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      Something Wicked This Way Comes...   10/09/2019

      The Autumn Supporter Giveaway!       Welcome to the very first of the seasonal BCF supporter giveaways! This month also marks one year since I took on the forum, so I want to say an extra huge thank you to all of you for keeping this place going. I have a little bit more to say about that later but, for now, let's get to the giveaway!     The Autumn Giveaway winner will be getting two Penguin Little Black Classics, The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe and To Be Read At Dusk by Charles Dickens. Both of these little books contain three atmospheric short stories, perfect for autumnal evenings. The winner will also get Mary Shelley tea (a lavender and vanilla black tea) from Rosie Lea Tea's Literary Tea Collection (https://www.rosieleatea.co.uk/collections/literary-tea-collection) and a chocolate skull, to really get that spooky atmosphere .   and...   A special treat for a special month. The winner will choose one of the following recent paperback releases from the independent bookshop Big Green Bookshop:       The Wych Elm by Tana French A House of Ghosts by W.C. Ryan Melmoth by Sarah Perry The Familiars by Stacey Halls  The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White   The winner will be chosen via the usual random selection process in one week. Patreon supporters are entered automatically. If you aren't a patreon supporter but you'd like to join in with this giveaway, you can support here: https://www.patreon.com/bookclubforum.   I really hope you're all going to like this introduction to the seasonal giveaways. It's been a lot of fun to put together. Other chocolate skulls may have been harmed during the selection process…     
AWoolford

Patrick OBrian Aubrey-Maturin series

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Has anyone read any books from Patrick O'Brian's (Aubrey-Maturin) series?

 

Any input about the books,

 

 

I watched Master and Commander last night and it peaked my interest.

:welcome:

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Exactly as robotw said. I have the whole set, and have read them all, now on my third read-through. The writing is really excellent, the atmosphere and background are so deep and well-researched, and the characters (especially the male characters, O'Brian's one weakness being the limited exploration he gives to female characters) are very richly portrayed, you will enjoy reading and re-reading if you catch the bug.

 

Compared to the film (which is excellent, but a compound of lots of the book stories) the books are much more richly descriptive, in some cases based more on land than at sea, and show a much wider range of the nature of the characters, especially Maturin (who pretty clearly has a strong whiff of O'Brian self-portrait about him). And, crucially, the humour comes out more strongly in the books - tinder-dry, understated 19th century humour, but funny for all that.

 

If you find the Austen-esque langage and dialogue a bit hard going a first, it's worth persevering - it might take a chapter or three to 'get your eye in'. And the O'Brian fanbase (especially in the US, bizarrely) is so well established that there are companion books and websites to help you out if the jargon defeats you at first.

 

Enjoy!!

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21 volumes?! Wow! I love stories like this, but so far have not read any of these. Doubt if I'll be able to get through ALL of them, though.... :D

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A lot of people struggle with the first two books, many give up! As iancbradley says though, persevere! I've read the whole series four times (over the past two decades or so) and now I'm listening to them on Audible, which is fantastic. First time through I didn't read them in order, but if you find the first two heavy going, go straight to HMS Surprise.

 

Will.

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^^  Are the audiobooks abridged versions?

 

I've read the first two books so far (I posted some comments here and here).  I struggled with the first one to begin with but it's safe to say I'm a fan, now, as I enjoyed the second so much.  HMS Surprise is next up on my TBR pile - should be starting it tomorrow - and I already have The Mauritius Command and Desolation Island on the shelf ready to go :D

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There are some abridged versions, but the ones read by Rick Jerrom are all in full, and he's an excellent narrator.

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HMS Surprise is one of the best in the series, it's got a bit of everything in it. Enjoy.

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^^ Yeah, I really enjoyed it (commented on it here).  Quite dark in places compared to the first two.  I have The Mauritius Command and Desolation Island on the shelf ready to go :smile:

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Getting more and more interested in these- can't see myself getting to them this year though. wacko.png TBR  has 80 odd books to be read 

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I started Master and Commander....when the torture scene came....I put it down. 

I guess I'm just not a fan of sea going stories.

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Getting more and more interested in these- can't see myself getting to them this year though.  

 

I doubt I'll get through them this year, myself.  The ones I've read so far have been so good I want to spread the rest out and savour them :D

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Hi Nabokovian, might I suggest you move to 'HMS Surprise'? It would be a terrible shame to miss out on the whole series because of one scene, on the whole these are not bloodthirsty books, not by modern standards anyway!

 

Cheers.

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I started Master and Commander....when the torture scene came....I put it down. 

I guess I'm just not a fan of sea going stories.

 

Hi Nabokovian, might I suggest you move to 'HMS Surprise'? It would be a terrible shame to miss out on the whole series because of one scene, on the whole these are not bloodthirsty books, not by modern standards anyway!

Cheers.

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Hi Nabokovian, might I suggest you move to 'HMS Surprise'? It would be a terrible shame to miss out on the whole series because of one scene, on the whole these are not bloodthirsty books, not by modern standards anyway!

Cheers.

I'll take a look Will, in fact we should/might get to the 2nd hand bookstore today, so will see if they have it. :) Thanks

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I really enjoyed the entire series. O'Brian was a magical writer, but there's always a matter of taste. I'd suggest watching the Master and Commander film and, if you like that, you'd love the books.

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BBC Radio 4 show Bookclub discusses Patrick O'Brian's Master & Commander:

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b04tcxm4

 

Worth a listen.

 

 

 

Also, belatedly, I found out that Benedict Cumberbatch has been reading the seventh novel in the Aubrey/Maturin series, The Surgeon's Mate, for Radio 4 Extra. 

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b04t98s0/episodes/guide

 

Unfortunately, the episodes are disappearing quickly.

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I read the first four books of this series a few years ago, but for some reason, never moved on. I have no idea why, as I thought the ones I read were brilliant. Anyway, I've just finished Master and Commander, and have posted a review here on my book blog thread. Hope it's of interest to other enthusiasts or possible newbies.

 

Incidentally, referring back to pontalba's posting earlier,  there is no torture scene in Master and Commander, although I vaguely remember one in the early books.  Perhaps in Post Captain?  I'll soon find out if it is here, as that is the next one.

Edited by willoyd

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Thought I'd gather links to my reviews of the books together in one post.  I'll update this post with more as I go along. 

 

There are minor spoilers in these reviews, usually relating to the previous book in the series, so please be aware.

 

 

Master & Commander

Post Captain

HMS Surprise

The Mauritius Command

Desolation Island

The Fortune of War

The Surgeon's Mate

The Ionian Mission

Treason's Harbour

The Far Side of the World

The Reverse of the Medal

The Letter of Marque

The Thirteen Gun Salute

The Nutmeg of Consolation

Clarissa Oakes

The Wine Dark Sea

The Commodore

The Yellow Admiral

The Hundred Days

Blue at the Mizzen

Edited by Karsa Orlong

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I am also a fan of the series,and have (so far) read them

all twice. I saw the film 'Master and Commander' first and

then came across the books a short while afterwards.

I managed to get the full set, and dived right in and worked

through them.Superb stuff, like 'Hornblower' but with added

layers of grit and realism!

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