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Raskolnikov2089
Nov 3, 2006
Schizzy to the matic

freebooter posted:

On my first-time readthrough, up to The Reverse of The Medal, and you know what, is there anything illegal or immoral about insider trading if the tip-off is that the stock's going to rise, not crash? (I presume there will turn out to be more to it than this).

I've said it before in this thread, one of my absolute favorite scenes in literature is in this book. I tear up every time.

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Sax Solo
Feb 17, 2011



Kylaer posted:

I didn't pick up on her being described as a child, I thought she was an adult prostitute and it was just another example of what an oddball Maturin is (and maybe a bit of intentional misdirection on his part to make people misjudge him). Maturin may have referred to her as a child (although I don't remember him doing so) but he routinely does that to women who are adults.
I think you are right, and it is not as sinister as I remember. I found the paragraph and she is described as a "young woman", and Stephen's "passivity" does not surprise or displease her, so it's probably chaste. Sorry for stirring the pot!

As for Dil, I think she is sort of an illustration of the problem Stephen is having with Diana. It's through her he decides to make a go of it, though it's not exactly looking like "this way to a happy ending".

MeatwadIsGod
Sep 30, 2004

Behold! It is I! I bestow upon you...my dirty dipey!


It would be great if you guys would indicate which book you're posting spoilers from.

Mr. Mambold
Feb 13, 2011

Aha. Nice post.




Kylaer posted:

Yes, that's what happens, but I think freebooter is asking why it happens, why O'Brian thought that would be a good story arc to include, what it's supposed to illustrate.

And my own sort-of-answer is that I don't think this is looking at the books the right way. I don't think O'Brian tended to write things with a "why" in mind, he just penned whatever scenes came into his thoughts. There's no moral to the story, any more than there is to real life.

Partly the "no good deed goes unpunished motif" and the random, even absurd and chancy way events played out in life- then and now. The series is full of reverses and turnarounds, it's just brilliant. The 'cliffhanger' style.


Kaiser Schnitzel posted:

I think it's definitely this, building cover and contacts. As Jack always says, Stephen's a deep old file.

With a raspy cackle....d'ye smoke my meaning, then? Ohohoho...

Notahippie
Feb 4, 2003

Kids, it's not cool to have Shane MacGowan teeth

Sax Solo posted:

As for Dil, I think she is sort of an illustration of the problem Stephen is having with Diana. It's through her he decides to make a go of it, though it's not exactly looking like "this way to a happy ending".

I had a similar reading for her role in the book. That's one of the first times, if i remember right, that Stephen makes a real push for Diana - where he formally declares interest in her in a way that she can't ignore. Her rejection of him is utterly desolating, because he's a prideful guy but "wholly conquered by her." The story of Dil to me was a counterpoint underscoring that complete desolation - Dil is a delightful character and all he does is try to give her what her deepest wish is, but he gets her killed in doing so. It's a brutal illustration of the gaps between good intentions and outcomes, and the fact that the world doesn't care about your emotions. The emotional arc follows his experience with Diana.

freebooter
Jul 7, 2009

AUSTRALIA
NEEDS
TURNBULL


PlushCow posted:

Here's one of the real life influences on the novels and his involvement in the scandal that can probably explain it well: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thoma..._Exchange_Fraud

Yeah, O'Brian mentions this in the introduction but I didn't look it up because I wanted to go into the plot blind.

Raskolnikov2089 posted:

I've said it before in this thread, one of my absolute favorite scenes in literature is in this book. I tear up every time.

I had a friend say the very same thing just the other day! But I've been spoiled on a few events in the series and I suspect I can guess what it is given the title of the next book - Stephen buys the Surprise? Anyway, "spoiler" is an odd word, the joy of a story is in the telling.

Raskolnikov2089
Nov 3, 2006
Schizzy to the matic

freebooter posted:

Yeah, O'Brian mentions this in the introduction but I didn't look it up because I wanted to go into the plot blind.


