Master and Commander (Aubrey & Maturin #1)
An attractive movie-tie-in jacket for the release of the motion picture Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World starring Russell Crowe: "The best sea story I have ever read."--Sir Francis ChichesterThis, the first in the splendid series of Jack Aubrey novels, establishes the friendship between Captain Aubrey, R.N., and Stephen Maturin, ship's surgeon and intellige...more
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While reading it I was bouncing around between everything from a bountiful 5 star rating for pure quality of writing, hefty historical detail and superbly drawn characters, all the way south to a skimpy 2 star for less than engaging plotting, iceberg-like pacing and noticeable lack of emotional resonance. Finally, in my best impression of Solomon, I settled on a solid, if not quite ebullient, 3 stars based on the fact that I was de...more
O'Brian wasn't a big fan of the audio versions of his books, nor of the men reading them: “To revert to my ideal reader: he would avoid obvious emotion, italics and exclamation marks like the plague -...more
Through out the entire series O'Brian delves into the themes of love, war and friendship. At the heart of M&C is the friendship between Captain Jack Aubrey and Irish surgeon and naturalistic Stephen Maturin. When they meet at the book's outset - Aubrey a lieutenant without a ship, Maturin a docto...more
These are naval adventure stories, set mostly aboard a British man-of-war during the Napoleonic conflicts. In those respects they are like C.S. Forester's Horatio Hornblower seri...more
Jack for tapping his hand out of rhythm during a chamber concert. Rather than come to blows,...more
This book had everything in it that I love in great books.
The sentence structure and wordplay were so dexterous and pleasing that I chuckled at its art and cleverness. I learned later that Mr. "O'Brian" (his nom de plume, a fact r...more
Good story, well told. I'm sure all the nautical stuff is accurate but laid on so heavily that it sometimes obscured the story and characters. And it's the development and relationship of those characters which makes Master and Commander worth reading.
And it is worth reading.
post-script: I don't understand why Russel Crowe was cast for the part of Aubrey. I haven't seen the movie,...more
I think the first thing I appreciated about the book was O'Brian's engaging, yet efficient, style that kept the story moving along at a steady pace. Not only was the pacing crisp and the style absorbing, but O'Brian managed to pack in enough detail to keep naval aficionados happy, yet was accessible to landlubbers like me with minimum ef...more
On to the review:
The Aubrey-Maturin canon is like Marmite - you will either love it or hate it. There is action here aplenty, for those that want it, but this isn’t Bernard Cornwell’s Sharpe or C.S. Foresters’s Hor...more
This first: I definitely want more of Jack and Stephen! But with better paced narration.
It's a more a 3.5 star book than a 3 star book, but I want to leave room for improvement. ;)
Over all I really liked it -- the main characters are above all fault, and I hope to see them again soon in the second volume! -- but it has a few, serious problems.
First of all, the book doesn't have the greatest pacing. The plot feels far more episodic than I would...more
It's the equivalent of a chef with a stocked kitchen throwing all his ingredients and spices into a giant pot.
The result is a death...more
The entire series is a great read for anyone who likes the history of England, or of science, or of naval warfare. It also includes lots of great characters and plot twists. I would not however recommend the whole series to everyone. A certain proclivity toward all-out adventure stories is needed to fully enjoy all twenty-ish volumes.
Master and Commander is different in this respect. It is a more s...more
O'Brian has perfectly recreated the British navy of the early 19th century, down to the most astonishing details. His books provide a perfect complement to Jane Austen, who lived and wro...more
|Is there any historical fiction writer as good as O'Brian?||72||314||Jun 11, 2013 03:19AM|
|Aubrey's purpose in taking the 12 pounders aboard?||8||79||Apr 07, 2013 12:27PM|