There's not a moment to lose!

Posted Oct 06, 2004 in Books.

Having read the entire Horblower series from C.S. Forester, and enjoyed the film Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, my father recommended that I start reading the Aubrey-Maturin series from Patrick O'Brian.

I have just finished reading Master and Commander, the first in the series, and I enjoyed it a great deal. It is actually very different from Hornblower. C.S. Forester's hero is the kind of man any young Englishman would aspire to be - honest, heroic, and dashing. But in Jack Aubrey, we find someone who is somewhat rough around the edges, and somehow less pure than Horatio Hornblower. His counterpart, Stephen Maturin, is actually a far more interesting fellow, with an intriguing past. I've just ordered the next six books in the series:

  1. Post Captain
  2. H.M.S. Surprise
  3. The Mauritius Command
  4. Desolation Island
  5. The Fortune of War
  6. The Surgeon's Mate

Ever since I read Moby Dick as a teenager, I have loved sea stories - although I must confess that I found Herman Melville's classic rather tedious. The technicalities of naval engagements are particularly interesting to me, especially those from the Napoleonic Wars and World War 2. From the late 18th and early 19th centuries, there are tales of extraordinary courage and honor, in both factual and fictional form.


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    May I be so bold sir as to direct you to he work of a man who inspired O'Brian? :]

    Frederick Marryat. Your kinsman, I presume.

    "The Phantom Ship" is particularly good, although his debut novel from 1829 is no worse.


    Posted by Moose on Oct 06, 2004.

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    Thank you kindly, Moose. I shall henceforth investigate the aforementioned without delay.

    Posted by Simon Jessey on Oct 06, 2004.

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    I'm gradually making my way through these books. I'm halfway through "H.M.S. Surprise" now. They really are very well written stories.

    Posted by Simon Jessey on Oct 12, 2004.

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    ITV made a series based on Hornblower called "Hornblower"
    I saw them on the TV, and they were pretty good. (oh I use your position fixed hack all the time thanks.)

    Posted by Alex on Oct 27, 2004.