I had a friend say the very same thing just the other day! But I've been spoiled on a few events in the series and I suspect I can guess what it is given the title of the next book - Stephen buys the Surprise? Anyway, "spoiler" is an odd word, the joy of a story is in the telling.

You'll know it when you get to it.

Kaiser Schnitzel
Mar 28, 2006

Schnitzel mit uns






Raskolnikov2089 posted:

You'll know it when you get to it.

The Patrick Tull audiobook version of this scene gets every time (and the narrator almost gets a bit choked up himself), and I've read/listened to it 3-4 times?

freebooter
Jul 7, 2009

AUSTRALIA
NEEDS
TURNBULL


Just finished it and yes, that was quite lovely.

It occurs to me that, if he'd so chosen, this was just about a book in which O'Brian could have concluded the series. The crescendo of a career marked by half the Navy turning out to protect and salute a legend, Jack making his transition from the official service to privateering, Stephen's enemies in the intelligence service exposed and about to reap their just deserts - the only story arc which would feel incomplete is Stephen's relationship with Diana. But of course we are all very glad he chose to carry on.

Kaiser Schnitzel posted:

The Patrick Tull audiobook version of this scene gets every time (and the narrator almost gets a bit choked up himself), and I've read/listened to it 3-4 times?

I never listen to audiobooks but I hear so many people gush about Tull's narration that I'm quite tempted to pick them up for when I finish and then re-read the series.

On that note - I always assumed Stephen has an English accent when speaking English, because of his upbringing, but he seems to interject "Sure" into his sentences a lot and I wonder what O'brian intended. Do the narrators give him an accent? Or is mimicking accents not the done thing with audiobooks? This is one of the few pieces of fiction I've read where the dialogue is so true to its time and place that I do effortlessly put it into the proper accents inside my head, rather than my own subconscious Australian voice. I remember reading Terry Pratchett talking about how odd it had been for him to see a Sydney stage production in which Death had an Australian accent and thinking "what are you talking about, that's perfectly normal."

On a similar note again, this is the first book in which I realised Padeen is not a deaf-mute but simply an Irish monoglot. (Though I only registered him as a character at all a few books ago; I've no idea when he's actually introduced.)

Kaiser Schnitzel
Mar 28, 2006

Schnitzel mit uns






freebooter posted:

I never listen to audiobooks but I hear so many people gush about Tull's narration that I'm quite tempted to pick them up for when I finish and then re-read the series.

On that note - I always assumed Stephen has an English accent when speaking English, because of his upbringing, but he seems to interject "Sure" into his sentences a lot and I wonder what O'brian intended. Do the narrators give him an accent? Or is mimicking accents not the done thing with audiobooks? This is one of the few pieces of fiction I've read where the dialogue is so true to its time and place that I do effortlessly put it into the proper accents inside my head, rather than my own subconscious Australian voice. I remember reading Terry Pratchett talking about how odd it had been for him to see a Sydney stage production in which Death had an Australian accent and thinking "what are you talking about, that's perfectly normal."

On a similar note again, this is the first book in which I realised Padeen is not a deaf-mute but simply an Irish monoglot. (Though I only registered him as a character at all a few books ago; I've no idea when he's actually introduced.)
Tull does give people accents, and gives Stephen an Irish-ish one that I think is very appropriate. Jack is more of a John Bull, country squire thing, but none of them are overdone-they're more there to help the listener know who's speaking imo.

MeatwadIsGod
Sep 30, 2004

Behold! It is I! I bestow upon you...my dirty dipey!


Kaiser Schnitzel posted:

Tull does give people accents, and gives Stephen an Irish-ish one that I think is very appropriate. Jack is more of a John Bull, country squire thing, but none of them are overdone-they're more there to help the listener know who's speaking imo.

Tull's narration is amazing, but I always figured that Stephen doesn't have an accent since a few times throughout the series so far people will stick their foot in their mouth by insulting the Irish around him, only to be mortified when they learn he's Irish. That's always given me the impression he has no accent. I love what Tull does for Jack, Bonden, etc. Tull is really great at delivering O'Brian's dry humor.

withak
Jan 15, 2003


Fun Shoe

Drunk as a lord by noon and nary a shoe to his name.

