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Old 3rd Apr 2007, 14:23   #21
Noumenon
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Default Re: Patrick O'Brian

I do find these quite tempting. Would you say definitely start at the beginning?
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Old 3rd Apr 2007, 15:00   #22
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Default Re: Patrick O'Brian

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Would you say definitely start at the beginning?
Yes, I think so. It is a continuous story and gets a little confusing if you dodge around.

Master and Commander is quite good, though if you have no previous experience of sailing ship tales, like Hornblower, you may find some of the nautical terms mystifying. As I've said above, it's safe to ignore unfamiliar jargon unless O'Brian takes the trouble to explain. Each of the books has a sail plan at the front, so you get to know the sails, masts and yards. It's the rigging that gets complex, and I confess to being none the wiser about some terms after reading the twenty books twice!

After M & C, the standard dips a little, but only a little, and then picks up at about book 5 and never looks back until near the end. It's probably safe to say that if you hate M & C, you won't enjoy the rest much.

A Royal Navy ship of the time was the most complex engine so far invented, requiring hundreds of men to operate it, all of whom are in this walled world with many tasks unique to the ship, each with its own rules and conventions. Unlike a nuclear submarine, much of the maintenance and repair of the ship could be effected by the crew themselves. They were completely cut off from base, with only occasional messages from HQ.

I just find the whole technical and historical subject fascinating.
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Old 3rd Apr 2007, 15:13   #23
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Default Re: Patrick O'Brian

Just hit the link posted earlier to the compiled edition of all 21 novels/novel segments and was amused by this snipet from an extremely popular review:

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I have a major reservation with Norton's omnibus edition: there is little evidence that the publishers bothered to proofread their newly re-set text. ... My favorite (so far) is in Book Two (Post Captain), which describes Canning's "great delighted laugh, a crowing noise that rose from a deep ass..." (see page 738 ). Checking the text of the previous hardback and paperback edition confirmed that O'Brian referred to Canning's vocal range ("bass"), not his nether regions.
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It was a great pleasure also to read Bruce Trinque's historical account of the REAL events.
Just read this too - interesting tuff.

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Old 3rd Apr 2007, 16:25   #24
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Default Re: Patrick O'Brian

Yes, I'm reading Treason's Harbour at the moment, in the individual edition, and there are several typos in the first few pages. Very slipshod. And some of the type quality leaves a bit to be desired. Nothing's unreadable, but, hey, this is the 21st century.
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Old 16th Apr 2007, 15:22   #25
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Default Re: Patrick O'Brian



Treason's Harbour - - I now realise this is a somewhat different book to most of the others. In nearly every other novel in the Aubrey - Maturin series, the only viewpoints you get are Aubrey's or Maturin's, and, much more rarely, Sophie's or Diana's. Commonly, Sophie's or Diana's narrative is communicated by a letter written to Jack or Stephen.

OK, you may get a description of a shipboard scene that isn't actually viewed by one of the principals or their consorts - say an exchange of conversation between other inhabitants of the ship - but they are all scenes that one of the heroes MIGHT have witnessed.

However, in Treason's Harbour, there are actual scenes containing conversations between conspirators. This had rather a jarring effect on me, especially since this privy view of the conspirators is not maintained. Nevertheless, a very satisfactory book, though not to be read in isolation because the conspiracy spans several books.
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Old 16th Apr 2007, 15:40   #26
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Default Re: Patrick O'Brian

Haven't looked for a proper review on the films page, but I watched Master and Commander when it was on film4 or somewhere a week or so ago and loved it!
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Old 16th Apr 2007, 15:44   #27
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Default Re: Patrick O'Brian

'Tis here
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Old 16th Apr 2007, 17:01   #28
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Default Re: Patrick O'Brian

Thanks Col. mmm Russell Crowe...
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Old 16th Apr 2007, 17:02   #29
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Thanks Col. mmm Russell Crowe...
Just so....
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Old 25th Apr 2007, 10:11   #30
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Default Re: Patrick O'Brian

And so to :



The Far Side of the World

This is an excellent book, more able to be read as an individual tale than many of the others in the series and this is possibly why it was chosen as the first theme to be filmed, although the movie doesn't follow the book particularly closely. The conspiracy theme is given a rest, as are Aubrey's money worries and Maturin's wife problems.

Instead, there is a sinister love triangle, a long sea chase, terrible storms, capture by lesbian savages, we learn a lot about whaling, Aubrey loses touch with his ship twice, prisoners of war threaten to overwhelm him - if you've seen the movie, most of this will be news to you.

As adventure it is accomplished. The writing is fluent, the sense of place and time flawless. But then that could be said of any of O'Brian's seafaring sagas. Recommended
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