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Jim Bow
02-08-2014, 11:39 PM
Which series would you recommend to a reader.

Garret
02-08-2014, 11:47 PM
I voted for Horatio, but you left off Alexander Kent's Richard Bolitho & Dewey Lambdin's Alan Lewrie series - both of which I've enjoyed a great deal. If those were on the list it'd probably be a tie between them.

O'Brien's series is good, but I find he rambles on a bit - which makes me want to skim.

CWSmith
02-08-2014, 11:48 PM
I read Hornblower as a child and O'Brian as an adult. All told, I have to vote for the latter.

Donn
02-08-2014, 11:51 PM
Tom Swift Jr.

Garret
02-08-2014, 11:55 PM
Tom Swift Jr.

I read the entire Tom Swift Sr. series as well. Interesting differences.

David G
02-08-2014, 11:56 PM
I'm actually not a huge fan of either, but have the feeling that puts me in a distinct minority in this joint.

Garret
02-08-2014, 11:56 PM
I'm actually not a huge fan of either, but have the feeling that puts me in a distinct minority in this joint.

On a wooden boat forum? What would make you think that? :)

Donn
02-09-2014, 12:01 AM
I read the entire Tom Swift Sr. series as well. Interesting differences.

So did I. In fact, the first nautical book I ever owned (not counting Classics Comics), was

http://i.ebayimg.com/00/s/MTYwMFgxMjAw/z/KZ0AAMXQVhFR9o4y/%24T2eC16d,!)QE9s3HF4zEBR9o4)0vSg~~60_35.JPG

Lew Barrett
02-09-2014, 12:25 AM
Between the two, I prefer Forester, and have read all of the Hornblowers. Master and Commander has been O'Brien enough for me.

I really enjoyed Kent too, Garret.

David G
02-09-2014, 12:37 AM
On a wooden boat forum? What would make you think that? :)

I take pride in my finely honed intuition :rolleyes:

Arizona Bay
02-09-2014, 12:52 AM
There's a difference between Master and Commander and his later books, read them in order the first time... just sayin'

Forester, O'Brian, Lambdin, Kent...Tom Swift, I've read all those series, they're each good in their own way.
I prefer O'Brian because of it's detail and complexity, and Lambdin because of the main character :D

also

Check out James L Nelson's series "Revolution at Sea", and "Brethren of the Coast", both quite good.

Paul Pless
02-09-2014, 04:42 AM
i find patrick o'brien unreadable
although the master and commander movie was brilliant

P.I. Stazzer-Newt
02-09-2014, 04:58 AM
i find patrick o'brien unreadable
although the master and commander movie was brilliant

Exactly the opposite.

diffrnt strokes.

PeterSibley
02-09-2014, 05:39 AM
Definitely O'Brien.

isla
02-09-2014, 05:41 AM
Exactly the opposite.

diffrnt strokes.

Why do you have to choose? Just read both of them. I lean slightly towards O'Brian, but both writers are hugely enjoyable. I thought the M&C movie was disappointing, and the Hornblower TV series was very good, so I would have preferred to see the O'Brian stories filmed as an ongoing TV series. Just my ten cents.

Gerarddm
02-09-2014, 06:07 AM
Patrick O'Brian. One thing he has that Hornblower does not is a finely developed sense of humor. That is not to say I don't like Hornblower, because I do, very much. I just prefer O'Brian more, particularly Stephen Maturin. O'Brian's novel The Golden Ocean, about Anson's taking of the Manila galleon, is also very good, particularly the actual action.

In a similar vein to Aubrey-Maturin, and same era, I really liked the Sharpe's Rifles series and BBC production of same.

Keith Wilson
02-09-2014, 08:33 AM
O'Brian, definitely, if you have to only read one. He's a better writer, has a far, far better sense of humor (I particularly appreciate his puns on the old and new meanings of words - "But sir! They are all Lesbians!" :D), and his characters are much more interesting. Hornblower's a stiff cold fish who has interesting adventures. Even the minor characters in O'Brian have a real life to them. And in O'Brian you get a much better sense of the past as another country, where they do things very differently and don't think like we do. Every now and than an O'Brian character will say something that takes you completely aback, and sounds quite bizarre in the early 21st century, yet makes perfect sense in the context of the early 19th. ("Surely you will agree that the king is the fount of all honour?") Not to put down Forester at all; his books are well worth reading, they've just not as in the same class; few are. Maybe you should read Forester first, so you won't be disappointed later?

Hwyl
02-09-2014, 09:27 AM
Swashbuckling junk , the both of them. O'Brian's glaring inability to understand how boats sail forewarned me of the revelation that he was a complete fraud.

bogdog
02-09-2014, 09:39 AM
Depends on the reader, a first grader may find them both a tad difficult.

SMARTINSEN
02-09-2014, 10:33 AM
This discussion has been hashed out many times before on this Forum.

http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthread.php?43218-Patrick-O-brian-books Just a sampling from 11 years ago, there are probably a hundred or more similar, it is interesting to note the continuing divergence of opinion. :)


I am another solidly in favor O'Brian.

