➵ [Read] ➱ H.M.S. Surprise By Patrick O'Brian ➿ – Uroturk.info

H.M.S. Surprise Presagivo un allegro con brio, e difatti allegro con brio stato Briosamente fresco e avvincente nella sua semplicit di libro di avventure Con il terzo libro della serie la soddisfazione di lettura raggiunge picchi ancor maggiori dei due precedenti talmente soddisfacente che sar a disagio nel voler procedere con le puntate successive, nel ti che l allungarsi della minestra comporti un comprensibile calo della sapidit ora scrivo cos , ma in realt ieri sera ho gi messo nella wl di IBS il quarto volume della serie Fino a qui, O Brian stato un intrattenitore eccellente elegante nella prosa e anche nella gestione del romanzo storico con la scelta di non voler per forza buttare sulla ribalta personaggi famosi esperto di Storia e di Royal Navy ma mai pedante con una precisissima alternanza di pathos e ironia, andanti e allegri con personaggi avvincenti ma non macchiettistici n iperbolici e ai quali ci si affeziona subito, una trama che sta tutta avvolta intorno al suo n cciolo duro senza mai partire per tangenti inutili i dettagli e gli aspetti che nel secondo volume mi erano parsi come forzature qui vengono smorzati e diluiti nel completarsi della storia I primi tre libri sono come un avocado un rotondo, corposo, gustoso frutto maturo L anno nuovo promette bene. Thus to the Eastern wealth through storms we go But now, the Cape once doubled, fear no A constant trade wind will securely blow,And gently lay us on the spicy shore HMS Surprise is the name of the latest command of Captain Jack Aubrey, a frigate with a ragtag crew sent on a solitary mission to the Indian Ocean The book debuts with a messy affair involving Doctor Aubrey Maturin who is betrayed by his own side and tortured by the French in Minorca and the ususal financial troubles for Jack that are standing in the way of his marriage to the lovely Sophie All these shore troubles are cast away as the ship takes to the high seas, and the prose of Patrick O Brian soars to poetic heights unlike any of the earlier accounts of voyages in the Mediterranean and the Channel, making the book my favorite so far in the series The terrifying images of a storm in the low latitudes of the Southern Atlantic are even stronger that the account of a naval engagement later in the book between a French escadron and a convoy if Indiamen merchant ships coordinated by Jack Aubrey The quiet sailing moments between the storms and the actions, either in the glowing phosphorescence of a moonless night under the Southern Cross or in the blinding sun of the tropical Java Sea will remain longer in my memory than the actual plot of this episodeAt this speed the frigate s bow wave rose high, washing the lee head rails with an unearthly blue green light and sending phosphorescent drops over them, even brilliant than the wake that tore out straight behind them, a ruled line three miles long gleaming like a flow of metal They were poised high above the surface of the sea and all that was visible of the distant, narrow deck through the topsails and courses seemed peopled with dolls, foreshortened dolls that moved with disproportionate strides, their feet reaching too far in front and too far behind Superb, he said again How vast the sea has become How Luminous Jack Laughed to see his evident pleasure, his bright and attentive wondering eye, and said, Look for ard The frigate had no headsails set, the wind being aft, and the taut lines of the forestays plunged slanting down in a clean, satisfying geometry below them the ship s head with its curving rails, and then the long questing bowsprit, reaching far out into the infinity of the ocean with a steady, measured, living rhythm her bows plunged into the dark blue water, splitting it, shouldering it aside in dazzling foam On and on she sailed, in warmer seas but void, as though they alone had survived Deucalion s flood as though all land had vanished from the earth and once again the ship s routine dislocated time and temporal reality so that this progress was an endless dream, even a circular dream, contained within an unbroken horizon and punctuated only by the sound of guns thundering daily in preparation for an enemy whose real existence it was impossible to conceive It should have been tedious, week after week of solitary, uneventful crossing of empty seas, but instead it felt full of wonder, liberating in the basic struggle between man and ocean, relieved in part by flashes of humour involving a Brazilian sloth and a darker incident where the doctor is marooned on an empty rock without water or shelter.On the personal level, Jack is mostly stagnant, isolated in his commanding role and with few occasions for shoreward misdeeds It is Stephen who pays a heavy emotional price as he tries to absorb the cultural differences of Indian life in bombay or Calcutta where he befriends a local girl Then there s the added complication of meeting his old flame Diana Villiers, now the mistress of a British merchant Their self destructive relationship is as dramatic and explosive as a meeting of warships on the ocean, yet another proof that O Brian is as good at characterization as he is at describing the sails and maneuvers of a frigate.I had touched on the sailing, on the