cat63 (cat63) wrote in 50bookchallenge,

Book 13 for 2011

Master and Commander by Patrick O'Brian. 412 pages

I'd seen this series highly recommended by a lot of SF readers and quite enjoyed the Russell Crowe film about the same characters, so I thought it was worth giving this book a try. I'm sorry to say that I wasn't terribly impressed.

Obviously, in a book about the navy at the time of the Napoleonic wars, you'd expect a certain amount of seagoing jargon, but I felt it was rather overdone here, such that it felt as though the author was showing off how much research he'd done. And yet at other times I felt quite confused as to who was supposed to be at war with whom.

The characters were moderately interesting, but the plot, such as it was, seemed to me to be rather disjointed at times - I know I've complained previously about a book that wanted to account for every second of passing time, but this one seemed to have the opposite problem, cutting off scenes before they'd reached their conclusion, or so it seemed to me.

The protagonist was having an affair with a married woman, which didn't help - having a supposedly sympathetic character engage in infidelity is a fast way to lose most of my sympathy for them.

I don't think I'll be bothering with any more of this series.
Tags: historical fiction

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