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The Golden Ocean series

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The Golden Ocean series

Post by Astrodene on Fri 26 Jun 2009, 13:58

Thanks to a comment by conaghan in yesterdays online discussion I have now added this 2 book series by POB to the website. It is based around Anson's 1740 voyage and predates the Aubrey/Maturin series.

I'll leave conaghan to give us a bit more detail.

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Re: The Golden Ocean series

Post by conaghan on Fri 26 Jun 2009, 16:27

The Golden Ocean was published in 1956 and was POB's first ocean-going novel.

It is a single book, based on British commodore Anson and his four year circumnavigtion voyage. The main character is a young Irish fellow Peter Palafox, who is to be a midshipman, and his friend Sean, who becomes a crewman. Along the way the flotilla faces shipwreck, disease, starvation, and battles with a Spanish treasure fleet.

A good read, and POB fans get a taste for his pre-Aubrey age of sail writing.
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Re: The Golden Ocean series

Post by Astrodene on Fri 26 Jun 2009, 17:32

From what I have gathered on the net, The Golden Ocean (book) had a sequel The Unknown Shore.

The two now seem to be known as The Golden Ocean Series. Whether they originally had that title or it's modern usage I'm not sure.

From the descriptions I've seen, The Unknown Shore features the ship sinking early on off of Chile and then lengthy shore based treks back to civilisation. It may well be largely shore based.

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Re: The Golden Ocean series

Post by Alaric Bond on Sat 27 Jun 2009, 12:12

Strange that these books have received so little attention/promotion.

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Re: The Golden Ocean series

Post by johnk on Tue 15 Sep 2009, 17:00

Borrelpeff wrote:Strange that these books have received so little attention/promotion.

I've lucked onto both in bookstores, tucked in with the Canon. They're both fairly enjoyable reads, assuming you enjoy Patrick O'Brian. Similarly good prose and insights into the period. The lengthy description of the privations of the protagonists after their shipwreck in the Unknown Shore gets a bit grueling to read at points, and yes that book is largely a description of events ashore, especially if we also count rowing and paddling in small craft along a bleak coast as events ashore. There's a lot of tightening of belts, but no real swash-buckling, the heroes having lost their swashes early on.

I believe students of O'Brian regard these two books as prototypes of the Aubrey-Maturin series, and they do also foreshadow the volumes of that which take place along the western coast of South America and in the Pacific or Indian oceans. Within the Aubrey-Maturin series there are a few references here and there to the historical events and figures of this series, which deals with the period in which the British were first learning how to operate in the South Pacific.

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Re: The Golden Ocean series

Post by Joolz on Fri 09 Sep 2011, 20:48

Anyone else like these? Embryonic perhaps, but still clearly identifiable O'Brian ... his style is already clear, though not yet fully developed. I especially love the first book ... the interchanges amongst the Irish trio are priceless - classic O'Brian humour.
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Re: The Golden Ocean series

Post by Maturin y Domanova on Sat 10 Sep 2011, 15:08

I love these books and I particularly like how The Unknown Shore references The Golden Ocean at several points.

Coincidentally I just bought and listened to the audiobook version of The Unknown Shore this week. It was fun but at the end I mourned that I was fresh out of O'Brian books read by Patrick Tull to listen to for the first time. I've listened to them all now.
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Re: The Golden Ocean series

Post by Joefirefighter on Sat 10 Sep 2011, 15:46

I feel your pain Maturin. I felt the same way when I finished reading Blue at the Mizzen. But I am happy to see these books that I was previously unaware of.
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Re: The Golden Ocean series

Post by Maturin y Domanova on Sat 10 Sep 2011, 15:54

Indeed! All of us POB fans felt that particular pain. I tried rationing the books when I was first reading them, but all good things. . .
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Re: The Golden Ocean series

Post by lindacollison on Fri 16 Sep 2011, 06:38

I have these early books of O'Brien's. He has not yet reached his stride but they are still absorbing and well-crafted. A fine edition for ever serious POB afficionado, and a good place for the uninitiated to test the waters.
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Re: The Golden Ocean series

Post by S.K. Keogh on Fri 16 Sep 2011, 18:01

I own and have read these books as well and very much enjoyed them. I wonder if there will ever be "another" POB in our lifetime. Hard to imagine.
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Re: The Golden Ocean series

Post by Paul-B on Fri 23 Sep 2011, 09:48

I have the audiobook of "The Golden Ocean", read by John Franklyn-Robbins which I'm really looking forward to listening to.

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Re: The Golden Ocean series

Post by kujakupoet on Sun 25 Sep 2011, 01:29

I enjoy The Golden Ocean and The Unknown Shore. The Unknown Shore is a different viewpoint on the same journal and struggle; they are not a 'series' per se. (Doesn't it take three to make a series?)

Although they are shipwrecked early on, there continue to be nautical adventures, albeit not of the heroic naval action sort. There's small boat mutinies and that sort of thing as the company disintegrates and the loyal men try to prop up a failing captain. It's been a while since I've read it so I can't recollect all the details, but it's a cross between Robinson Crusoe and Lt. Bligh's horrific 1500 mile journey in an open boat.
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