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Samuel Bowater series

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Samuel Bowater series

Post by Astrodene on Sun 14 Sep 2008, 23:04

I have not read these but I would like to. Have read the odd bit and seen documentaries etc. about the monitor but don't know much else about the naval side of the civil war. I would be interested to learn more and these may give an insight. Anyone read them?

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Re: Samuel Bowater series

Post by 80 Winters on Sat 07 Dec 2013, 05:00

Thieves of Mercy is the 2nd (and apparently last) of what became the two book Samual Bowater series that ended in 2005 and while the 1st book in this series garnered praise and a prestigious literary award, this book seems to have gone much unnoticed.

I liked Nelson's writing style and prose that was 'well fit' to his characters and situation(s) which they were cast into. I found his 'yarn' of "Bowater upon the Mississippi" put me of a mind to what I'd be reading if Lambdin had written Lewrie into a like scenario; it was loud, ribald comedy in situations where logic and sanity were of marginal use as oblivion stood just around every corner and you needed something (anything) to 'get you round that corner'.

Author Nelson did a credible job of researching his subject and included much of it in both the storyline and the Historical Notes that follow the Epilogue. All in all, I found the 'Bowater adventure' half of this book to be both entertaining and an enjoyable yarn.

Spoiler:
Now, if you're reading this, go back and read the last sentence where I mentioned the "Bowater adventure half of this book", because at least half of this book is in fact a second book that we might call "the perils of Wendy Atkins" which takes up the better part of 16 chapters of a 35 chapter book. Add to this that those 16 chapters alternate with the primary storyline and, at least in my view, disrupt the focus and flow of Nelson's otherwise successful blending of documented historical facts and masterful fiction that I've come to expect.
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