Master & Commander

A comprehensive historical and literary review of the work of Patrick O’Brien – the Aubrey and Maturin novels in the New Criterion by Robert Messenger. O’Brien is one of my favourite writers. This review emphasizes some of the history. I like the novels in which Maturin has the chance to act on his interests as naturalist and explorer. That part of the series was captured in some scenes in the movie version of Master and Commander, The Far Side of the World (which are two separate books in the series, merged into one movie).

1 thought on “Master & Commander”

  1. garth danielson

    When I started working at Uncle Edgar’s Mystery Bookstore back around 1994 I asked the manager Jeff Hatfield, about the series, it was not really a mystery and there was nearly nothing else but in the store. It was a favorite of his…he was very enthusiastic about those books. Since there was so much sittin’ about time there I picked up the first and shortly there after put it down and never finished. I just couldn’t read them, something about the writing was absolutely unreadable to me. This doesn’t happen very often, recently I have had trouble with China Mieville and Alexander McCall Smith. I was able to get through the first book of Mieville’s, but just barely, and have still not finished the second, the highly aclaimed Perdido Street Station. I am reading a few dozen other books before I tackle it again. I couldn’t read the Dr. Moritz-Maria von Igelfeld series by Smith, even though I think the No. 1 Ladies detective series is one of the most beautifully written series I have ever read. The person who turned me onto Smith, the manager at DreamHaven Elizabeth, could not read them either. Luckily she was able to return them and we didn’t have to spend money for unreadable books,as opposed to spending money on unread books. I have so many books I have bought and not read…someday. I wish I could understand why I couldn’t read them, just something in the style I could not process. I can understand the words in each sentance but something about the way they were put together just stopped me. Have you ever encountered this. I don’t think it’s rare. I’m not worried. I have way to many books to read as it is…I just been in a buying books mood lately and have accumulated over 200 in the last 3-4 months, mostly young adult fantasy. The nice thing about some kids books is they are rather short quick reads and the stories are usually pretty good. Off to work, see ya.

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