Discussion in 'Other Books' started by Boreas, Jan 1, 2017.
Still re-reading O'Brian's Master and Commander.
Finished M&C. Almost tempted to pick up the sequel right away, but I think I'll read a different book before I get back to the series.
I liked it even more the second time. This first novel can be a little hard going because of the sheer detail, especially if you're unfamiliar with naval nomenclature. But O'Brian's descriptions are excellent, all his characters are excellent, his cheeky humour is excellent, and I love the 15 stone, low-brow-humour-loving, full-of-mirth nominal captain that is Jack Aubrey. Love the naval battle scenes, but I must confess that you'll like it a LOT more once you become familiar with all the different types of masts, sails, ropes, decks, directions, winds, etc. It takes a little while, but it's so worth it.
C. S. Forester's Horatio Hornblower novels are much easier to read, and while they are complex in their own way, they don't contain nearly the same depth of observations concerning human nature and moral behaviour that just this first instalment of O'Brian's series has offered for consideration. And while I do love Hornblower as a character, and he does grow and develop through the series, he's in essence a stock character, made from a particular mold. Aubrey is presented as rather more fluid; his character comprising a variegated disposition with the potential to range more widely over the spectrum of human emotions, yet also more free and easy with his natural state and quicker to revert to his centre of balance than Hornblower initially was. And especially excellent are some of the side characters in O'Brian's M&C - full of their own detailed motivations, desires and contradictory natures. And the friendship between the fat, jocular Captain Aubrey and the thin, somewhat reserved Dr. Maturin is absolutely endearing.
Reading Killing Socrates by M Chicot, a historical novel set during the 30 year of the Peloponnesian war. It mixes fictional characters, such as Perseo, Casandra or Deianira, with historical ones like Socrates, Aristophanes, Brasidas and Euripides. Killing Socrates tells us the terrible events during the fight for the control over Greece between Sparta and Athens.
Great read so far!
I have also finished Breeds II by K C Blackmore, a trepidante horror story with werewolfs with a twist. A fun, entertaining easy read.
I'm also in the middle of a crime novel but it is not an English tittle.
Thinking of either starting a contemporary novel with David Guterson's The Other or a classic thriller with Geoffrey Household's Rogue Male. They seem to be pretty much polar opposites of each other.
Which one did you go for in the end?
Killing Socrates by M Chicot, is killing my patience. Nothing is terribly wrong with the story; however, Chicot underestimates his readers and believes he needs to explain the obvious. No need for that. Reasonable clever readers can deduce story lines without having them spelt out. They can even anticipate them considering they are not particularly complex. I shall continue though...
I've not picked up another book to read yet, so still haven't decided.
I was off work yesterday and picked up and reread an old friend: The Laughing Policeman (Martin Beck#4) by Sjöwall-Wahlöö, the creators of the scandinavian Noir genre.
A classic in my eyes that should be revived to infuse some spark back into the stale state of the current scandi Noir novel.
Anne of Green Gables. I really enjoyed the start but it's really starting to bore me. Anne has some good traits but I don't really like her. Not sure if I will finish. Another 80 or so pages to go.
I tried it a while ago and couldn't get into it. I don't often leave stories unfinished but I did that time.
I might try watching one of the many film or TV adaptations for Anne of Green Gables instead of reading the book. I've been checking them all out and the 1985 Canadian TV film one looks like it might be good.
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