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Five of the best sea stories

By Emily Smith, CNN
November 15, 2011 -- Updated 1518 GMT (2318 HKT)
Find that perfect book to take you on an adventure on the high seas.
Find that perfect book to take you on an adventure on the high seas.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • We look at some of the best stories of the sea of all time
  • The list features works from Hemingway and Melville
  • Tell us what your favorite seas story is

(CNN) -- Looking for that perfect book that takes you from your reading chair to the high seas of adventure? Look no further than our list of some of the best sea stories of all time. Whether you want a classic tale of survival against the odds, or to be taken on a journey to find secret treasure, this list has got you covered.

The Perfect Storm, Sebastian Junger

Based on true events, "The Perfect Storm,2 is a tale of man versus nature. In 1991 a series of weather systems collide to create an all-powerful storm off the Nova Scotia coast. A crew of fishermen on the Massachusetts-based trawler "Andrea Gail'" were caught unawares in the storm, and were left to battle waves that reached up to 100 feet high. "The Perfect Storm" gives an insight into the extreme dangers of the lucrative business of deep-sea fishing. It tells of the courage of men at sea, and the difficulties faced by loved ones left behind. The book was later adapted into a Hollywood blockbuster, starring George Clooney and Mark Wahlberg.

The Old Man and the Sea, Ernest Hemingway

Following the publication of "The Old Man and the Sea," Hemingway received the The Nobel Prize in Literature in 1954. The novel tells the story of an unlucky old fisherman in Cuba who has gone months without catching a fish, but eventually battles it out with a large and valuable marlin. The exercise leaves him exhausted, and fruitless. It's a tale of overcoming defeat, and persistence in the face of failure. Hemingway is widely regarded for his eloquent way with words, which is excellently displayed in "The Old Man and the Sea."

Moby-Dick (or The Whale), Herman Melville

The classic American narrative "Moby-Dick" is an old favorite that has been re-told in cartoons, television series and film. The legend is told through the eyes of Ishmael, who sets sail on a whaling ship under an erratic captain. The captain is seeking out one whale in particular, Moby-Dick, who in an early encounter injured the skipper, leaving him with a wooden leg. The book shows us the depths people will go to seek revenge.

Master and Commander, Patrick O'Brian

The first in a series of books that focuses on the relationship between the captain of an English navy ship, Jack Aubrey, and ship surgeon Stephen Maturin, "Master and Commander" is set in the 19th century. Aubrey is promoted to captain as Britain is at war with France, led by one of the greatest military leaders in history, Napoleon Bonaparte. Their ship, "HMS Sophie," is aging and the crew's experience lacking, but despite the odds they continue to seek adventure and ultimately victory against the enemy. This story was also given the silver screen treatment, with Russell Crowe starring in a movie adaptation of the novel.

Treasure Island, Robert Louis Stevenson

The ultimate adventure on the high seas -- full of pirates, a mutiny and of course a treasure bounty. Characters of "Treasure Island," such as Long John Silver, have become household names. Jim Hawkins, the son of owners of a seaside English inn, finds a map where the notorious Captain Flint has hidden his treasure. But when a crew is assembled to find it, it soon becomes apparent there are enemies within. This novel was first published in 1883 as a children's book, but that hasn't stopped adults of all ages appreciating it for centuries.

Have we missed one of your favorites? Let us know in the comments section below.

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