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Subject:  Master and Commander, by Patrick O'Brian Date:  4/4/2002  12:42 PM
Author:  mapletree3 Number:  636 of 3350

I'm interested in the Regency period of British history (roughly 1800-1829), so-called because the King went mad and the Prince of Wales was Regent for a time. This book set during the Napoleonic Wars caught my eye are the library book store a few weeks ago and I took it to NY with me. I was pleasantly surprised to enjoy it, since I had tried to read one of CS Forester's Horatio Hornblower books and not been able to. This is apparently chronologically the first in a series of books about two men in the British navy, Captain Jack Aubrey and his ship's doctor, Stephen Maturin. I'm not sure what the order of publication was. The subject matter and the archaic language (the book was written in the 1970's but O'Brian adopts a contemporary prose style) were daunting - confusing naval terms were scattered liberaly through the text. Captain Aubrey is new to his position, and Maturin is new to sailing, and O'Brian uses their experiences to gracefully introduce the reader to the customs and terminology of the Navy. O'Brian's prose is tough stuff, and will remind readers of Tolkein's Lord of the Rings saga as well as Dickens and Jane Austen. If you're looking for an easy read, this is not it. But it is exciting, quality stuff. The characters are well-drawn and likeable; their conflicts and faults believeable.

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