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    Re: O'Brian vs Forester
    From: Dan Allen
    Date: 2001 Jul 12, 1:17 PM

    Do you see yourself as an Aubrey, or a Maturin?  ;-)
    I know exactly what you mean about savoring the volumes.  They are
    unbelievably good.
    I give you joy,
    Maturin, er, Dan
    -----Original Message-----
    From  Navigation Mailing List
    Sent: Thursday, July 12, 2001 12:12 PM
    Subject: Re: O'Brian vs Forester
    I have had wonderful enjoyment from O'Brian. So much so, that when I bought
    the Yellow Admiral, I decided to go back to the beginning and read the
    series a second time, before reading the Yellow Admiral. I did that, but
    again stopped just before it... I bought Blue at the Mizzen when it was
    published have not read this either; my then reasoning being that as
    Patrick O'Brian was getting older there would not be much time for many
    more stories. Anyway, his last two novels are still sitting in my book case
    waiting to be savoured as one would a good wine. I'll wait for a very
    special occasion before opening them....
    I have recently read Patrick O'Brian's biography, prepared just before his
    death, and published just after. He was a most complex man. (Patrick
    O'Brian :  A Life Revealed by Dean King)
    One night while I was living in France I saw him on television together
    with Eric Tabarlay before Eric was tragically lost off the coast of Wales
    in June 1998. Of course Patrick spoke excellent French: he translated the
    two novels Papillon and Banco: The further adventures of Papillon by Henri
    At 14:36 12/07/01, you wrote:
    >George Huxtable wrote:
    >Well, in matters of maritime fiction, everyone to his own taste. I've tried
    >reading O'Brian but without much enjoyment. I do not think he comes
    >anywhere near that master of the genre, C S Forester, in his Hornblower
    >stories, for attention to detail and sheer believability. Just one man's
    >view. Little is more enjoyable that settling down with a Hornblower book
    >and a good atlas.
    >Dan Allen replies:
    >I have not read Forester, but I have read Patrick O'Brian.  I know quite a
    >few people that prefer O'Brian to Forester for the same reasons you
    >prefer Forester!
    >There are quite a few passages in O'Brian that have lots of good navigation
    >details.  History, philosophy, science, biology, religion, mathematics --
    >they are all covered.  Actual naval battles only occupy a few pages in
    >each volume.  The characters do not always win or succeed -- just as in
    >real life.  They have weaknesses and problems, some of which are overcome,
    >some which are not -- just as in real life.
    >When I first tried O'Brian, I did not like it.  In fact, the first four
    >volumes of the Aubrey/Maturin series are a bit slow and the first volume
    >especially was hard for me to plow through, but then, then things change
    >altogether.  From volume 5 to volume 20, these books are amazing.  They
    >are the only books I have ever read where I have looked up from reading
    >to be shocked at NOT finding the view out my window to be exactly the
    >view that I had been reading in O'Brian.  No book of fiction or non-fiction
    >has ever brought me into a story so completely.  "The Far Side of the
    >"Desolation Island", "The Surgeon's Mate" -- these are as good as it gets.
    >My challenge to George is to try O'Brian again.  Read one of the books
    >from volume 5 upwards.  Highly recommended.

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