon after seeing it on the library shelf I finally grabbed it. About a week ago, after a great deal of procrastinating I eventually began reading it. I’m happy to report that in spite of the book’s frequent digressions I easily and quickly made my way through Mutiny.
As I’ve alluded to earlier, Mutiny tells the story of a renegade crew of a Soviet warship, and their desperate attempt to make their way across the Baltic Sea to Leningrad. Led by the ship’s Communist Party political officer, who, disillusioned by the Soviet Union’s corruption and oppression, seeks to use the warship’s radio to broadcast his personal manifesto once the ship reaches the environs of Leningrad. With the Storozhevoy’s captain and his loyal officers locked below decks the mutinous political officer must count on his crew of young and untested sailors if he’s to lead the Storozhevoy past a gauntlet of Soviet ships and planes to their desired destination.
I found Mutiny to be one of those books that probably isn’t well-written or well-edited but still comes off being fairly enjoyable. Perhaps since the writing is direct and unadorned, the book makes for a quick read. While the first half of the book is a bit repetitive, thankfully the second half, which is the more action-packed part of the book, is not.
Like I said at the onset, I hope to feature other books that deal in some way or another with the former Soviet Union. With a mixture of both older books and more recent ones currently in my possession and available for me to read and review, I’m optimistic that this new series will be worth the time and effort.