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The King's Coat (Alan Lewrie #1)

4.01  ·  Rating Details ·  1,350 Ratings  ·  71 Reviews

1780: Seventeen-year-old Alan Lewrie is a brash, rebellious young libertine. So much so that his callous father believes a bit of navy discipline will turn the boy around. Fresh aboard the tall-masted Ariadne, Midshipman Lewrie heads for the war-torn Americas, finding--rather unexpectedly--that he is a bo
ebook, 368 pages
Published April 1st 2011 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published 1989)
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(showing 1-30 of 2,436)
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Mike (the Paladin)
Not a bad book (series of books, does anyone write stand alone novels anymore?), not Patrick O'Brian, or C. S. Forester, but not bad. I enjoyed some of this book and it's got it's points (good and bad). The story telling might be a little more shallow than the writers I listed above, but it's readable.

Since my attention was drawn back to this short review, I'll mention that so far as plot and storytelling goes I thought the book faltered whenever Our hero wasn't at sea...
Jean Poulos
I enjoy historical novels about the British Naval during the era of sail, particularly in the late 1700s to the early 1800s. There are many great writers in this genre that I have enjoyed such as C. S. Forester, Patrick O’Brian, Dudley Pope and so many more. In 2010 I found and read a book on Audible by Dewey Lambdin. I enjoyed the book but it has taken me until 2015 to get back to read more of this author. I had read book three in the Alan Lewrie series. I now start with book one in the series. ...more
Jan 16, 2014 Tanya rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
LOVE these books. Far less serious than the Hornblower or the O'Brien books, lots of fun and action. If you love nautical fiction try the first anyhow.
Jan 04, 2009 Eric_W rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nautical-fiction
In The King's Coat first in the series, Lewrie is forcibly introduced to the navy. Nicknamed "the little bastard" by his father, he was the product of an early premarital and pre-war fling of Sir Hugh, his father, adopted, pampered and rather spoiled. Alan, at age eighteen, enjoys the ladies, but even he is surprised when his half-sister, Belinda, propositions him. They are busy having a grand old time in bed, thinking the house is empty, when much to their, or Alan's, consternation, they are su ...more
This is another book read about the British Navy in my renewed passion for the naval genre.

In 1780 Alan Lewrie is shipped off to the navy by his father to avoid a family scandal. Older than most other midshipmen, he relies on the kindness of several of his shipmates to help him catch up in his studies and learn the basics of ship board life. As time progresses he finds that he enjoyes his new life and career.

If this book hadn't been written with a male lead I would have classified it as a romanc
Dec 06, 2012 Rachel rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I tried, but the explicit sex scenes threw me off and I didn't get very far into this book. It's not that I'm a huge prude, and I know that Age of Sail adventure stories often include romance, but it was just a bit much for a book that isn't categorized as erotica. Perhaps if the scenes were a bit more tasteful, but the problem is that Lewrie is a scoundrel, doesn't seem to particularly like women, and the sex scenes are vaguely misogynistic and somewhat vulgar. There are so many better examples ...more
I have to say, I found this book quite disappointing. I'm a huge fan of the genre, having read all of Patrick O'Brian, C.F. Forrester, Alexander Kent, Dudley Pope (which I enjoyed less than the previous) and Bernard Cornwell (not nautical). This series... it seems like both the plot and the writing were done by a 15-year-old boy. The writing is poor, there is a crass obsession with cheap vulgarity and faecal matter, the sex scenes are explicit (which isn't per se always a problem) and tactless ( ...more
Yet another series that I need to get into. This is the first book that follows the adventures of Alan Lewrie, a young British man who is forced into service in the Navy during the American Revolutionary War. The story covered a great amount of detailed history of the world of a British Naval Ship, and had enough character to keep the pace moving. Some reviewers have commented that Lewrie has a junior high school sense of sexuality, and I think that criticism is fair, but probably not far off fr ...more
Tiz. T.
This is a nice book.
And... that is all it is. Nice.

It could be so much more. But it leaves me unsatisfied. The major point is the lack of character development. Alan is exactly the same person in the beginning as in the end, with a bit more callous and muscles and experience, yeah, but the same person. Alan does not have one single redeeming quality, mind you. He is a scoundrel only interested in money, food, male pecking order and sex, not necessarily in this order. And he... stays that way.

