The death ship - B. Traven

Examples of book covers

One of B. Traven's best known and earliest novels (first written in 1923 or '24). It's the story of a sailor who loses his papers and, unable to prove his very existence, ends up working on a "death ship" which is destined to be sunk for the insurance money. A cry from the heart against capitalist exploitation and all the bureaucratic paraphernalia of border control that goes with it. Working class grim humour at its finest!

Here presented in MOBI (Kindle format) and PDF.

TheDeathShip-B.Traven.mobi484.38 KB
DeathShip.pdf911.9 KB

Posted By

Dan Radnika
May 21 2012 22:09


  • I’d have to stand up before the manager like a beggar ... Can the skipper sail his bucket without sailors? Or can the engineer ... build a locomotive without workers? Nevertheless, the worker has to stand with his cap in hand and beg for a job. He has to stand there like a dog about to be beaten.

    Gerard Gales, central character in the novel

Attached files


Serge Forward
May 21 2012 22:24

Excellent. Arguably the best piece of anarchist fiction ever.

May 21 2012 22:32

Big thanks.

May 21 2012 22:44

I bleedin' well love that book.

Morals is the butter for those who have no bread.

Serge Forward
May 22 2012 16:34

Esperanto version Mortula Ŝipo (pdf)

Jun 8 2012 16:08

Finished this book the other day, it's amazing.

Particularly book 2, talking about work aboard a death ship, it's just brilliant working class writing. With the feel of Zola's Germinal (but on ships rather than down mines).

I would recommend it!

jef costello
Jun 8 2012 16:27

Thanks for this

May 1 2013 09:51

This is not the last version, you' ll find it in
(lasta versio)

Thanks for your mention!