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Midshipman Bolitho (The first 3 chronilogical stories of Bolitho in 1 book)

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Midshipman Bolitho (The first 3 chronilogical stories of Bolitho in 1 book)

Post by TRDG on Fri 26 Aug 2011, 12:11

In this book compilation we have

Richard Bolitho-Midshipman

Midshipman Bolitho and The Avenger

Band of Brothers

I was'nt sure what to expect as I just got done reading the Hornblower and Aubrey series, but I was in for a great time.

Again I will use this paraphase, not the "blurb" in the back cover.

Midshipman

The young Richard Bolitho gets to sail in the 74 gun Gorgon, though not to well versed at his young age. He learns what sea life is all about and what it takes to survive the Pirates in Africa in 1772.


Avenger

Richard goes home to Cornwall for the Christmas holiday ut runs into some "snags" as smuggleing and other events try to rip apart his towns life, as well as his home.
He is reunited with his brother Hugh on a small ship Avenger to help protect Englands home waters in 1773.



Band of Brothers

Richard in 1774 must pass for his lieutenants test and deal again with smugglers in his "home waters"!!


This character came alive for me as we see him in his younger formative years, loved it, except for what happened to a certain someone in the last story......

Cheers, as usual now if you post very key events use the "spoiler" devise. But more general and fairly basic comments most welcome.

Links to the site reviews for each story

Midshipman
http://www.historicnavalfiction.com/index.php/book-title-index/r/862

Avenger
http://www.historicnavalfiction.com/index.php/book-title-index/m/863


Band of Brothers
http://www.historicnavalfiction.com/index.php/book-title-index/b/864

Tom


Last edited by TRDG on Sat 27 Aug 2011, 17:04; edited 6 times in total
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Re: Midshipman Bolitho (The first 3 chronilogical stories of Bolitho in 1 book)

Post by malchya on Fri 26 Aug 2011, 12:17

I admit that I've only read the first two midshipmen books and then only when they first came out. I really like Kent. He's rather a guilty pleasure for me. But these left me indifferent at best. I reckon I will have to pick them up and re read them prior to reading "Band of Brothers." (As an aside, I have a reading stack roughly the size of the Tower of Babylon, but I picked up my ratty old copy of "Sloop of War" last night instead. I needed an old friend after wading through Stockwin's "Quarterdeck.")


Last edited by malchya on Fri 26 Aug 2011, 12:17; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : My computer doesn't know and I won't tell!)
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Re: Midshipman Bolitho (The first 3 chronilogical stories of Bolitho in 1 book)

Post by reb01501 on Fri 26 Aug 2011, 13:02

I came to these after finishing most of the later books and do remember feeling underwhelmed. Yes, they explained a few of the puzzlers that were mentioned (in passing) in Stand Into Danger, but that was insufficient to make these the gripping tales they should have been.

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Re: Midshipman Bolitho (The first 3 chronilogical stories of Bolitho in 1 book)

Post by TRDG on Sat 27 Aug 2011, 17:07

I'm thinking because I read these 3 stories just after reading the "1st one story only" book( and not most or all of the others like you guys did) after these first it had more of an impact on me.

I liked what it showed of his home, the family and the area where he lived, what there was of it anyways. I kind of wished he would have went a bit deeper into it myself.

Cheers, thanks fo the comments.

Tom
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Re: Midshipman Bolitho (The first 3 chronilogical stories of Bolitho in 1 book)

Post by TRDG on Tue 13 Sep 2011, 05:59

Just had a fresh rereading of this book,
.

Of the three stories, Midshipman seemed to be the weakest, but still a good read.

From Richard and Dancer first meeting at the tavern before going onto Gorgon, knowing Bolitho was an "old hand" compared to the other new Midshipman. To finding and rummaging about that abandoned mystery ship, the hints of what Richard has done in the past before getting this ship. An interesting "sea battle" if you could call it that and the final one on land.

I wish we would have gotten a little more Dancer background though.

Cheers, Avenger next

Tom
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Re: Midshipman Bolitho (The first 3 chronilogical stories of Bolitho in 1 book)

Post by Paul-B on Tue 13 Sep 2011, 11:00

Note to self. Dig out my Bolitho books and have a go at these again, it's quite a while since I read any Kent (although not so long since I read a Reeman).

So many books, so little time!
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Re: Midshipman Bolitho (The first 3 chronilogical stories of Bolitho in 1 book)

Post by TRDG on Tue 13 Sep 2011, 12:22

Thanks for the post Paul, these three stories do give some context to our hero I beleave!! You just have to "accept" that they are fairly short stories and not a novel each, so expectations are kept in reality.

Now onto the Avenger story

The best one IMHO

Richard and Dancer go back to the Bolitho's household in Cornwall, after a year and a half of Gorgon service.

Now I know many here just don't like a lot or almost any "shore actions" or at home doings from their Age of Fighting Sail books. But for me it can (if done right) add so much more to the series and specific characters, and this is one of them!!

Richard and Dancer arrive at the Bolitho house and expect a longer shore leave while the Gorgon is refitting, little do they know..... Ha Ha.
A body is found and that leads to an interesting read about smugglers and ship wreckers, as well as Richards brother Hugh and his "problems"...

