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Aubrey–Maturin series: Top 10 books ?

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Aubrey–Maturin series: Top 10 books ?

Post by darqmoth on Fri 25 Jul 2014, 21:54

Hi there!

I have read the first three books in the series:
Master and Commander (1970)
Post Captain (1972)
HMS Surprise (1973)

Now I am about to read the forth one - The Mauritius Command (1977).
Yet looking at reviews I wonder if it worth the time, compared to the first book.

How would you rate Aubrey–Maturin series? What would be the top 10 books and in what order?
So :
1. Master and Commander
What next?
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Re: Aubrey–Maturin series: Top 10 books ?

Post by reb01501 on Sat 26 Jul 2014, 02:00

This is pointless. Read them in order.  Very Happy 

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Re: Aubrey–Maturin series: Top 10 books ?

Post by 80 Winters on Sat 26 Jul 2014, 16:44

Listen to what rebo1501 is telling you.

When you choose to begin reading 'a series' the popular opinion is "read them in order". While there can be 'really great books' in a series, most authors will admit to having written at least one book in their series, that they'd like to make changes in, when viewed sometime later. But it's still an integral part of the complete story. Skipping a book in a series is like 'taking a bathroom break' in the middle of a movie (except here, you can't ask the fellow in the next seat: "What did I miss?").

My experience has been that if I really don't like the 1st book in a series.......then I will consider looking elsewhere for my entertainment. However, if I did 'mostly enjoy it' then I'll move on to the next book in the author's series.

As for "Reviews".......while I might read them, but knowing little or nothing of the writer, I tend to make my own judgements.....and so should you.
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Re: Aubrey–Maturin series: Top 10 books ?

Post by darqmoth on Sat 26 Jul 2014, 19:51

@80 Winters wrote:
When you choose to begin reading 'a series' the popular opinion is "read them in order". While there can be 'really great books' in a series, most authors will admit to having written at least one book in their series, that they'd like to make changes in, when viewed sometime later. But it's still an integral part of the complete story. Skipping a book in a series is like 'taking a bathroom break' in the middle of a movie (except here, you can't ask the fellow in the next seat: "What did I miss?").

I agree. Reading 'a series' in order is usually the best way to get the ideas conceived by the author in this series.
Master and Commander is a great book, really. Excellent story-telling, amiable, intelligent Aubrey and Maturin characters acting in a setting of very interesting period of naval history. Yet with every next book I get a feeling of less and less wind in the sails of Aubrey–Maturin ship making passage in the waves of O'Brian story, please forgive my clumsy metaphor here.
With series rating I was hopping to get a glimpse of maybe one or two standing apart, interesting stories ahead of me. This anticipation would make make my progress more enjoyable :-)

@80 Winters wrote:
As for "Reviews".......while I might read them, but knowing little or nothing of the writer, I tend to make my own judgements.....and so should you.
I tend to make my own judgments as well, but at what expense? Time is the most precious thing in this world, and there so many great books to read ...
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Re: Aubrey–Maturin series: Top 10 books ?

Post by 80 Winters on Sat 26 Jul 2014, 23:17

(I'll try to keep this in the context of the Aubrey-Maturin novels, so we don't get "off subject" here).

Not meaning to 'digress' or quibble, you say "Time is the most precious thing in this world", but Jack Aubrey (and I) would say that 'what you do with that time' is the only real value of it, so seek those things you place highest in value: adventure, knowledge, reward, love, friendship and always honor. A good book can provide this, but as with everything in life, you must 'wager' your time to find out.

I've read the Aubrey-Maturin novels several times in the past 30 years (hardback/kindle/audio) and found them, "as a series", to be 'among the very best' ....that's my review.

I wish you "good reading" and look forward to your 'adding' your thoughts here in 'the forum' on any or all of these novels as you finish them. Good reading.
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Re: Aubrey–Maturin series: Top 10 books ?

Post by reb01501 on Sat 26 Jul 2014, 23:21

Take your time and savour the A-M series. It's the benchmark against which all other HNF series are measured.
Yes, I've heard some so-so reviews of Mauritius but I enjoyed it.

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Re: Aubrey–Maturin series: Top 10 books ?

Post by Kade1301 on Sun 27 Jul 2014, 18:10

I love being contradictory!

Having just finished The Mauritius Command I feel I wouldn't have missed anything if I had skipped it. Besides I hate reading about disasters caused by inept people in charge, so reading the book was pretty infuriating. There's also no events that are important to the next books, as far as I remember.

