Book review: A swashbuckling tale of shipwreck and scurvy that’s an essential read

David Grann has form in bringing historical events to life, and

David Grann: The Wager may well be his masterpiece

David Grann, one of The New Yorker’s long-form journalism leading lights, first established himself with articles like The Old Man and the Gun, the tale of escape artist Forest Tucker, and Mysterious Circumstances, the story of Arthur Conan Doyle’s lost archive, collected in the excellent The Devil and Sherlock Holmes. His first book, The Lost City Of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon, was a 2009 best seller.

He's currently riding high thanks to Martin Scorsese’s Oscar-nominated adaptation of Killers of the Flower Moon, his riveting account of the Osage Indian murders in the early part of the last century. However, The Wager, with its inviting subtitle “A Tale of Shipwreck, Mutiny and Murder”, could well be his masterpiece.