The Wager

The Wager

Hardback Published on: 11/05/2023
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Bookseller Reviews

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The Wager
Brilliantly researched and empathetically written, this is an old fashioned tale that will thrill lovers of history and explorations of the human condition... READ MORE
Chris Bedford
The Wager
Exhilarating adventure of triumph and tragedy
At the start of the book, Grann quotes William Golding's Lord of the Flies - 'Maybe there is a beast...Maybe it's only us.' and this book is Lord of the Fl... READ MORE
Selena Whitehead, Guildford
The Wager
I absolutely loved this book, and cannot say enough positive things about it: this is narrative non-fiction done flawlessly, breathless and informative in ... READ MORE
Jack Kelly


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.

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Ltd
  • ISBN: 9781471183676
  • Number of pages: 352
  • Dimensions: 234 x 153 x 27 mm

Customer Reviews

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The Wager
Haunting read
Grann is a superb writer--- he made the journey of following The Wager incredibly vivid and gripping, capturing the very essence of being aboard a ship, as... READ MORE
holly can read
The Wager
Wow. David Grann greatly succeeded in bringing to life a piece of history that authorities tried at the time so hard to bury. The way he writes involve... READ MORE