No. of Recommendations: 1
Patrick O'Brian is the English author of a series of books (14 if I remember correctly) generally referred to as the "Aubrey/Maturin novels."

The books are very popular with lots of dedicated fans (hence my poll, I have found that often the more fanatical fans of a novel or series tend to complain a lot when a movie is made of it). Someone even published a cookbook to explain the food the characters eat in the novels (spotted dick and so forth).

Once you get started on the first, you are bound to read them all. They are "historical fiction." The primary events (battles) in each novel are portrayed faithfully, and the books are very detailed, but it is the characters that draw you in.

The setting of the novels is way back when the English were fighting off the French (1790 - 1820, if I remember correctly) in battles involving big ships with lots of cannons. The main characters are members of the English Royal Navy.

There are two main characters that continue throughout the series are Captain Aubry and Doctor Maturin. Aubry is a big galoot, gallant and warm-hearted, fierce in battle, likes his food and loves women. Maturin is a smaller, darker man, a dedicated naturalist and a master spy on behalf of England. They always serve together on the same ship, Aubry as the captain, Maturin as the ship's doctor.

It's impossible to describe what makes the series great, but if you like to read I urge you to at least give the first in the series (I think it was "Master and Commander") a try; if it's not your cup of tea, nothing lost, but if you like it (as most people do) you have a year or two of great reading to look forward to.
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