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The Pup and the Pianist, Book Review

Sourav is an enthusiastic writer as well as an avid reader. He enjoys sharing information on his readings across several channels.

Overview: The Pup and The Pianist

The Pup and The Pianist is a fascinating book written by Miss Sara Flower Kjeldsen. This is a novel featuring the story of a British teenager "Max" whose father had died and he had to get on a navy warship for the sake of spendings of his house. The story takes place at a time when there had been a war between France and Britain. Both the countries were keen for destroying each other's naval ships. Max had climbed onto one of such a ship on his first voyage, which faced a battle with the other French ship near Galapagos Island. Max survived the war and found his way to the island. Another French naval sailor, Dash, who was brutally wounded in a war, also ended up on the island. The story takes such turns that two boys from enemy nations become true friends.

I really loved reading this. The details of a sailor's life have been so vividly explained that it seems like the writer was himself on the board. The book hit me with Max's journey and it was so appealing that I can't stop finishing it by reading continuously in my spare time for the next five days. I would recommend this book to everyone who wants to read adventure stories. The end of the story can make tears pop into the eyes of the reader with the sad disappearance of the main character, our charming "Max".

Below is a short summary of all six chapters of the book.

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Chapter One

The story begins from the Atlantic Ocean harbour in 1814 when Max's mother comes to drop him off on the ship. Max hugs her and leaves for his voyage by getting up on the ship with the hope that one day he will return back to her. Every newcomer to the ship had to face bullying from the sailors on board. The same thing happens with Max who was younger than every man in the naval warship. He had been given the designation of a powder-monkey who were responsible to bring the gunpowder to the deck from the magzine during the war. Although, he is beaten or assaulted by a wicked sailor on the ship whose name was Izzy. Izzy was always looking for occasions of teasing a relatively young lad Max. But there was the saviour of Max on the ship as well. He was the midshipman Phil, would always defend Max against the bad persons like Izzy.

Chapter Two

Max woke up in a situation where the bad Izzy was on his head. The fight took place between the two. Phil steps in and rescues Max. He also kicks Izzy around. The Max is introduced to the third lieutenant Mr. Pearson, who assigns the duty of a powder monkey to Max. Now Max will have to bring gunpowder from the magazine just below the deck of the ship to on-board during the war time. The officer instructed Max to practice this task every morning and evening. The Max also gets to hear the long and funny tales that other sailors would use to amuse their companions on the ship.

Chapter Three

Chapter three begins with a most unfortunate day in Max's life. The sharp sound of battle drums sets out everyone in motion. Max along with two other boys start running towards the magazine to bring gunpowder. The cannons of gunpowder start being showered on their ship by a French warship. A fierce battle broke out between the British and the French ships leading to the complete drowning of both the ships. Max manages to escape from the sinking ship and gets away to the Galapagos Islands nearby. He was only surviving safe sailor from the battle.

Max lands on a remote island without food or shelter. A young boy who was on his first voyage had to face this kind of situations that even an experienced sailor would find hard to survive in. Hardings heals your inner strength and this example could be seen in Max's story. He brought together many green coconuts to satisfy his hunger and thirst. He fired fire to keep the wild beast at a distance at night and also for lighting.

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After two days, Max finds another sailor from the wrecked French vessel on the same island. His name was Dash and he had lost his eyes in the war, that left half his face burned. At first, Max contemplated the idea of killing Dash but he refuses the proposal by taking pity on Dash's conditions.

Chapter Four

At first, the Dash attempts to kill Max by seeing him as an unknown enemy. Max gives an introduction and tells Dash that he wants to save him because he needs a companion to survive on the isolated island. Time passes, and the two boys begin their new life helping each other. They speak of the good old days that preceded the war. The Dash would sit by Max and Max would tell him incredible things about the island. The boys decided that they would explore the other side of the island. They packed dozens of food and started their journey with Max holding Dash's hand.

Chapter Five

Talking frequently about each other, the boys reached near the bottom of a mountain. It appeared to be a volcanic hill to the Max, but he did not reveal this to Dash. They gathered another round of coconuts and food for their trip to the top of the mountain. They started their journey with Max is feeling the beauty of the ocean and surface of birth that seemed to be majestic from the high altitudes of the hill. As they reached near the summit, they discovered a cratlater with lava hidden underneath.
All of a sudden, Max saw a ship coming near the shore. It appeared that a French ship even then Dash did not want to climb on it because he was a criminal declared in the French navy. The boys went down the hill and proceeded towards the deep forest. Dash is back trying to kill Max. Max ran off, got some sleep. He awakens on a rock. The Max feels alone again and tries to kill himself by jumping in the sea, but Dash rescues him by holding him by the ankle.

Chapter Six

The Dash gave Max some of the coconut water he collected. They gathered and intermingled with each other. They turned into very good friends. One day when they were busy talking, Max sees a British Navy ship coming towards the coast. They decide what to tell the marines. When the seamen arrived, Max talked to them about his identity and introduced them to Dash. Max said that Dash saved him on that island so they didn't hurt him. The officer says the war's over now and they don't have to worry about Dash's life. The two boys are taken to the ship and they left Dash at a French harbour. The Max pressed him in his arms and cried deeply when they left Dash on the bank. Max was so deprived that he watched for a long time until they left the harbour from afar. Unfortunately, an oceanic storm breaks out on the ship in the manner that Max died. The story ended with a scene where Dash sits in his bedroom and had a nightmare about Max's death. He's talkin' to his sister.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2021 Sourav Rana

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