Greg Deane
Alan Lewrie wasn't too bad, but too scurrilous for my taste in heroes, a type of amateur Flashman. There was too much attention to faecal matter and sexual interaction. I think Hornblower had 3 women in 11 books, but Lewrie had a score in one book, including his half-sister. The battle scenes were pleasantly gory, but there wasn't enough history. When Lambdin does talk about the ships, his purpose seems to be to overwhelm the reader rather than inform him. Also, the Puritan captain's attitude to ...more
Frank D
Apr 27, 2015 Frank D rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I feel I have a theme now established. British naval warfare before 1800 with S Thomas Russel's Under Enemy Colors and this 1st in the series. Each has it's hero, Charles Hayden in Enemy Color's and Alan Lewrie here. Charles Hayden is a man of action, competent and like a character in an Austen novel, love at a distance. Lewrie is anything but the last with the ladies and a scoundrel sometimes in other matters. However it is difficult not to root for him. I also believe is he more typical of the ...more
Craig Tyler
Apr 05, 2016 Craig Tyler rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: military-fiction
Well this is no Horatio Hornblower or Aubrey Maturin. Alan Lewrie is a big fuzzy gray area of moral character. Is this in keeping with the historical setting of the time? Probably. He is a social climber, or is trying to be, he sucks up to his superiors in the Navy, mostly, and is, in general, always looking for the next drink or sexual encounter (he is 17). Does he see his shipmates lose their lives and appendages, check! Is British Navy of the late 1700's a pleasure cruise? No! They have a "ca ...more
John Williams
Jul 31, 2011 John Williams rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good naval adventure in the Horatio Hornblower tradition with considerably more baudy scenes. I had already read the first 25 Bolitho adventures and part of the Lord Ramage Series and was looking for something knew. I would recommend this only to fans of naval fiction
Sep 10, 2015 Leonardo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a great book. The atmosphere is not so stiff as other sea operas, which makes a world of difference.

Alan Lewie is a bad boy. His favorite hobbies are whenching, gambling and general mischief and he has the impression he would make an excellent pimp. Sadly, his family plotted to banish and force him to sign into His Majesty Navy.

This book tells the tale of how this most unusual young gentleman starts to gets his sea legs, is first bloodied and revels in his life as an English navy officer
Nov 11, 2012 William rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Never heard of Lambdin or Alan Lewrie before but I am going to read one or two of this series every year. Just a fun read. Certainly more fun than Hornblower or Aubrey. Alan is a rogue and there is good action at sea and ashore.
Apr 07, 2016 JodiP rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have a mixed reaction to this book. The main character is a pretty self-centered piece of work. There is alot of objectification of women in homophobia in the book. I know that one could argue that these are appropriate within the time period, but all the lengthy descriptions of his sexual escapades got very tiresome. They didn't really advance the plot and seemed gratuitous. I really enjoyed the descriptions of life at sea and how at the end of the book Alan does seem to be maturing. I've rea ...more
Feb 09, 2013 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyed this a great deal. A bit more to it than either the Hornblower or Ramage characters. Lewrie isn't the same paladin as the other two. Makes for a more interesting looks
Nov 08, 2013 Erick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sea
I think anyone who enjoyed O'Brien or Forester would enjoy
Lambdin. Alan Lewrie is not the most moral individual, but probably
more realistic than most. The book was a fun read.
heresa thing: i started this series because there was no more aubrey/maturin. the difference is: i read all the o'brians, in order, three times including audio, only i have refused to read 21 because i am in denial; i lasted through about four lambdins before i just couldn't anymore, even when i waited six months and tried again. they're all available in audiobooks from the library now, but some books can make a series a body of work and some just can't. this can't. among other things, it's the ...more
Nov 03, 2015 Jim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: naval-fiction
This is the first novel I have read by Dewey Lambdin, but it certainly will not be the last. "The King's Coat" is the first in a series of books recounting the career of Alan Lewrie. These books are written in the same spirit as the Aubrey/Maturin novels of Patrick J. O'Brien, although I don't think Lambdin has quite the writing flair of O'Brien. That said, however, this first book of the Lewrie series is absolutely a fun read. The language is salty at times, as one would expect on a British man ...more
Jul 01, 2015 Bob rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lambdin clearly wants his hero to be different from Horatio Hornblower, who managed, over C S Forester's superb series to marry a woman he did not love, and then find happiness with another. All without sex, as far as a reader might observe.

Alan Lewrie, on the other hand, gets into as much trouble with women as with the French!

