John Boyne has had the kind of meteoric rise most writers would only dream of. At this point, he may best be known for the young-adult novel "The Boy in the Striped Pajamas," which explored the Holocaust through the eyes of two children. It was made into a well-received film late last year. There was also the century-spanning "Thief of Time," in which Boyne - who clearly has an interest in historical events - presented arguably his most ambitious work to American readers. In the book, a character blessed (or cursed) with eternal life experiences many of the major historical events of the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. Another noteworthy recent release by Boyne was "Crippen." Also based on actual events, "Crippen" was a deft recreation of a notorious 1910 British murder scandal involving Boyne's titular doctor. Given this prodigious output, no wonder The Sunday Business Post cited Boyne as one of 40 Irish people under 40 who were likely to be "the movers and shakers who will define the country's culture, politics, style and economics." Now, Boyne has written "Mutiny: A Novel of the H.M.S. Bounty," a thriller exploring one of the most infamous voyages in the history of the high seas. Boyne's novel explores young troublemaker John Jacob Turnstile, whose troubles with the law leave him only one option: to serve as an assistant on a ship bound for Tahiti. That ship is the Bounty, presided over by the notorious Captain Bligh. Mutiny, of course, has been explored in numerous histories, documentaries, novels and films. The most famous version, perhaps, is the early 1960s film starring Irish thespian Richard Harris, Marlon Brando, and Trevor Howard as Bligh. But Boyne attempts to tell a story broader than Bligh's mistreatment of the crew and its eventual revolt against him. In particular, Boyne offers up a fresh, almost revisionist portrait of Captain Bligh in "Mutiny," which is yet another historical highlight from Boyne. ($25.95 / 384 pages / Thomas Dunne Books)
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