naval action, on the romance What is left is doctor Stephen s journal, combining naturalist observations with moral philosophy, friendship with politics and even musings on the human conditionAuthority is a solvent of humanity look at any husband, any father of a family, and note the absorbtion of the person by the persona, the individual by the role Then multiply the family, and the authority, by some hundreds and see the effect upon a sea captain, to say nothing of an absolute monarch Surely man in general is born to be opressed or solitary, if he is to be fully human unless it so happens that he is immune to the poison All of the above constitute reason enough for me to continue with the series as a high priority I m even beginning not only to understand, but to enjoy and find poetry in such obscure exclamations as thisMr Pullings, all hands to make sail Maintopgallants l, stuns ls and royal and scandalise the foretops l yard Surely man in general is born to be oppressed or solitary, if he is to be fully humanPatrick O Brian, HMS SurpriseJack, you have debauched my slothPatrick O Brian, H.M.S SurpriseSo, I am now three books into the Aubrey Maturin series and the books are only getting better Master and Commander and Post Captain were 459 to 527 pages respectively, and I wouldn t fault a page However, now it seems O Brian has trimmed and edited these books down to the sub 400 page range and they seem to spirit along nicely In its way, this beginning of this series reminds me a bit of the beginning of Alan Furst s Night Soldiers series The first two are bulkier than the rest, but then the authors settle down and find their groove Both Furst and O Brian, by book three in their series, have worked out that they can write thousands of pages with the setting, characters, and action they have in their heads and by book three they both have their pace.Major concern going forward I think the relationship between Captain Aubrey and Dr Maturin is amazing, and one of the graces of the English language I m not sure, however, how long my attention can be plucked by expansion of the duet to include Diana and Sophie They will either kill me, thrill me, or bore me eventually But how do I love these men and their affection for women, science, music, people, nature, etc It really is a giant love note to that Napoleonic age I m also not sure how much of the nautical lingo will eventually seep into my brain Perhaps, by the time I m finishing up book 20, I will understand most of what is happening during a naval engagement Like a teenager just finishing Spanish 1, I can understand bits and pieces Just enough of this language is uncovered to make me dangerous and hesitant to even describe what just happened But I am hooked. 3 3.5 starsAs the rating attests I enjoyed this book, but I am not sure if I will ever be one of the rabid legion of fans enamoured of Patrick O Brian s work I certainly enjoyed this book much than I did Master and Commander which, quite frankly, I found opaque and uninteresting I also skipped over the second book in the series since Aubrey and Maturin on land worrying about their love lives didn t really seem like the next best point to re try getting into the series For some reason I can t quite fathom I ve always felt a little guilty about not liking the first book and there s something deep down in me that really wants to like this series There is, after all, quite a bit to love two well drawn main characters who complement and contrast each other very nicely in both their skills and demeanor, a detailed one might say perhaps a bit too detailed glimpse into the minds and manners of Napoleonic Europe with obviously a decided concentration on naval procedures and jargon , and enough adventure and excitement to generally keep things interesting Of course, there are slow points and between naval engagements or chases, duels, and moments of intense physical or emotional intensity the calm can be somewhat soporific I suppose this is a nice parallel to the sea voyages that comprise the bulk of the narrative moments of intense action and apprehension leavened with days and days of routine and boredom That s not quite fair, I guess, I certainly didn t find myself yawning too much during this book, but it is true that events often move at a sedate pace for the lion s share of the pages.As the story opens we find ourselves thrust into the midst of a meeting of politicians and naval muckety mucks the result of which will be a major disappointment for Captain Jack Aubrey and a significant impediment to the health and possible continuance of Dr Stephen Maturin s life Loose lips sink ships, and they also put His Majesty s spies into tight corners After some period scene setting with Jack s fianc e Sophie and an initial adventure involving torture, rescue and escape the upshot is that Jack and Stephen are back at sea, nominally for the purpose of ferrying an envoy from Britain to the East Indies From here we are treated to the requisite scenes of naval life, Stephen s obsession with natural philosophy and both scientific and cultural observation, forays into the culture of the Indian subcontinent, and woman troubles for both Jack and Stephen Add to that a duel, the weathering of some truly monumental forces of