Nelson's Reviews > Post Captain

Post Captain by Patrick O'Brian
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's review
Jun 27, 2011

really liked it
Read from June 02 to 22, 2011

There is something terribly apt about the ship Aubrey gets to command in the opening two thirds of this novel: the Polychrest, a strange, double-beaked ship supposedly capable of sailing forward or backward. The prows pointing in opposite directions, push-me-pull-you style is an apt metaphor because, for much of the novel, Aubrey and his friend Maturin are at odds over an unmarried woman, an adventuress holding out for the best match possible before her looks fade. Her intelligence and cynicism draw Maturin; her looks and animal spirits, Aubrey. Worse, Aubrey pursues her recklessly, risking his career and an altogether more suitable match in Sophie Williams. Aubrey and Maturin are at loggerheads to the degree that they come perilously close to fighting a duel. Naturally, all comes right in the end (there are eighteen more novels in the bloody series, after all). Most importantly (for the series), Jack comes to a clearer understanding of who and what Maturin is. As satisfyingly plotted as the series opener; a deft continuation.

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