Gillies's Reviews > H.M.S. Surprise

H.M.S. Surprise by Patrick O'Brian
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Dec 15, 09

Read in December, 2009

With every book in this series, Patrick O'Brian seems to add a new dimension to the lives of his main characters, and to stretch the context he places them in, which seems the opposite tendency of most novelists with a winning formula.
His passages of description of Maturin's inner life, in particular, get more and more beautifully crafted, he seems to be shrugging off any restraints of the 'historical naval genre' and reaching for something truly profound. But despite this the pages keep compulsively turning themselves, there's not a minute's loss of interest.
When Captain Ahab said it's '...vain to popularise profundity', he obviously hadn't read these.
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