Friday February 2, 2007

     Since I have all of the books in my reading basket displayed for you to see, and since I am updating my books read for 2007 list each time I finish a book, I thought I might take just a few moments to talk about the Patrick O’Brian novels.

     My husband and I started reading these books shortly after seeing the movie Master and Commander.  The Aubrey-Maturin series is based on the British Navy of Lord Nelson’s time.  England is at war with Napoleon’s France at the beginning of the series, and war with America enters in about mid-series.  The series is written chronologically and should be read in numerical order. These books are full of fine historical fiction, with lots of nautical history and sailing information as well.  The characters are very well written, and their personalities and mannerisms become quite well known to the reader.  So well known, in fact, that we are known to quote lines from the books to one another!  These books are filled with good-natured humor, espionage, battles, intrigue, action, friendships, nature study and even some romance.  Several pieces of classical music are mentioned in the books as well, since Captain Aubrey and his friend Dr. Maturin enjoy musical evenings aboard ship playing violin and cello duets.   In fact, there are now three CD’s of the music mentioned in the books.  We enjoy all three of these classical CDs:  Musical Evenings With The CaptainMusical Evenings with the Captain Volume II, and Musical Evenings in the Captain’s Cabin

     Copper is several books ahead of me in the series, and Dani has finished the series. We have all enjoyed these books a great deal, and I know that I, for one, will likely read through the entire series again sometime.

     I do want to caution you, though. These books are written about naval life, and some of the seamen are sailors through and through.  While the language in the books is, at times, crude, you are likely to hear far worse on an outing to the grocery store (at least in our part of the country!).  I’m not condoning or excusing the use of foul language, but in this series it is, I believe, in context and not excessive, and does not take away from our enjoyment of the books.  There is also the occasional reference to indecent, sinful behavior.  These references are, for the most part, quite vague and all are non-graphic; and the sinful behavior is generally acknowledged to be just that – sinful. However, because of this, I would not recommend these books for everyone.

     There are a total of 20 full novels in this series.  Mr. O’Brian was working on the 21st book at the time of his death.  I know that once I reach the very short, last book in the series, I will likely be disappointed that I will never know the final outcomes of Captain Jack Aubrey and his good friend Dr. Stephen Maturin! 

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