PhantomOfTheCopier
Aug 13, 2008

Pikabooze!


I remember being put out by the movie because some of the characters really mismatched my mental images of them, especially Jack. I'm scared of the audio books for the same reason, though I suppose when I'm old and blind I'll have no choice.

Raskolnikov2089
Nov 3, 2006
Schizzy to the matic

PhantomOfTheCopier posted:

I remember being put out by the movie because some of the characters really mismatched my mental images of them, especially Jack. I'm scared of the audio books for the same reason, though I suppose when I'm old and blind I'll have no choice.

The only thing wrong with Bettany as the Doctor is that he's a gorgeous man. But really the chemistry between the two was perfect in the movie, exactly how I figured Jack and Stephen would interact with each other so I can ignore the physical miscasting.

Barret Bonden though, should not have been a Hobbit.

Notahippie
Feb 4, 2003

Kids, it's not cool to have Shane MacGowan teeth

I'm rereading the series and I hit on something I didn't notice before. O'Brian often has his characters omit swearwords in the narration, and I thought on earlier reads that he was just following convention of the period. But I just noticed that it's not consistent - like in chapter eight of Post Captain, he has the same character say about two pages apart "We should never have let him off alone on these - - sands. Mr. Babbington said 'don't let him go a-wandering on them - - sands, Plaice." and then "He was to see how cold he was, blue and trembling like a loving jelly." So it's not a consistent thing, but at the same time I can't tell why he chooses to use either. I always assumed reading things like this that when a character said something like "You old - - " that we were supposed to infer that he was actually cursing and the author didn't want to write it out. Is it possible that we're supposed to read that as the character intentionally blanking himself out?

jerman999
Apr 26, 2006

This is a lex imperfecta

I actually saw a reddit thread about this.

Notahippie
Feb 4, 2003

Kids, it's not cool to have Shane MacGowan teeth

jerman999 posted:

I actually saw a reddit thread about this.

That's interesting - it raises more questions than answers, because none of their suggestions work! It's not gentry vs foremast, because the example I gave above is both from Plaice. It's not obscenity vs blasphemy because some blasphemies are spelled out - earlier in Post Captain a gentleman yells out "is this a god-damned debating society" at Stephen talking during a hunt. I think the only answers that might work are the hypothesis that it's UK printers not wanting too much cursing, like a movie trying to avoid an R rating, or the possibility that it's a deliberate style choice by O'Brian to increase the emotional impact of some lines when he generally prefers to use --

The example of Diana saying "get over, you - " kills my idea that the characters were actually censoring themselves, though, because of the line about "Jack had never heard a woman say - before"

uPen
Jan 25, 2010

Zu Rodina!

I never knew this was a thing as I've only ever listened to the audiobooks and I'm fairly sure he just swears.

Kylaer
Aug 3, 2007


I'm not sure why it's done that way either, but unfortunately I did read in an article about the show Deadwood that the profanity is one of the things that isn't period-accurate Among other things, the use of the word "loving" as a general emphasis word (see: "a loving jelly" above) was a 20th-century development, definitely not something that would have made sense to an English speaker in the early 19th.

Mr. Mambold
Feb 13, 2011

Aha. Nice post.




Kylaer posted:

I'm not sure why it's done that way either, but unfortunately I did read in an article about the show Deadwood that the profanity is one of the things that isn't period-accurate Among other things, the use of the word "loving" as a general emphasis word (see: "a loving jelly" above) was a 20th-century development, definitely not something that would have made sense to an English speaker in the early 19th.

I'd totally be leery of a Deadwood article on the commonality of the English language as it was used in 19th century England. I'd go with O'Brian every time.