Keith Wilson
02-09-2014, 11:17 AM
O'Brian's glaring inability to understand how boats sail . . .Will all respect, this is either a gross exaggeration or complete bunk. No, I've never sailed a frigate in a gale in the southern ocean, but I'm not unacquainted with how boats sail, and I just don't see it. An occasion lapse perhaps, but very far from 'glaring'.

Gerarddm
02-09-2014, 11:54 AM
...and O'Brian was a sailor himself. I might also note note his intense study of and use from original source materials like ships' logs and action reports.

Fraud? Bah.

Hwyl
02-09-2014, 12:03 PM
Will all respect, this is either a gross exaggeration or complete bunk. No, I've never sailed a frigate in a gale in the southern ocean, but I'm not unacquainted with how boats sail, and I just don't see it. An occasion lapse perhaps, but very far from 'glaring'.

I offer you the words of the recently much maligned Tom Perkins.

https://www.latitude38.com/features/O%27Brian.htm

Hwyl
02-09-2014, 12:05 PM
...and O'Brian was a sailor himself. I might also note note his intense study of and use from original source materials like ships' logs and action reports.

Fraud? Bah.

I agree that he used original source materials, but he wasn't a sailor, he wasn't Irish and wasn't O'Brian

CWSmith
02-09-2014, 12:07 PM
I agree that he used original source materials, but he wasn't a sailor, he wasn't Irish and wasn't O'Brian

He was an interesting and complex man.

AndyG
02-09-2014, 12:15 PM
^ And an exceptional writer.

Andy

Keith Wilson
02-09-2014, 12:20 PM
but he wasn't a sailor, he wasn't Irish and wasn't O'BrianHe had sailed small boats, IIRC. The name he was given by his parents was Richard Patrick Russ, he was English, and much of his public persona was invented. I love his books, but I don't think I would have liked him very much, although he certainly would have been interesting. Stephen Maturin had much of his personalty, and probably was who he he would have liked to be.

Canoeyawl
02-09-2014, 12:43 PM
Swashbuckling junk , the both of them. O'Brian's glaring inability to understand how boats sail forewarned me of the revelation that he was a complete fraud.

O'Brian - Books for the nautically challenged

edit to add;

More about O'Brian's sailing abilities here
https://www.latitude38.com/features/O'Brian.htm


In one of the Hornblower stories there is an escape from certain execution, and while in hiding the subsequent building of a skiff in which he and what was left of his crew travel at night down the river Loire to Nantes. This is one of the better rowing stories in existence, convincing at least me that he knew exactly of what he was writing and it rivals the night row in the Riddle of the Sands. Well worth taking the time to find it even as a dime paperback. Ship of The Line
Cecil Forester took his honeymoon in a rowboat and this story was a result of that trip

isla
02-09-2014, 02:48 PM
To date I have read 16 Aubrey/Maturin novels, up to, and including, The Wine Dark Sea. I can honestly say I have never read anything better. They are not just about the sailing. O'Brian's literary skills, his social commentary, his humour, his comments on early science and medicine, his development of strong female characters (greatly missed in the movie) and his use of language, all combine to make a powerful reading experience. Oh, and a bit of swashbuckling helps too.

Garret
02-09-2014, 03:50 PM
In one of the Hornblower stories there is an escape from certain execution, and while in hiding the subsequent building of a skiff in which he and what was left of his crew travel at night down the river Loire to Nantes. This is one of the better rowing stories in existence, convincing at least me that he knew exactly of what he was writing and it rivals the night row in the Riddle of the Sands. Well worth taking the time to find it even as a dime paperback. Ship of The Line
Cecil Forester took his honeymoon in a rowboat and this story was a result of that trip

Great story & gave a real flavor of France at the time.

Michael D. Storey
02-09-2014, 05:04 PM
what I would recommend to a another reader would have more to do with that reader than what it would do to myself.

Forester vs O'Brien. Different authors, different ways of dealing with character development, ( I feel ) different amounts of research.

I would maybe ask what the reader has read before, and what they are looking for, etc.

Just because I have a favorite does not mean that I know which one is 'better.'

Keith Wilson
02-09-2014, 05:11 PM
O'Brian - Books for the nautically challengedAgain, I call BS. This is a meme that get repeated fairly often, but never with an example from the books. Again, I have no experience sailing the kind of ships in the O'Brian books (few people do in this age), but his descriptions of wind and weather, and the parts that describe sailing similar to what I've done seem accurate enough. The was a passage in The Thirteen-Gun Salute describing Jack sailing a smallish boat through a narrow channel inshore that was a marvel of verisimilitude. I have never detected a howler. Some may exist, but I submit that they're very rare. No doubt much of his information came from books, but describing O'Brian as a writer 'for the nautically challenged' seems totally unjust.

Michael D. Storey
02-09-2014, 08:28 PM
Swashbuckling junk , the both of them. O'Brian's glaring inability to understand how boats sail forewarned me of the revelation that he was a complete fraud.

