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The Mystery of the Sea (Pocket Classics)

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When Archibald Hunter comes to Cruden Bay, Aberdeenshire for his annual holiday he is looking forward to a tranquil few days by the sea, but he is disturbed by strange visions and portents of doom. Where are these terrible visions taking him? And what is the significance of the pages of cipher?


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When Archibald Hunter comes to Cruden Bay, Aberdeenshire for his annual holiday he is looking forward to a tranquil few days by the sea, but he is disturbed by strange visions and portents of doom. Where are these terrible visions taking him? And what is the significance of the pages of cipher?

30 review for The Mystery of the Sea (Pocket Classics)

  1. 4 out of 5

    Matthew

    I started out loving Stoker's follow-up to Dracula, but time schedules just pushed it out of my interests. Finally, I picked it up again and shot through it in a month. As it turned out, right where I left off the first time turned out to be right when it started to decline unfortunately. The middle of this book dragged! It went from a supernatural mystery to a boring love story. This, once again, was turned around in the last third of the book. It became a really interesting story on political I started out loving Stoker's follow-up to Dracula, but time schedules just pushed it out of my interests. Finally, I picked it up again and shot through it in a month. As it turned out, right where I left off the first time turned out to be right when it started to decline unfortunately. The middle of this book dragged! It went from a supernatural mystery to a boring love story. This, once again, was turned around in the last third of the book. It became a really interesting story on political intrigue. But this book was fifty-three-fucking-chapters. Seriously, for the amount of time invested in it ... it wasn't worth it. It would make a much better movie, because it could cut out all of the sexist middle section, and it would tie everything in a lot better. Seriously, I could not believe the chauvinistic attitude that was spun around the story. All said and done, it literally took me a year to finally get into this book and finish the damn thing. Skip Mystery of the Sea unless you are a hardcore Stoker fan.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Marts (Thinker)

    I want to give this 3.5 stars but I don't have the option so I'll round it off to 4 since I enjoyed the adventurous elements, but the love story part is rather boring... A good classic adventure by Stoker though...

  3. 5 out of 5

    Przemyslaw

    I enjoyed that book.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Heather dennis

    In truth I didn't manage to finish the book. However by 60% the way through all of my patience was worn out. This is by far the worst book I have ever read. It started off good with normal bram stoker Gothic flare. The ghosts were introduced far far earlier than I expected. Then came Marjory... The Mary sue from hell. At this point the book's plot grinds to a halt as the main characters just go full stupid. Absolutely NOTHING Marjory does makes a bit of sense. She has the most inappropriate In truth I didn't manage to finish the book. However by 60% the way through all of my patience was worn out. This is by far the worst book I have ever read. It started off good with normal bram stoker Gothic flare. The ghosts were introduced far far earlier than I expected. Then came Marjory... The Mary sue from hell. At this point the book's plot grinds to a halt as the main characters just go full stupid. Absolutely NOTHING Marjory does makes a bit of sense. She has the most inappropriate reactions to situations and has the depth of a single sheet of rice-paper. The next part will be a synopses of the story up until I finally decided I had enough. Marjorie introduction: Her and her friend mrs james finds themselves stuck on a rock in the middle of rock while the tide is coming in and a nasty storm. The main hero, Archie Hunter, swims out and saves both girls by tying a rope to them and swimming back. They go back to the inn to rest after their near death experience. The storm raging, wind howling ect ect. After maybe an hour mrs james falls asleep and Marjory decided she would like to take a stroll on the beach near where she was almost killed while the storm is still present. The main character decides to spill the beans of whats been happening up to now to Marjory. She was informed that: he has second sight, recently followed a bunch of ghosts while caring a dieing man, after seeing the dead man's ghost drops him into a well, and that several of the ghosts are guarding a treasure who took notice and acted menacingly towards him. She takes this entirely too well. Her response was pretty much "oooooh treasure!? Where? We should go find it!" At this point Archie goes full stupid: On the second meeting he takes her to the well mentioned above so the can look around. The whole time walking to the well he is thinking to himself "I'm sure people have proposed and knew each other for a shorter period of time. It works out well for them right? oh heck I'm going to go for it!" He at this point proposes to her. She turns him down. (This is one of Marjorie's more sane moments.) He then goes back to tried to win his girls love with deciphering a cryptograph. Because the lades love those cryptographs. Later a government agent, by the name of Sam Adams, informs Archie of who the girl he is stalking truly is. Apparently she is a heiress of the largest fortune in America, so large in fact she bought a battleship for the US on a whim and gave it to them so they could kill the Spanish. By the way shes very racist towards Spanish people. Her parents have also recently died so she is an orphan millionaire. (How convenient for the main character) So Archie confronts her. She admits she left America to avoid all those awful love letters and people proposing. At the end of this conversation she proposes to Archie. Apparently 2 days is too soon but 3 days is just right. Especially when you flee a country to avoid marriage >.< WTF!? She also goes on about how she is independent but needs a man to make decisions for her and this makes her just like Joan of arc. I kid you not she compares herself to herself to THE Joan of arc. She also claims that the secret service knows nothing because they are getting information from their supervisors, the only way to find out about international affairs is by consulting the hired help that mops your floors. She manages to get stupider as it goes on. It is then revealed that there is a plot by some Spanish people to kidnap her to hold her for ransom. When Archie explains this her reaction is "ooh what good fun. Tell me more, we can play a prank on them." When she realizes he is being serious and is worried she blows him off and then laments that she would be engaged to someone who would burden her with not getting herself killed. After this... for no good reason at all she throws herself at the hero and begs for sex. I guess the thought of being murdered and kidnapped turns her on. Next day they marry and then try to keep everyone else from every knowing. At this point I was so aghast at Marjory's behavior I started to wonder if this was a strange satire. I don't believe it is, the other characters take themselves so seriously and actually plan things out so it's hard to imagine it being a satire or parody. Marjory is the only one that acts completely out of place. Marjory continues her crusade of being stupid. Once they survived the rising tide of the cave with a kiss I just decided I had enough. I really can't believe bram stoker wrote this. This is so absolutely atrocious it's beyond belief. I may eventually try to finish it to see just how deep a whole it digs itself but for now I am done with this horrible book.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Chip Hunter