Otherwise, this book (and the following) are pretty much conform to the Hornblower tradition. That is a GOOD thing. If you like the genre, you'll like Alan Lewrie's evolu
Aug 23, 2011 Joel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who like O'brian & Forester
Recommended to Joel by: John McIntosh
Shelves: nautical
Enjoyed this book and look forward to catching up with the rest of a long series. Loved Lewrie as the rogue hero.
Alan Lewrie is the illigitimate son of gentry. His landed family are a bunch of reprobates who set him up for a fall, clearly having an undisclosed agenda for doing so, and thus he finds himself in the Navy. He makes the best of it, though, as rogues are wont to do, discovering that he even has some talent for certain aspects of the job.

The author goes a long way to make us dislike his hero at the start of this novel, so it took some time for me to develop any degree of empathy with Alan Lewrie.
Apr 06, 2011 Brett rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Dan L.
This book is set in the late 18th century and follows to doings of a young aristocratic rake who is bundled off into the Navy seemingly to avoid a family scandal. Alan Lewrie discovers to his surprise and private revulsion that he makes a decent seaman, a reasonably good officer, and that he enjoys his life at sea.

Lamdbin's writing style is rough and overly bawdy at times. The books don't have the authentic period feel to them that you get from O'Brian. Nore does it read with that high literatur
Jan 07, 2013 Jefferson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tom Jones dresses up like Horatio Horblower and meets Fanny Hill???

In the Tom Jones-esque prologue to Dewey Lambdin's The King's Coat (1989), the 17-year-old bastard Alan Lewrie is caught by an outraged posse--his natural father, his half-brother, his father's servant, his father's lawyer, and the new vicar--in bed in flagrento delicto with his half-sister. She immediately begins screaming that he has raped her (despite having been seducing him for two weeks) and Alan is in a fix. He is disowned
Steven Malone
Dec 31, 2014 Steven Malone rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nautical-fiction
Lambdin's Alan Lewrie is a randy rogue and a bastard youth forced into a life in the King's navy by his father. This unique character begins the nautical series struggling against his fate and against the British navy. To his surprise he finds himself good at the job of Midshipman. As he says: "I'm surely not good at anything else except putting a leg over some willing mutton."

Action and adventure, trial and trysts abound in this first book. Truly a unique approach to the genre.
Apr 17, 2016 Nente rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
No good at all. Other reviewers have already pointed out that the hero is unlikeable, the plot lacks both tension and resolution, and the language is anachronistic. To make his hero seem really gifted, the author resorts to a simple expedient of making the others act in a dangerously obtuse way, and we are expected to swallow it without a question.
But to crown it all, the author just can't write, or at least does not believe in editing his text once written. This book has sentences like "It was
Miki Habryn
Oct 28, 2014 Miki Habryn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm embarrassed at how much I liked this; doubly so that I immediately ordered the sequel after finishing. Second-hand, at usurious mark-up, since it appears to be out-of-print. It just isn't that good, but it's a lot of fun, and the tawdriness and venality falls just short of the line where I'd normally be put off.
McArthur Library Staff Picks
In the late 18th century, the 17 year old illegitimate son of a disreputable lord is discovered in bed with his half-sister. He is offered the opportunity to ship out as a midshipman in the Royal Navy (after signing away all rights of inheritance) rather than face the law. So he becomes a naval officer, and turns out to be very good at it. A great series currently running to 14 volumes and counting.
Dan Sibbet
Apr 19, 2014 Dan Sibbet rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent!! The insights into the American Revolution alone are worth the price. Alan Lewrie is no Robert Aubrey, not in this book or later. Lusty, low-born, and often insubordinate, Lambdin puts you on Lewrie's side right off and make the reader stick with him until the end.
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Dewey Lambdin (1945- ) is an American nautical historical novelist. He is best known for his Alan Lewrie naval adventure series, set during the Napoleonic Wars. Besides the Alan Lewrie series, he is also the author of What Lies Buried: a novel of Old Cape Fear.

A self-proclaimed "Navy Brat," Lambdin spent a good deal of his early days on both coasts of the U.S.A., and overseas duty stations, with h
More about Dewey Lambdin...

Other Books in the Series

Alan Lewrie (1 - 10 of 21 books)
  • The French Admiral (Alan Lewrie, #2)
  • The King's Commission (Alan Lewrie, #3)
  • The King's Privateer (Alan Lewrie, #4)
  • The Gun Ketch (Alan Lewrie, #5)
  • H.M.S. Cockerel (Alan Lewrie, #6)
  • A King's Commander (Alan Lewrie, #7)
  • Jester's Fortune (Alan Lewrie, #8)
  • King's Captain (Alan Lewrie, #9)
  • Sea of Grey (Alan Lewrie, #10)
  • Havoc's Sword (Alan Lewrie, #11)

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