Getting the feel of the Bolitho family, where they came from, how Richard grew up around them with his Father, Mother and brothers and sisters from the tidbits in this story really made him come alive for me.

No less the action and discriptions of the Cornwall area from the main house to the coastal waters and inlets where the action takes place.

Plus the local lives of just regular old England at that time, loved it. Again I thought Dancer might have been more thought out given a bit more, but that is not to be so I found myself wanting more of that to make him seem more real and Richards best friend for more of an impact of what happens in the 3rd story, but it worked.

Cheers

Tom

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Re: Midshipman Bolitho (The first 3 chronilogical stories of Bolitho in 1 book)

Post by Paul-B on Tue 13 Sep 2011, 12:53

I absolutely agree with you, the depth of character that a good author brings to the world he or she creates means that the personalities of the people inhabiting those worlds become more than single-dimension "cardboard" figures. In the case of our HNF heroes the development of the background which builds the character involved into a "real" person is so much more than time onboard ship/behaviour in his or her frame of reference, it shows how the character has developed to be the person he or she is, and of course this is built-up from every aspect of that person's life.
Stockwin has done the same with both Kydd and Renzi, fleshing-out their characters by developing their background both in society in general, in their own societies in particular, and in the way the character has developed his outlook on life and the reasoning behind the personality of the man (which is why I didn't particularly enjoy "Mutiny", the actions of Kydd in that scenario seems to be very much at odds with his normal way of thinking).
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Re: Midshipman Bolitho (The first 3 chronilogical stories of Bolitho in 1 book)

Post by TRDG on Thu 15 Sep 2011, 16:54

Perfect, like minded like me as well!!

Its not just that but an actual break from all the sea action makes it a bit more fresh and a pleasure to read. And a tad more realistic as I wonder how many actual sea battles/cutting out ships and shore party battles were fought on average per ship per voyage.....

If it is well written and an interesting part of the Characters overall story then I have little problem with a lot of a book dealing with more personel stuff on shore.

Cheers, more about kydd on that thread I started when I get to him.

Tom
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Re: Midshipman Bolitho (The first 3 chronilogical stories of Bolitho in 1 book)

Post by Astrodene on Thu 15 Sep 2011, 17:16

@TRDG wrote:I wonder how many actual sea battles/cutting out ships and shore party battles were fought on average per ship per voyage.....

Off topic but in some cases quite a lot. When I was researching the this day in history section the same names and ships often came up time again particularly in campaigns such as in the adriatic. Cochrane is well known in this respect, William Hoste perhaps less so.

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Re: Midshipman Bolitho (The first 3 chronilogical stories of Bolitho in 1 book)

Post by Joefirefighter on Tue 27 Dec 2011, 02:04

While vacationing in Mexico, I met a gentleman from England who recommended Kent to me. I had never heard of him before. Upon arriving back home, I visited Half-Price Books and found the Midshipman Bolitho book as well as Stand into Danger and was promptly underwhelmed. I had read O'Brian by this point and some of Forester but could not get into Kent. Maybe it's because he was fighting Americans? I don't know.

I'd certainly be interested in your opinions, does Kent get better after the first couple of books?
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Re: Midshipman Bolitho (The first 3 chronilogical stories of Bolitho in 1 book)

Post by reb01501 on Tue 27 Dec 2011, 15:30

Yes, he gets better. Try a couple more in the series before making a final judgement. If you read this thread from the beginning, you will find that you are not alone in your opinion about the "middie" books.

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Re: Midshipman Bolitho (The first 3 chronilogical stories of Bolitho in 1 book)

Post by Provost on Sat 11 Feb 2012, 06:47

It is funny reading these comments because as I did a little research as I was getting ready to dive into this series, I found that they were not written in order.

In fact, 7 other books in the series were written before the first midshipman novel.

You would think the style had become set by then, but some of the comments here make it seem like he was feeling his way with the midshipmen books.

It will be interesting to progress through the series.
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Re: Midshipman Bolitho (The first 3 chronilogical stories of Bolitho in 1 book)

Post by Provost on Mon 13 Feb 2012, 10:21

Well, having finished them, I would have to say that I found them a little thin. Shorter than I would of thought for a novel, more like three long short-stories.

I am looking forward to continuing the series though.
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Re: Midshipman Bolitho (The first 3 chronilogical stories of Bolitho in 1 book)

Post by Doctor Fred on Mon 13 Feb 2012, 17:48

Well in all truth, that's exactly what they were.

I think you'll find Stand into Danger to be more substantial.
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Re: Midshipman Bolitho (The first 3 chronilogical stories of Bolitho in 1 book)

Post by TRDG on Tue 14 Feb 2012, 10:57

Yep, 3 short stories bound into one book, I liked them, could have he added more depth for my taste, yes he could. But still at least got a glimpse of young Bolitho.

Cheers, just keep reading guys and I hope it picks up as I beleave they will for you.

Tom
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Re: Midshipman Bolitho (The first 3 chronilogical stories of Bolitho in 1 book)

Post by Provost on Fri 24 Feb 2012, 00:09

@Doctor Fred wrote:I think you'll find Stand into Danger to be more substantial.

I have now read Stand into Danger and In Gallant Company.

They are more rounded out, and much longer.

I do like the writing style and how the character has progressed. I am looking forward to more.
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