    THE MYSTERY OF THE SEA (1902) is a combination adventure, romance, mystery, and fantasy. It is an exciting and engaging story, and is a great example of the quality and power of Stoker's writing. While at times gets somewhat bogged down in peripheral details, it is still one of my favorite overlooked classics. Wonderful characters, including Archie Hunter, Marjory Drake, and Gormala, carry this story. They demand your attention and your admiration, and you can't help but to get involved in their THE MYSTERY OF THE SEA (1902) is a combination adventure, romance, mystery, and fantasy. It is an exciting and engaging story, and is a great example of the quality and power of Stoker's writing. While at times gets somewhat bogged down in peripheral details, it is still one of my favorite overlooked classics. Wonderful characters, including Archie Hunter, Marjory Drake, and Gormala, carry this story. They demand your attention and your admiration, and you can't help but to get involved in their story as they go through the adventure of a lifetime. Marjory and Archie's developing love is subtle but powerful, as the two timid individuals turn into a powerful couple. Archie's obsession with Marjory is realistically portrayed and watching his emotional roller-coaster as he wins her love makes for great reading. Their adventures together to find lost treasure and defeat the evil kidnappers are well told and just plain enjoyable to read. One of the things Stoker is most well-known for is his ability to bring his settings to life with history and local color. This novel demonstrates this ability wonderfully. Taking place on the shores of Scotland during the Spanish American War, THE MYSTERY OF THE SEA is really able to get the reader involved with detailed descriptions of landscapes, climate, local accents, and customs. The political intrigue found here is asumedly an accurate portrayal of the times, with hostilities high between the various powers of the world. One thing that you do not get here is a dose of Stoker's otherwise frequent sexism. While Marjory might not be a 'New Woman' in the strictest sense, she certainly displays many admirable traits such as courage, independence, intelligence, and strength. Besides the obvious Dracula, she might be my favorite character in all Stoker's work. My only real complaint about this book is the remarkable absence of Archie's fantastic ability of 'second-sight' for the middle 5/6 of the book. While I enjoy reading about decoding bilateral ciphers and about the characters' developing love, I really got drawn in by the mysterious powers displayed in the beginning of the book, and found myself missing the unknown for much of the middle part. Luckily, it all comes back towards the ending for an incredibly exciting finish. Recommended for fans of Stoker and fans of well-written adventure/romance/mystery/fantasy.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Mj

