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Welcome to the David Donachie discussion

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Welcome to the David Donachie discussion

Post by Astrodene on Sun 24 Aug 2008, 12:49

I read the first Ludlow novels a few years ago although I haven't read the recent ones. Classified them more as detective novels set in the HFN era. Have only recently found the Pearce novels and haven't managed to get a copy of the first book in the series yet. Quite a good read with someone who is pressed and quite a rebel soon reaching high rank despite not really being interested in the navy

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Re: Welcome to the David Donachie discussion

Post by Wellsy on Thu 20 Aug 2009, 08:29

Good evening Admiral and crew mates.

I am half way through the first of the Ludlow novels and, although I am an avid reader of naval history novels, I must admit I find David's approach - mixing the who-dunnit with a naval adventure - quite refreshing. Not your classic historic sea stories but, non-the-less, very entertaining. I applaud David for the sea-going detail he includes as well as the intrigue.

I am a student of New Zealand immigrant shipping with an ancestral background of merchant shipping and an author of New Zealand shipping disasters in short story form. I guess the salt water is therefore in my blood.

Wishing you all calm sailing throughout your journey and a safe harbour to come home to.

Wellsy

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Re: Welcome to the David Donachie discussion

Post by Astrodene on Thu 20 Aug 2009, 08:46

Welcome to the forum.

In both his Ludlow and Pearce novels Donachie has good characters who provide a different look at life in the sailing navies with original plots rather than the almost standard formats we see in much HNF.

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Re: Welcome to the David Donachie discussion

Post by 80 Winters on Sat 24 Mar 2012, 17:51

For the sake of brevity, I'll make my discussion of the entire John Pearce series, to date, here. I've read the first 7 books as they've been published and have the 8th book Enemies at Every Turn in my reading stack. And as a sidelite, I'm told that Donachie plans 12 books for this series.

John Pearce shares his beginning with the likes of Thomas Paine Kydd and Alan Lewrie. All are men of some education and wit, and all are "pressed". All have no patronage, though seem to gain it either "by accident" or by heroic action. With Pearce we find the results of "the man's" comment: "then isn't it MY Navy"? Of course the result is all of them end up on the quarterdeck with none of the "seasoning" expected of an RN Lieutenant.

However, in Pearce's case, he's bound to a group of "friends" with whom he has nothing in common other than being in the same tavern when the press gang arrived at the door. However, the pressures of the lower deck have bound them into a group "The Pelicans" and Peace has promised them that, somehow, he'll get them all released from their illegal impressment and in doing so, get his nemisis Captain Barclay his deserved "comupance". This, he finds, isn't easily done and his warming relationship with Barclay's young wife.........the fair Emily, adds to the mix.

I've nothing disparaging to say about this series, nor the style of the writer. It's kept me entertained for several years now and I look forward to more of the same. It's in my library.


Last edited by 80 Winters on Sat 24 Mar 2012, 17:54; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : correct spelling)
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Re: Welcome to the David Donachie discussion

Post by 80 Winters on Sun 25 Mar 2012, 00:03

And again, for the sake of brevity, I'll make my discussion of the entire Privateersman series here. Unlike the John Pearce series, Harry and James Ludlow have, it appears, left this world of HNF, never to return. But I am surprised they don't have their own thread....wonder why?

I won't protest this departure because while David Donachie is one of my favorite HNF writers, this series is not among my favorites. Now, I didn't say that "I hate it", because it did hold my attention, but unlike so many HNF books that I've read, where I felt that I was "propelled into the story, with the Ludlows I always felt like I was "reading the story" (if you don't get my meaning, I'll not explain it further).

While it all took place in the right age (1793-96), and there was plenty of action, the story was cut from different cloth......they weren't RN (or even American Navy) they were "privateers" and my association with HNF up to this point, counted "Them" amongst a less patriotic group, sponsored by those eager to make a profit from war. I was steeped in the RN tradition of viewing such with disdain......and while Harry had been forced from the RN on a point of honour, we were just meeting him, while Aubrey was a privateer for a time, but we had known him before (and he was one of the good guys).

So I held my nose, and dove into the first book The Devil's Own Luck"and soon learned that these were shaping up to be "who dunits" with a bit of swashbuckling thrown in. They were something of a team, Harry was the rock solid seaman while James was "the wit", which didn't keep him (or Harry) out of trouble. Fortunately, Harry still had at least one friend in high places in the Admiralty and this came in handy more than once.

By the time I got to the 4th book An Element of Chance while not a "card carrying privateersman", I was enraged by that vengeful RN captain "pressing" seaman that I now knew by name, into his "hell ship". So now, the classic "chase was on". Now we had a mission I could relate to, not just keeping your brother from being "scragged".

The final books, while interesting, seemed more like they were working on the edges and "took what came" than "going straight at 'em" (now that's got a ring to it). The final book A Game of Bones ends on a watershed event for the RN, but then we wait and we wait.....just silence.

I didn't throw them out (almost nothings "that bad" for my taste) and I'll probably read them again, down the road. They're in my library
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Re: Welcome to the David Donachie discussion

Post by 80 Winters on Thu 18 Oct 2012, 02:29

While I'm waiting 'eagerly' for my next John Pearce installment - A Sea of Troubles which I pre-ordered several months ago, the idea came to me that I might order it in Kindle and be able to read it some days before my UK Hardback shows up............'Alas', that's not to be as I find that it will be available only in 'HC' first, then 'PB'.

This led to some research and I find that most of this series is now available on 'audiobook' (though a bit steep for my pocketbook) and the 1st book in the series By the Mast Divided has been available on Kindle since 6 September 2012. Hopefully, the rest of this series will follow suit in the near future.
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Re: Welcome to the David Donachie discussion

Post by broughstar on Thu 20 Jul 2017, 10:34

has anyone read david donachies new book. on a particular service yet. ?
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Re: Welcome to the David Donachie discussion

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