Stephen's Reviews > Master and Commander

Master and Commander by Patrick O'Brian
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's review
May 04, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: books-read-in-2012, historical-fiction, sea-stories, and-saw-the-movie
Read from May 03 to 05, 2012

Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin are admirable successors to Horatio Hornblower. While Aubrey doesn't have the visceral appeal for me that Hornblower did, I look forward to reading more of his adventures. The nautical aspects of the story are engrossing and the interplay of Aubrey and Maturin promise to be interesting but the narrative doesn't flow yet as organically as it did in Forester's books. I'm hoping that that will change as I read further.

These do appear to be worthwhile reads and do a credible job of evoking the period and the situations involved. I found myself at several points trying to decide why this didn't grip me the way that the Hornblower novels did and I think, at least in part, its the nature of the characters and the points of narration. Hornblower was intensely introspective and seeing everything from his point of view made it easy for the reader to identify with the hero, Jack Aubrey is not of the same character. Maturin was required to carry some parts of the narrative, particularly in regards to Aubrey's character and it felt a bit second hand. I'm curious to see how this develops as their friendship develops.
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