    Has ever a book squandered so much potential? Or am I simply coming at it as a man from a hundred years later? The promise of this book is an intrigue set to a treasure hunt that involves ghost processions and pirate feuds and hidden passages. The reality is a book that is uneasy about how to create a complex woman and doesn't end up using half of its setup. There are very interesting things here in a scholarly reading. Most notably, I love the turn-of-the-century viewpoint on Americans. Marjory Has ever a book squandered so much potential? Or am I simply coming at it as a man from a hundred years later? The promise of this book is an intrigue set to a treasure hunt that involves ghost processions and pirate feuds and hidden passages. The reality is a book that is uneasy about how to create a complex woman and doesn't end up using half of its setup. There are very interesting things here in a scholarly reading. Most notably, I love the turn-of-the-century viewpoint on Americans. Marjory is an American heiress who seems super capable of things, until she isn't, and Archibald is just the man to tame her! It reeks of sexism, but that's over a hundred years of social evolution that leads me to that point. Another really, really interesting character is the old crone Gormala. But her use in the story is never quite flushed out, and I was left disappointed. And that is the crux of my problem here. The Mystery of the Sea is a great idea, but its execution was just disappointing. I'm glad to have read this book (though I will be honest -- it literally took me a year to get through it), but there isn't much more to say about it. I have heard other Stoker books are better, so I look forward to continuing on past Dracula to find a niche Stoker book to enjoy.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Chris

    This book slowly plods along without much really happening. It starts off interestingly enough by employing some Gothic elements, but once the main character's love interest appears, the story grinds to a halt. At this point Stoker decided to almost completely abandon the Gothic, paranormal aspect that had been working well and turn the book into a love story/treasure hunt. The last 50 pages or so regained my interest, but by then it was too late to redeem itself. This book simply doesn't hold This book slowly plods along without much really happening. It starts off interestingly enough by employing some Gothic elements, but once the main character's love interest appears, the story grinds to a halt. At this point Stoker decided to almost completely abandon the Gothic, paranormal aspect that had been working well and turn the book into a love story/treasure hunt. The last 50 pages or so regained my interest, but by then it was too late to redeem itself. This book simply doesn't hold up well over time. If you liked Dracula, I'd suggest reading The Beetle by Richard Marsh. It came out in the same year as Dracula and is nearly as gripping and mysterious.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Ben Lovegrove

    I couldn't put this book down. It's spoiled slightly by the xenophobia of some of its characters, but the plot and the action makes it a great adventure story and I can't understand why it's never been made into a film. It's more of a mystery than a horror novel though it does contain gothic elements. The romance between Marjory and Archie is actually very touching and refreshing because it seems so innocent. Anyone looking for a sequel to Dracula will be disappointed because this is so I couldn't put this book down. It's spoiled slightly by the xenophobia of some of its characters, but the plot and the action makes it a great adventure story and I can't understand why it's never been made into a film. It's more of a mystery than a horror novel though it does contain gothic elements. The romance between Marjory and Archie is actually very touching and refreshing because it seems so innocent. Anyone looking for a sequel to Dracula will be disappointed because this is so different though no less rewarding.

  9. 5 out of 5

    J.E.

    This is a very fun story to read, and it was very original. However, the first third of the book dragged for me, and it appeared to be creating a mystery that would build up to a completely different conclusion than the book actually came to. Ultimately the story of the book does not really begin until a couple new characters are introduced later on. It is still a fun book to read, but I can't help wishing that Stoker had separated this into two separate stories.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Kim

    It was way too easy to put this book down for weeks at a time. The story line finally picked in the middle of the book. I'm glad I read it. It's a book to take to doctor appointments. You won't miss anything when you have to put it down. It was written well just slow. Dracula was truly the better book of Stoker's to read.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Sleepydrummer

    A a relatively progressive writer for his time on matters of nationalism and equality for women.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Chris Quinn

    Couldn't get into it. It seemed to have too many spin-off story lines. Stick with "Jewel of the Seven Stars" for better Stoker fare.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    Free download available at Project Gutenberg

  14. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    Not a patch on 'Dracula'.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Holly Shoulders (Panozzo)

    i liked the characters and the turn of the century language, but the ending was very disappointing and left me wanting more.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Naomi White

  17. 5 out of 5

    Felipe Santello

  18. 4 out of 5

    Alistair

  19. 5 out of 5

    Alice

  20. 5 out of 5

    Deb O rah

  21. 4 out of 5

    Emily Arenz

  22. 5 out of 5

    The

  23. 5 out of 5

    Danhinds

  24. 4 out of 5

    John Ervin

  25. 5 out of 5

    Debby Vetter

  26. 5 out of 5

    Lura

  27. 5 out of 5

    Karen Barclay

  28. 5 out of 5

    Romina

  29. 4 out of 5

    Lawrence Land

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jared Detter

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