So, how is it up there on your high horse? From your statement, I see nothing that would indicate that you know anything about how O'brien thought.
Fraud, indeed

htom
02-09-2014, 08:54 PM
O'Brian (Aubrey) 9.5
Cornwall (Sharpe) 9.4
Forester (Hornblower) 8
Fraser (Flashman) 7

Hwyl
02-09-2014, 09:38 PM
Wow, such vitriol, I'm not criticizing his writing abilities or your enjoyment thereof. I just don't think he understood ailing and have offered corroboration. I accept that one does not have to be a murderer to write a murder mystery

Vince Brennan
02-09-2014, 09:51 PM
For a younger reader, I'd recommend the Forrester series, but anyone over 14 or so or knowledgeable about ships and sails, O'Brien wins hands down.

My 2

rbgarr
02-09-2014, 10:42 PM
I'd go for Rafael Sabatini's works and Farley Mowat's before either of those polled.

http://www.rafaelsabatini.com/rsbio.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Farley_Mowat

John of Phoenix
02-10-2014, 12:31 PM
[O'Brian] took tremendous interest in an Admiralty Board (dockyard) model I have of an English First Rater of 1702. He understood everything about that ship and greatly augmented my own knowledge. After the other guests departed, we settled into a series of brandies by the fire and I discovered: 1) his capacity for serious drinking greatly exceeded my own; 2) his reserve only eased very slightly in the presence of this unknown American (me) and; 3) his knowledge of the practical aspects of sailing seemed, amazingly, almost nil.Whereupon the author of this, a very experienced sailor, tells us...

While under full sail with the huge MPS drawing in light wind, with our centerboard keel raised and guided by - as it turned out - an inaccurate Spanish chart, we decided to sail between the coast and a small island, and we ran firmly aground in shallow water. In the Med one can't simply wait for a higher tide, so we emptied all our fresh water tanks and tried to back off. No luck. I blew out the water in our centerboard trunk with compressed air, over ten tons. Still no luck. Finally, we tied a long hawser to a rock astern and, using our anchor windlass to bar-tight tension, we slowly worked our way off waggling to and fro with our bow thruster. Patrick was delighted with all these nautical operations. He nearly believed, I thought, that we had arranged the event for his entertainment. "An inaccurate Spanish chart"? Really? After criticizing O'Brian's "knowledge of the practical aspects of sailing". That takes some brass gronicles.

Keith Wilson
02-10-2014, 01:02 PM
I have no dispute with the fact that Mr O'Brian was not an experienced sailor, nor perhaps even that 'his knowledge of the practical aspects of sailing seemed, amazingly, almost nil' to Mr. Perkins, who probably ought to know. I do take serious issue with the claims that his books show a 'glaring inability to understand how boats sail' and that they are 'books for the nautically challenged'.

Canoeyawl
02-10-2014, 01:49 PM
'books for the nautically challenged'

Everyone enjoys a good swashbuckler now and then, and I confess to once reading an OBrian novel, but it was a struggle and I found it rather silly.
To me his stories seem to consist of him (the author) learning about some mysterious invention or idea related to the nautical and proceeding to write an entire novel dedicated to introducing that obscure bit. A good idea perhaps, and he writes well enough to make it into a story. But sheese - to me it comes off as a dilettante who recently discovers how to sharpen a chisel, perhaps by finding such a revelation as Japanese waterstones but never actually doing it, and then writes a novel to explain it.

Keith Wilson
02-10-2014, 01:54 PM
To me his stories seem to consist of . . . And this you base on "once reading an O'Brian novel"? How would you know?

Canoeyawl
02-10-2014, 02:22 PM
Please recognize that my initial comment was an attempt at humor, it did not seem so egregious as making fun at other arenas of "Challenged".

Indeed I gave O'Brian the benefit of doubt, tried another story and sure enough, one or two chapters in he was introducing another relatively obscure nautical wonderment so, book down - there are other things that need doing.
For me, once was enough, it's only a story, and life is short.

peb
02-10-2014, 03:18 PM
O'Brian's books are better, hands-down. Its not even close. Actually literature, as opposed to just reading a pop-novel, although there is nothing wrong with the latter.

Rum_Pirate
02-10-2014, 03:21 PM
Why didn't you include the 'Ramage' series by Dudley Pope ?





Ramage (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ramage_(novel)) (1965)
Ramage and the Drumbeat (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ramage_and_the_Drumbeat) (aka Drumbeat) (1968)
Ramage and the Freebooters (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ramage_and_the_Freebooters) (aka The Triton Brig) (1969)
Governor Ramage RN (1973)
Ramage's Prize (1974)
Ramage and the Guillotine (1975)
Ramage's Diamond (1976) HMS Diamond Rock (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diamond_Rock)
Ramage's Mutiny (1977)
Ramage and the Rebels (1978)
The Ramage Touch (1979)
Ramage's Signal (1980)
Ramage and the Renegades (1981)
Ramage's Devil (1982)
Ramage's Trial (1984)
Ramage's Challenge (1985)
Ramage at Trafalgar (1986)
Ramage and the Saracens (1988)
Ramage and the Dido (1989)

bobbys
02-10-2014, 03:28 PM
Is there a Alaska knife as a prize here?