Book Review | Captains Courageous by Rudyard Kipling

Happy Tuesday everyone 🙂

Hope your week is looking up so far!

Here’s another review for you. Completely spoiler free 🙂

Captains Courageous – Rudyard Kipling

Photo & Blurb from


The only one of Kipling’s novels to be cast in an American setting, Captains Courageous endures as one of literature’s most cherished and memorable sea adventures. Harvey Cheyne, spoiled millionaire’s son, tumbles overboard from a luxury liner–only to be rescued by the crew of a Gloucester schooner. Thus begins the boy’s second voyage into the rugged rites and ways of sailors.

Technically a reread for me, I am still amazed that the author who brought us Kim & The Jungle Book is behind this short tale set on the high seas. Kipling demonstrates a versatility through it, embracing the voice of a young boy who needs to learn a lesson in hard labour and humility.

Harvey is first introduced through the voices of others who bemoan his presence during their voyage. They describe him as a spoiled boy, one whose head is too far above his feet and a little too inflated. They don’t have to worry about him for long. Harvey soon falls overboard only to be rescued by a fishing boat where he must learn to fend for himself until they reach shore.

The voyage that ensues takes Harvey on a journey as he learns about true hardship and an even more important lesson in camaraderie. The heart of the novel lies with the crew of the We’re Here. They are a family in many ways, each carrying a unique past and perspective necessary to help Harvey grow from a boy to a man.

The only real downside to this novel is that the language can be convoluted at time, relying too much on terms that not all readers might be familiar with. It can be vexing, but it can also be seen as an opportunity to make new discoveries.

While not my favourite Kipling novel, it is still a decent book that is at once diverting and thought-provoking through its character driven plot. It also boasts a realistic view of seafaring life without all the romanticism, though perhaps in too many words for today’s reader.

If you are looking for an adventure set on the seas, look no further. This book is for you!



May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith quill-ink


5 thoughts on “Book Review | Captains Courageous by Rudyard Kipling

  1. It’s been years since I read this book, but I loved it, and your review beautifully captured the message- enough that I just encouraged my 12-year-old daughter, who just finished The Jungle Book, to read this one soon. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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