I liked Desolation Island - the next book in the series - much better. From which you can see that I didn't read the books in order. The main reason why I'm filling in the gaps now is that I am beginning to get the feeling (I hope very much I'm wrong, though) that language-wise Patrick O'Brian might be the best there is in HNF. So even a second-rate O'Brian might be better than a first-class xxx Sad

(Plot-wise, though, I'm with Peter Weir: If you remove the wonderful prose, you are left with fascinating characters - and not much else. Quoted from memory, from the DVD extras.)

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Re: Aubrey–Maturin series: Top 10 books ?

Post by darqmoth on Sun 27 Jul 2014, 20:17

@80 Winters wrote:(I'll try to keep this in the context of the Aubrey-Maturin novels, so we don't get "off subject" here).
Not meaning to 'digress' or quibble, you say "Time is the most precious thing in this world", but Jack Aubrey (and I) would say that 'what you do with that time' is the only real value of it, so seek those things you place highest in value: adventure, knowledge, reward, love, friendship and always honor. A good book can provide this, but as with everything in life, you must 'wager' your time to find out.

Capital (as Aubrey would say) observation! Thank you! Very true...

@80 Winters wrote:
I've read the Aubrey-Maturin novels several times in the past 30 years (hardback/kindle/audio) and found them, "as a series", to be 'among the very best' ....that's my review.

I wish you "good reading" and look forward to your 'adding' your thoughts here in 'the forum' on any or all of these novels as you finish them. Good reading.

@reb01501 wrote:Take your time and savour the A-M series. It's the benchmark against which all other HNF series are measured.
Yes, I've heard some so-so reviews of Mauritius but I enjoyed it.

Thanks guys for your kind advice and enlightenment, for strengthening me on a true reading course in a sea of naval fiction!
I will continue my orderly reading of Aubrey-Maturin novels getting back again and again to "Harbors and High Seas" and "A Sea of Words" which I really enjoyed and read several times already.

@Kade1301 wrote:I love being contradictory!
...
I liked Desolation Island - the next book in the series - much better. From which you can see that I didn't read the books in order. The main reason why I'm filling in the gaps now is that I am beginning to get the feeling (I hope very much I'm wrong, though) that language-wise Patrick O'Brian might be the best there is in HNF. So even a second-rate O'Brian might be better than a first-class xxx Sad
I hope to get to Desolation Island as well Smile I like to read French and looking for Aubrey-Maturin novels for Kindle in French. The only Kindle edition I could find is  "Les aventures de Jack Aubrey T4"
Another thing I am researching for quite a time already is French naval fiction original writers devoted to Golden Age of Sail. Do you by chance can recommend someone? Not necessarily of Golden Age of Sail but earlier sailing times as well?
Many thanks in advance!

[
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Re: Aubrey–Maturin series: Top 10 books ?

Post by reb01501 on Sun 27 Jul 2014, 20:43

Reverse of the Medal was a high point for me, mainly due to a certain scene that created quite the lump in my throat and mad me realize I had something in my eye causing tears to flow  Wink 

Blue At The Mizzen's ending made me shout with ...
Spoiler: click at your peril:
joy

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Re: Aubrey–Maturin series: Top 10 books ?

Post by Kade1301 on Sun 27 Jul 2014, 23:05

@darqmoth wrote:
Another thing I am researching for quite a time already is French naval fiction original writers devoted to Golden Age of Sail. Do you by chance can recommend someone?

When I discussed my current reading with French friends, their reaction was: "Were there any sea battles during the Napoleonic wars?" "Well, Trafalgar, for one." "Oh.... Trafalgar.... We've all forgetten about that." So I have a suspicion that around 1800 is not the preferred period for French audiences. The Hornblower TV miniseries does not seem to have been translated into French (couldn't find it on Amazon, at least). Our library has one book by C. S. Forester, one by Alexander Kent, nothing by Patrick O'Brian, Dudley Pope or Bernard Cornwell (land-based, but France still loses...). By the way, I'd think that O'Brian would suffer more from translation than other authors, I'm not sure I'd like to read one.

For original French naval fiction you could try Surcouf, the famous privateer as a starting point - I just discovered that there's at least one novel on Kindle. And there's a series of graphic novels. I haven't read either. But I just discovered that a search for "Corsaire" in the Kindle Boutique shows up a few more books.

If you discover a good one, please let us know!

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Re: Aubrey–Maturin series: Top 10 books ?

Post by Astrodene on Mon 28 Jul 2014, 15:14

This is going of topic. Please keep discussion of French books to the Naval Fiction from French viewpoint thread

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