Saturday, March 22, 2008

Mutiny!: The True Events That Inspired the Hunt for Red October

Mutiny!: The True Events That Inspired the Hunt for Red October
David Hagberg and Boris Gindin
Forge, May 2008, $25.95
ISBN: 9780765313508

In November 1975, Soviet anti-nuclear submarine frigate FFG Storozhevoy is docked in Riga, Latvia for normal maintenance and repair after six months at sea. Third in command Captain Valery Sablin is appalled by the wide corruption of leading Brezhnev officials and much of the bureaucracy overrun by party hacks including Soviet navy brass. He sees fat cats taking shortcuts with the lives of sailors to pocket money and obtains the best items for themselves and their family. Outraged as only a true believer can be, the Marxist/Leninist fundamentalist decides to take control of the vessel and sail to Leningrad where he would broadcast to the people to overthrown the corrupted. All went well with his plan until the Kremlin learned what he was doing and interceded.

This is the real events of the Soviet naval mutiny that led to the novel and movie The Hunt for Red October as related to novelist David Hagberg by then twenty-four years old Senior Lieutenant Gindin, who was part of the crew. The back ground of naval life in the totalitarian superpower is fascinating and well written while setting the stage for the exciting look at the events that happened in late 1975. Although nonfiction and told mostly by the viewpoint of Mr. Gindin though much supported by documentation, Mutiny is a tense thriller that grips readers from start to finish even with knowing the outcome.

Harriet Klausner

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