Having said all of that, the book was actually more than OK. I know that doesn't sound like a ringing endorsement - but if you are up for the challenge, I'd say read it.
The story is about Roberto Della Griva who in the 1600s, found himself afloat tied to a board after his ship went down. After floating for quite some time, he comes across a ship and with the last bit of strength he can muster, he climbs aboard the ship.
He soon comes to realize that the ship has been abandoned and he is the only one on board. He also figures out that the small boat that should be lashed to the side of the ship is not there and because he can't swim to the island that is nearby, he is stuck on the ship. It is here that the author spends some time on the back story of Roberto and tells about Roberto's stint in the military.
Roberto begins to believe that there is someone else on the boat and he starts hunting in all of the corners of the boat to try and find the person. Meanwhile, the author tells about how Roberto has a running commentary on life where a fictitious brother does all of the things that Roberto wishes he could do. This fictitious brother wins the heart of the lady Roberto loves and is a spy, fared better in the military than Roberto did, etc.
The book is a little strange because of this fictitious brother - you keep wondering when Roberto is going to stand up and fight for what he wants instead of making up all of these stories about his fictitious brother.
So that should be enough info about the storyline to maybe spark your interest.
Note: My rating is maybe a little lower than I would have normally given it because of how difficult the book was to read.
Rating: 6 / 10
Publisher: Harcourt Brace and Co.
Edition: 1st Edition