Notahippie
Feb 4, 2003

Kids, it's not cool to have Shane MacGowan teeth

Mr. Mambold posted:

I'd totally be leery of a Deadwood article on the commonality of the English language as it was used in 19th century England. I'd go with O'Brian every time.

Considering he's got an author's note apologizing for (IIRC) having a certain kind of perfume before it was widely available, he seems like a sound source. Although if his publisher/he was self-censoring cursewords to avoid offending his audience, maybe he would consider it not an appropriate topic to discuss.

I get the impression that the social norms of the UK were deeply weird for most of the 20th century.

ulmont
Sep 15, 2010

IF I EVER MISS VOTING IN AN ELECTION (EVEN AMERICAN IDOL) ,OR HAVE UNPAID PARKING TICKETS, PLEASE TAKE AWAY MY FRANCHISE


Kylaer posted:

I'm not sure why it's done that way either, but unfortunately I did read in an article about the show Deadwood that the profanity is one of the things that isn't period-accurate Among other things, the use of the word "loving" as a general emphasis word (see: "a loving jelly" above) was a 20th-century development, definitely not something that would have made sense to an English speaker in the early 19th.

Explicitly not period accurate for deadwood - the curses that would have been used at the time would not have the same impact on modern listeners.

Raskolnikov2089
Nov 3, 2006
Schizzy to the matic

Kylaer posted:

I'm not sure why it's done that way either, but unfortunately I did read in an article about the show Deadwood that the profanity is one of the things that isn't period-accurate Among other things, the use of the word "loving" as a general emphasis word (see: "a loving jelly" above) was a 20th-century development, definitely not something that would have made sense to an English speaker in the early 19th.

The writers specifically addressed this. They referenced an article from the Deadwood newspaper at the time talking about how much shocking foul language there was, but the writers realized using period accurate language wouldn't convey the shock, so they updated the curse words so that they would have the same impact for a modern audience that drat and hell would have to a 19th century Deadwood resident.

freebooter
Jul 7, 2009

AUSTRALIA
NEEDS
TURNBULL


ulmont posted:

Explicitly not period accurate for deadwood - the curses that would have been used at the time would not have the same impact on modern listeners.

Well, drat your eyes!

PlushCow
Oct 19, 2005

The cow eats the grass


A couple entertaining quotes from my re-read of book 4 The Mauritius Command:


"'The coffee has a damned odd taste.’
‘This I attribute to the excrement of rats. Rats have eaten our entire stock; and I take the present brew to be a mixture of the scrapings at the bottom of the sack.’
‘I thought it had a familiar tang,’ said Jack."


"Doctor Maturin was a God-send to the Boadiceas: not only would he accost the Commodore with a freedom impossible to any other man aboard, but he would ask questions that none but he might propound, and receive civil answers rather than a severe set-down."

Genghis Cohen
Jun 29, 2013


Raskolnikov2089 posted:

The writers specifically addressed this. They referenced an article from the Deadwood newspaper at the time talking about how much shocking foul language there was, but the writers realized using period accurate language wouldn't convey the shock, so they updated the curse words so that they would have the same impact for a modern audience that drat and hell would have to a 19th century Deadwood resident.

I think the actual phrase used was that the authentic bad language of the time would have sounded like Yosemite Sam! 'What in tarnation' etc and would have sounded ridiculous, where in the period it would have been signalled bad, rough and dangerous.

Nuclear War
Nov 7, 2012

You're a pretty pretty pretty pretty pretty pretty pretty pretty pretty pretty pretty pretty girl


Sometimes i forget that our heroes in this series aren't actually always great people such as in book 18 when Stephen perfectly willing to fight a duel and kill or be killed by the marine captain because he didn't want Stephen to cut open his dog for the sake of a hand he wanted to keep dissecting

Lockback
Sep 2, 2006

All days are nights to see till I see thee; and nights bright days when dreams do show me thee.


Stephen just LOVES to stab people. It's a funny duality where Stephen seems adverse to battle and war in general but loves a duel, whereas Aubrey seems to relish a battle (though, not afterward) and in social situations is mostly a teddy bear.