nature, and a surprise naval engagement and you ve pretty much got everything you ought to expect from an Aubrey Maturin novel.The long and the short of it is that I enjoyed this novel quite a bit, certainly enough to or less efface the bad taste I had after reading the first one I definitely plan on continuing to follow Jack and Stephen s further adventures, though I have not yet been converted to the level of hardcore fandom One note I alternated between listening to the Patrick Tull narrated audio version of the book and reading my electronic version Overall I enjoyed Tull s performance it really can t be called anything short of that , though his pauses and occasionally prolonged drawl did make me stumble from time to time. Jack, you have debauched my sloth. I loved this book The development of the two central characters, and their trials and tribulations in matters of both love and war, are as convincing as the world in which they live The descriptions of naval battles, especially the one towards the end of the book, are terrific, edge of the seat reading I think I read somewhere that O Brian based at least some of the battles on real ones fought during the Napoleonic wars, and they are extraordinarily vivid They are three dimensional and have the feeling of melancholy in the aftermath of battle because of dead and injured shipmates, as well as the pleasure of success.I am all agog to read the next volume, but want to space them out and savour the experience Definitely a five star read for me. Amid Sights And Smells Of The Indian Subcontinent Explore Ships Of The East India Company Aubrey Is On The Defensive, Pitting Wits And Seamanship Against An Enemy Enjoying Overwhelming Local Superiority Somewhere In The Indian Ocean Lies The Prize That Could Make Him Rich Ships Sent By Napoleon To Attack The China Fleet I like listening to this book better than reading it, I think This one is steeped in the emotional lives of Jack and Stephen It s the first that really starts showing us how deeply these men feel about each other and the others they care about, and hearing it rather than reading it adds a level of intimacy that increases the novel s emotional satisfaction It opens with Stephen s torture at the hands of the French, and Jack s daring rescue Captain Jack cares for his wounded friend with a tenderness that belies his massive frame, and he can t help but be rattled by the state in which he finds Stephen HMS Surprise continues in this vein, moving from emotional moment to emotional moment Jack loves Sophie Williams, but cannot marry her because he is arrested for debt and Mrs Williams wants a rich man for her daughter, not just a rank or name It cuts Jack to the quick Stephen loves Diana Villiers Sophie s cousin , but she has run off with Canning, a much liked Jewish merchant with interests in Diana s birth home India Stephen also comes to love a little street urchin named Dill, and he eventually loses both Diana for now and Dill forever And he kills Canning in a rather spooky dual, where Stephen, even with his torture warped hands and a bullet in his chest, manages to end the dual with the death of his rival Death and heartache are Stephen s lot And then Jack and Diana, and Bonden and Killick and all the Sophies the crewmen of Jack s first ship , are in a deep state of dread that Stephen will not make it through the infection left behind by his surgery which he himself performed and the love that they all feel for the too intense, rather ugly, brilliantly talented doctor is revealed.Listening to Simon Vance bring this to life increases the intimacy for the reader listener, making this a rare case when the audio book increased my enjoyment I wonder if this will happen again There re still 18 books to listen to Perhaps it will. I reach a point in any series longer than a trilogy where reading about the same characters and the types of situations they get into no longer does much for me It s lost the freshness and excitement of the beginning and fallen into a rut, even if specific events are happening that haven t occurred before I was looking forward to this book after really enjoying the second book and seeing all the reviewers calling this one their favorite, but unfortunately this was the book where I realized the series has been played out for me.Most of this book is a long sea voyage, aimed toward what seems to be Cambodia Captain Aubrey is tasked with delivering a government envoy, and for some reason seems to make a leisurely sail of it they even stop in Rio on the way to sailing around Africa given the amount of research that has clearly gone into these, I presume that was common and seem to be taking a lot longer to make the trip than other available forms of transportation, given that they receive rather up to date letters from home all along the way Toward the end, bafflingly, view spoiler the envoy dies en route and so they give up and turn around, with no attempt to deliver his message or even let the sultan at their destination know of the situation hide spoiler Ha emnh, ecco a voi la mia ponderata recensione della terza puntata della serie di Aubrey Maturin

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

About the Author: Patrick O'Brian

The Aubrey Maturin Series on Goodreads