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book cover of The Bone Collectors

The Bone Collectors

A novel by

Early 1941: the 'Happy Time' for Hitler's U-boats; the most savage, punishing time for the North Atlantic convoys. A time when antiquated merchant ships, mostly unarmed, invariably slow and with pathetically few escorts crawled doggedly in fixed lines like iron ducks in a shooting gallery across what the Allies called the 'Air Gap' and the U-boat men christened Das Todesloch - 'The Death Hole'.

There were no specialist rescue ships provided in those, the bloodiest days. Instead the last ship in each column was nominated to fall back and attempt to save their fellow seafarers forced to abandon. The U-boat men had another ghoulishly apt nickname for such a suicidally-exposed steamer. They called her der Knochensammler - the Bone Collector.

This is the story of one of them: of one of those Bone Collectors - the British Steamship Olympian - and of what happened to her while the North Atlantic killing was at its peak. It is a novel of ordinary Merchant Navy convoy men as seen though the eyes of Olympian's Chief Officer during the hours of one night's massacre, when the Unterseeboote wolf packs finally converged on Slow Convoy SC-whatever-number-it-was in the graveyard of Das Todesloch.

Never has the life - and death - of the World War II convoy been evoked more vividly, more poignantly than in this, Brian Callison's rich, enthralling, and now timelessly classic novel of war at sea.

One of the best writers of modern sea stories. The Daily Telegraph.


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Used availability for Brian Callison's The Bone Collectors

Hardback Editions

July 1984 : UK Hardback

Title: The Bone Collectors
Author(s): Brian Callison
ISBN: 0-00-222782-7 / 978-0-00-222782-7 (UK edition)
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Ltd
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

Paperback Editions

June 1985 : UK Paperback

Title: The Bone Collectors
Author(s): Brian Callison
ISBN: 0-00-617018-8 / 978-0-00-617018-1 (UK edition)
Publisher: Fontana Press
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

Audio Editions

December 1997 : UK Audio Cassette

Title: The Bone Collectors: Unabridged
Author(s): Brian Callison
ISBN: 1-86042-372-8 / 978-1-86042-372-7 (UK edition)
Publisher: Soundings Ltd
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

Kindle Editions

February 2012 : USA, Canada, UK Kindle edition

Author(s): Brian Callison
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA