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What are you reading at the moment? (Part 4)

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Old 23-09-2014, 11:25
Hugh Jboobs
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Did a search for a thread on this series but couldn't find one. Apologies if there is one already.

As the title says really. I love the film Master and Commander and it inspired me to buy the first book of this series. A couple of years ago I started it, but found it pretty heavy going and boring so I gave up.

I've since read reviews online where people have said that the first book is the weakest, as there is a huge chunk on naval vocabulary and warfare that many struggle to get through. But that if you manage the first book, the subsequent novels are compelling.

So has anyone read the series? Would you recommend it? Is it true that the first is a struggle but the remainder are a great read? I like the idea of getting into them if I can, but if they're all as dreary as I remember the first one being, then I wouldn't bother!

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Old 23-09-2014, 12:55
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I loved the film too (big Russell Crowe fan) and tried to get into the books - and failed. I persevered through the first two and gave up halfway through the third. I agree that the first was deadly dull. They do get better, in terms of the storylines and the build-up of the relationship between the two main characters, but there is still so much of the naval terminology and so on that I found them very heavy-going indeed.
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Old 27-09-2014, 23:28
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I found the series - with the notable exception of the second book - really good. I read them all long before I saw the film though, not sure whether or not that makes a difference. I read them one after another and really got into it. Some of the political plots around Stephen Maturin get a bit heavy at times but the writing is consistently good. There are actually some very funny moments in the series too. One book (I think it is The Thirteen Gun Salute) has the most remarkable twist ending I've ever read, I absolutely didn't see it coming and it was a proper emotional rollercoaster. I'd definitely recommend the series if you're interested in seafaring adventures. Once you get i to the series you have to finish it just to see what happens to the characters. In my opinion Patrick O'Brian wipes the floor with C S Forester; apparently he sat down to write Jack Aubrey with the specific intention of making a flawed hero who wasn't stuffy and up his own arse like Horatio Hornblower,
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