Kaiser Schnitzel
Mar 28, 2006

Schnitzel mit uns






I hadn't ever thought about, but I think there's something in that. Stephen's violence is usually intensely personal and directed against a specific human being. His anger is pretty universal at various systems etc. he hates, but even there, it is people (Bonaparte, Wray, Ledward, etc) that get him most worked up. Jack by contrast doesn't ever seem to want to hurt his enemies as individuals-with a few exceptions, he mostly likes and gets on well with the people he is trying to blow out of the water. He's just doing his job which is to sink and frustrate the King's enemies, or answer the contrary at his peril. Even when Jack has to order a sailor flogged he finds no enjoyment in it, where Stephen (who hates a flogging) seems to delight in murdering his enemies.

jerman999
Apr 26, 2006

This is a lex imperfecta

I mean Stephen did ambush, kill, and dissect two dudes in the jungle, the latter part perhaps good for eliminating evidence but maybe extreme?

Kylaer
Aug 3, 2007


jerman999 posted:

I mean Stephen did ambush, kill, and dissect two dudes in the jungle, the latter part perhaps good for eliminating evidence but maybe extreme?

No sense letting a good spleen go to waste.

Farmer Crack-Ass
Jan 2, 2001

~this is me posting irl~


jerman999 posted:

I mean Stephen did ambush, kill, and dissect two dudes in the jungle, the latter part perhaps good for eliminating evidence but maybe extreme?

I never took that as a clever ruse to dispose of the evidence, but just Stephen's love of dissecting cadavers (recall his prior complaints about the price of bodies, and the remarks about how they are so often in poor condition).

Nuclear War
Nov 7, 2012

You're a pretty pretty pretty pretty pretty pretty pretty pretty pretty pretty pretty pretty girl


He is not a nice person. having juat gone through the audiobooks up to 18, i genuinely dont like him much anymore. different times or no. Jack's a different matter

Genghis Cohen
Jun 29, 2013


Nuclear War posted:

Sometimes i forget that our heroes in this series aren't actually always great people such as in book 18 when Stephen perfectly willing to fight a duel and kill or be killed by the marine captain because he didn't want Stephen to cut open his dog for the sake of a hand he wanted to keep dissecting

Now I disagree with this. Maturin isn't motivated by disagreement over the dog, he's acting because Hobden calls him a bastard. That's unforgivable to any gentleman raised in his code of conduct, and Maturin is especially sensitive to it because he actually is illegitimate. You can say he's glad of a release for the grief afflicting him at the time, which certainly affects his temper, but he's not acting unreasonably by the standards of the day. In fact, I would say the fact he happily reconciles with Hobden upon receiving a written apology (considered a bit less worthy than a spoken apology, especially one spoken in front of witnesses) is proof he's not a bloodthirsty duellist.


Kaiser Schnitzel posted:

I hadn't ever thought about, but I think there's something in that. Stephen's violence is usually intensely personal and directed against a specific human being. His anger is pretty universal at various systems etc. he hates, but even there, it is people (Bonaparte, Wray, Ledward, etc) that get him most worked up. Jack by contrast doesn't ever seem to want to hurt his enemies as individuals-with a few exceptions, he mostly likes and gets on well with the people he is trying to blow out of the water. He's just doing his job which is to sink and frustrate the King's enemies, or answer the contrary at his peril. Even when Jack has to order a sailor flogged he finds no enjoyment in it, where Stephen (who hates a flogging) seems to delight in murdering his enemies.

Lockback posted:

Stephen just LOVES to stab people. It's a funny duality where Stephen seems adverse to battle and war in general but loves a duel, whereas Aubrey seems to relish a battle (though, not afterward) and in social situations is mostly a teddy bear.

