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Thu, 2nd Jul '09 6:06 PM


Is anyone here familiar with the author Patrick O'Brian?

He authored the Aubrey/Maturin series (a set of 20+ sequential novels) as well as some standalone masterpieces such as "The Golden Ocean". The first book in that series is "Master and Commander" - which was transposed into the Russell Crowe film baring the same name. I'm currently on the 3rd book of the series, "H.M.S. Surprise".

Every page is a treat!!!


Smoke  (Level: 96.7 - Posts: 12008)
Thu, 2nd Jul '09 6:10 PM

First two books, I think - "Master and Commander" and "Far Side of the World". They're all wonderful books, you'll hate to see them end.

Read Horatio Hornblower? I can deffo steer you to seafaring books - one of my favorite genres.

Thu, 2nd Jul '09 6:21 PM

Thanks Donna - point away! It's my favorite genre, errrr..... the only genre, rather, that I will read. I'd love to hear your favorites!

Linda - the movie definitely has its slow moments... I totally understand, and I know you aren't shallow, so I would encourage you to try to make it through to the end. It's a great story. The book, of course, is infinitely superior. I've watched the movie countless times and mostly just like to listen to the sounds of the ship creaking over the waves during the boring parts. Oh how I would have loved to be alive in the late 18th century and have had the opportunity to go before the mast!

My all time favorite book is "Two Years Before the Mast" by Richard Henry Dana. I bought a copy of it for all the editors back in 2005 (even those across the pond and the Pacific). Too many editors now.... couldn't afford to do that again LOL.


Sploofus Editor
Sploofizz (Editor)  
Thu, 2nd Jul '09 6:37 PM

A gift I treasure, Justin, thank you again. It is a book I never would have chosen for myself but it was a fascinating read.

Asdibbens  (Level: 159.4 - Posts: 423)
Thu, 2nd Jul '09 6:46 PM

I haven't read this one in since college, but "Night on Fire: The First Complete Account of John Paul Jones's Greatest Battle" by John Evangelist Walsh was terrific. It's paced really fast, but it is every bit as gripping as fiction and more, of course, because it's true. J.P.J. still ranks as my favorite lunatic of all time. Full bios of him are pretty rewarding as well, with lots of info on sailing and naval warfare of the mid to late 18th century.

The Walsh book is fairly rare apparently, but probably can get it through your library system. Did find it here as well -

Smoke  (Level: 96.7 - Posts: 12008)
Thu, 2nd Jul '09 7:03 PM

Hope you like non-fiction, too. I've talked about this before, but when I first got a computer I took a lot of online classes at, and one of the first was a simultaneous group reading of Moby-Dick, contrasted with Nathaniel Philbrick's book "In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex" about the real incident that inspired Melville.

Fantastic reading and learning experience!

Philbrick's book about the little-known maritime version of a Lewis and Clark-type exploration, "Sea of Glory: America's Voyage of Discovery" is superb, reads like a novel and absolutely packed with fascinating and amazing facts and characters. I mean, wow. I could say the same about "Mayflower". So I will.

My next voyage will be aboard "Seize the Fire: The Battle of Trafalgar" by Adam Nicolson (loved him in "God's Secretaries" about the creation of the King James Bible), soon as I'm done with a terrific book about the creation and staging of the 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago, contrasted with the story of a serial killer who stalked the city during the fair that introduced the Ferris Wheel, shredded wheat, alternating current and incandescent bulbs, among dozens of other novelties of the day. Great read, called "Devil in the White City", much recommended.

Glad you asked?

Pierre  (Level: 204.8 - Posts: 25)
Thu, 2nd Jul '09 7:37 PM

Many years ago I went to see the "Victory", Nelson's flagship, in Portsmouth, UK. I subsequently read many of Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey Novels (I would like to get to read them all). Revisiting the Victory a couple of years ago was a completely different experience, having read O'Brian's graphic descriptions of life and battles at sea in those times. I would thoroughly recommend reading at least a couple of the Aubrey novels and then visiting the Victory.

Surreyman  (Level: 274.8 - Posts: 2776)
Fri, 3rd Jul '09 6:45 AM

I love historical naval fiction.
But find O'Brian uniquely stodgy, boring and pretentious.

Felix  (Level: 109.3 - Posts: 2498)
Fri, 3rd Jul '09 9:08 AM

I don't like him at all. Jay Leno was much funnier. Neither of them were in Johnny Carson's class. Huh? Who? OH! Never mind.

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