Riddle of the Sands
Erskine Childers

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Narrated By: Simon Vance

Duration: 10 hours and 22 minutes

What to expect

While on a sailing trip in the Baltic Sea, two young adventurers-turned-spies uncover a secret German plot to invade England. Widely recognized as the first modern spy thriller, this lone masterpiece by World War I Royal Navy officer Erskine Childers was written in 1903 as a wake-up call to the British government to attend to its North Sea defenses. It accomplished that task and has been considered a classic of espionage literature ever since. Praised for its nautical action and richly authentic background as much as for its suspenseful spycraft, The Riddle of the Sands is the brilliant forerunner to the realism of Graham Greene and John le Carré.


Classic fiction

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“This is a book of great renown…Its beautifully sustained atmosphere…adds poetry, and…real mystery.”

Ian Fleming

“Eric Ambler fans will find this a fascinating antecedent.”

Publishers Weekly

“Simon Vance lends a mature sound and considerable technique to his narration, making Childers’ seafaring not only apparent, but contagious.”


The Riddle of the Sands has delighted generations of sailing aficionados and thriller readers with its nautical and political verisimilitude.”