Sunday, April 4, 1999

Master And Commander

by Patrick O'Brian

A ripping yarn, this long book introduces the unlikely pair Stephen Maturin, learned ship’s surgeon and Captain Aubrey, bluff Epicurean fellow.  There’s a series of naval engagements, not much of a plot aside from some business with some Irish rebels which causes dismay with the Irish lieutenant.  Anyway, though there’s far too much naval jargon — lengthy paragraphs describing the ship’s movements which may as well be in Greek — the epic creates magic.  With its meticulously researched descriptions of all aspects of 19th century life and witty dialogue, the book makes fascinating, vivid reading.  I tore through it.

four stars

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