Sunday, July 04, 2004
So far I've read two of Patrick O'Brian's books, and while I really enjoyed them, they both sure took me a long time to get through! With Master and Commander I got distracted, but with Post Captain I didn't read anything else and yet it took me nearly a week to read. However, I did enjoy it more than the first one, partly because it was, as Jack said, more Austenian in style. I've never been one for the men and boats stories, but O'Brian manages to make those parts of his books exciting and compelling (maybe because they usually catch up to whatever they're chasing, rather than pursuing a non-existent whale for hundreds and hundreds of pages!?!), and I found myself on the edge of my seat several times during Post Captain. What I enjoyed most, though, were the social exchanges and interactions that made up their lives off ship. In general what makes a novel interesting to me is the characters and their relationships, so it was nice to see so much of that in this book. It was especially neat to see the fluctuations between Jack and Stephen, and how their friendship won out when it really mattered.