Phil's Reviews > Post Captain

Post Captain by Patrick O'Brian
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Feb 11, 13


A good book certainly, but a little too long. This one is 525 pages and should not have exceeded 400 pages. As most readers know this is #2 in a 21 book series, which must be some sort of record. If nothing else it shows that Pat O'Brian has a gift for story, not necessarily plot as there wasn't much build up and climax. As other readers have said, the series is historical fiction at is best. I agree. Essentially the author provides a tour de force of 1804 England through two protagonists - Jack Aubry and Stephan Maturin. The reader gets a clear uninterrupted dream (for the most part) of English society, customs, mores, food, the ladies, their problems and concerns (same as ours), city life, country life, class system, inequity, crazy laws, nutty ways those people looked at things, marriage, sexual innuendo, guys and gals that want to have sex and think about it a lot and play head games with one another, and of course navy life. O'Brien is sometimes hard to follow and I'm not just talking about the naval jargon which is difficult in the beginning but gets easier as you hit the middle. I suggest a naval dictionary -- there are a few on line for free. He's just sometimes hard to follow as a writer. On more than one occasion I was forced to back track to figure out what he was trying to say. That's a no no for writers unless, of course, the writer is published. Which I am not, yet, but hope to be soon. Ok I'll give Mr. O'Brian some lee way (he uses the term lee, leeward, lee this, lee that a lot. I eventually found out that LEE means down wind or with the wind) and concede some confusion due to my less than focused reading. But not all of it -- he's taking some of the blame as well. I have ordered #3 in the series so I guess that says it all. I want to see how the writing progresses in the later novels, but I also admire the story and naval setting.
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