We are told a couple times that Maturin is 'saturnine' or 'revengeful' and Aubrey is not. I agree that's part of their way of looking at the world. It's important to note though that neither of them has a 21st-century view of the intrinsic value of human life or a by-default negative view of violence. It's one of the things I really love about O'Brian's writing, the characters are actually 18-19th century characters, not modern people in tail-coats. This is really evident in how reserved they are even with each other, the rules of gentlemen really mean some things cannot be said, even though they are so close.

Re Ledward and Wray, I always saw it as an example of Maturin's dispassionate approach to killing (it was necessary for his craft and he isn't too fussed either way) coupled with his enthusiasm for anatomy. Once he's knocked them on the head, L&W really are just specimens to him.

Class Warcraft
Apr 27, 2006

History has shown us that the love of power will always exceed the power of love. Plan accordingly.


Acknowlding in advance that it's been a bit since I've read the first couple books but: speaking of duels, in one of the first couple books Jack and Stephen almost duel over Diana - what ever happens there?

I seem to recall them actually going so far as taking a launch to the duel location and then it just kind of skips ahead to them both being friendly again. Am I just forgetting something or is it implied that they fired into the air and returned as friends, honor satisfied?

Genghis Cohen
Jun 29, 2013


Class Warcraft posted:

Acknowlding in advance that it's been a bit since I've read the first couple books but: speaking of duels, in one of the first couple books Jack and Stephen almost duel over Diana - what ever happens there?

I seem to recall them actually going so far as taking a launch to the duel location and then it just kind of skips ahead to them both being friendly again. Am I just forgetting something or is it implied that they fired into the air and returned as friends, honor satisfied?

I think they go ashore to the town where it will be held, but the Polychrest is ordered to sea before the duel can take place. While at sea Maturin informs Jack of an incipient mutiny, presumably out of a feeling it is the right thing to do despite their strained relationship. In the aftermath of the Fanciulla action, where Jack is very dangerously wounded, and Maturin treats him, it's either tacitly written off or an off-screen reconciliation occurs.

Hieronymous Alloy
Jan 30, 2009


Why! Why!! Why must you refuse to accept that Dr. Hieronymous Alloy's Genetically Enhanced Cream Corn Is Superior to the Leading Brand on the Market!?!



Morbid Hound

Genghis Cohen posted:

I think they go ashore to the town where it will be held, but the Polychrest is ordered to sea before the duel can take place. While at sea Maturin informs Jack of an incipient mutiny, presumably out of a feeling it is the right thing to do despite their strained relationship. In the aftermath of the Fanciulla action, where Jack is very dangerously wounded, and Maturin treats him, it's either tacitly written off or an off-screen reconciliation occurs.

There is a blink-and-you'd-miss-it mutual apology scene at one point i believe.

Lockback
Sep 2, 2006

All days are nights to see till I see thee; and nights bright days when dreams do show me thee.


Hieronymous Alloy posted:

There is a blink-and-you'd-miss-it mutual apology scene at one point i believe.

Yeah, they have one of their conversation-isn't-about-the-conversation scene, but it is easy to miss it.

Notahippie
Feb 4, 2003

Kids, it's not cool to have Shane MacGowan teeth

jerman999 posted:

I mean Stephen did ambush, kill, and dissect two dudes in the jungle, the latter part perhaps good for eliminating evidence but maybe extreme?

And also ambush, beat over the head with an obsidian dildo, and then cut the throat of a Frenchman and shoot his partner although in that case it was suggested he was a bit disturbed by it

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MeatwadIsGod
Sep 30, 2004

Behold! It is I! I bestow upon you...my dirty dipey!


Genghis Cohen posted:

I think they go ashore to the town where it will be held, but the Polychrest is ordered to sea before the duel can take place. While at sea Maturin informs Jack of an incipient mutiny, presumably out of a feeling it is the right thing to do despite their strained relationship. In the aftermath of the Fanciulla action, where Jack is very dangerously wounded, and Maturin treats him, it's either tacitly written off or an off-screen reconciliation occurs.

There's an implied reconciliation after that action. Stephen sees Jack's wounds and says "come below, brother." Probably my favorite moment from Post-Captain.

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