Ken-ichi's Reviews > Master and Commander

Master and Commander by Patrick O'Brian
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Jan 12, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: escape, historical-fiction
Read in May, 2005

Picked this up due to a slowly rising interesting in 19th century naturalism. I guess I’m also not averse to swashbuckling and arcane nautical nerdery. Ten pages in and already one animal sighting: a hoopoe!

Aaaannnd done

Wow, that was much better than expected. Now I keep wanting to pepper my conversation with words like “larboard” or “fo’c’s’l,” which is sadly difficult in my current situation. The absurd civility of all the mayhem is also quite funny. Example, from a scene in which Capt. Jack Aubrey has been captured by the French, who have just sighted several approaching and hostile British ships:

"Do you think they will attack?" asked Captain Pallière, turning to Jack. “or do you think they will anchor off Gibraltar?”

"To tell you the truth, sir," said Jack, looking over the sea at the towering Rock, "I am quite sure they will attack."

"Well," said Captain Pallière, "let it not spoil our breakfast, at all events."


Hilarious. Also, Maturin’s naturalizing and utter clinical detachment are all kinds of fun.
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Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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message 1: by Stella (new)

Stella they don't make em like p o'brien any more


Ken-ichi Sadly no. Maybe I should dip back into the series for my next bit of escapism...


message 3: by Stella (new)

Stella why are you only on master and commander still? Haven't you got any further in the series? Missing out on one of life's great pleasures. Escapism is a good thing.


Ken-ichi This was a review I wrote in my blog way back in 2005, and I just recently pasted it in here on Goodreads. I believe the next up for me is Treason's Harbour.


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