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builds character
Jan 16, 2008

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Prolonged Priapism posted:

I almost included that too, it was definitely #2. No matter what they say, he won that boxing match. It occurred to me many times, given how many people die in each book, that it was sort of strange to have so many old hands like Joe Plaice and Bonden around for so long. Then again, vastly more people live through a full career in any job than die doing it. Death is just so infrequent in our lives that losing a few men and boys each voyage gets sort of blown out of proportion - it's vastly more than we're currently used to, but was still somewhat rare. So really a lot of oldsters isn't that surprising. I guess I sort of fell in to the fallacy of "well if they've made it this far..." but of course that's true for every single person, right up until they die.

On a strange sidenote, I read a random spoiler tag in this thread that seemed to indicate that Babbington would die (looking back it just must have referred to him making post and going his own way in the books and never coming back), and I spent many books anxiously waiting for the awful news. I'm very glad he never did. Same with Reade and Tom.

It's just unusual to fight so much. jack thinks about it a bunch of times "I'm just lucky to have so many opportunities to kick the poo poo out of the king's enemies! Any other captain would be just as badass if they were as lucky." So I'd guess that not fighting is the primary driver for longevity in naval warfare at the time and most folks just don't fight.

Bonden's death really was the worst.

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builds character
Jan 16, 2008

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Hogge Wild posted:

This is especially a problem in audio books.

Not on your sixth read through.

builds character
Jan 16, 2008

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coyo7e posted:

It's kind of amazing how the movie was really so poor compared to the books. It'd be an amazing series - Crossbones is the current new hotness however, you could easily cut up a lot of the novels and make some really, really interesting and pretty faithful episodes of a season or two of a TV series by interspersing, say, books 1 and 2 with a little bit of early running around the countryside dealing with debtors and rich women, in between the ship combat sequences.

The major weakness I can think of for the novels being turned into a show is that there really aren't any women characters in the first novel. I'm only through 1 and 2, does O'Brien add more women in most of the rest of the books, or are some of them still just bromance-on-a-boat for a few hundred pages?

The first book or two have Molly Harte. I'd think HBO could do something with her if you know what I mean.

I mean sexposition. It's the only way anyone will ever figure out what a staysail really is.

You could probably add a little something between Maturin and the Spanish innkeeper/make whose name I'm forgetting too. Setup the Diana conflict a little.

builds character
Jan 16, 2008

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Nektu posted:

This is so dumb, has nothing to do with the books and my cat hates you now.

Do you want HBO to pick this up or not? Jack was definitely banging Molly and here's Mercedes (whose name I had to go look up).

'Yes, Teniente,' said Mercedes, her eyes rolling in the candlelight and her teeth flashing white.
'Not teniente,' cried Jack, crushing the breath out of her plump, supple body. 'Capitan! Capitano, ha, ha, ha!'
He woke in the morning straight out of a deep, deep sleep:

Anyway, at the very least there are enough female characters to make the books as a show. And someone should do a good job making this show so that I can watch it. Thank you in advance.

AlphaDog posted:

I believe I have seen several of them about the ship.



But seriously, that kind of stuff is way easier to show than describe. I think a show that cared about rigging would be a really expensive flop though.

You make Larry Ellison so sad.

Edit: you could just have the rigging and the sailors could use the correct terms and after like eleven seasons you'd find yourself gasping at the site of a French ship busting out skysails when clearly they were just pressing too hard and goddamn maybe if they spent some time sailing instead of being blockaded they'd be better sailors.

builds character fucked around with this message at 15:11 on Jun 15, 2014

builds character
Jan 16, 2008

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Blog Free or Die posted:

Except then he literally calls someone a scrub, so that gets confusing.

What a fellow you are.

Maturin burns, second best burns.

Behind him just straight stabbing fools.

"Will you stand for that?"

"*drunk*"

"*stab*"

Edit: maybe third best behind him making fun of jack for being fat.

builds character
Jan 16, 2008

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ItalicSquirrels posted:

Nonsense, the captain has an uncommon genteel figure.

Goldilocks.


My favorite part of that whole exchange is that he's not even (relatively) fat yet. It just gets worse over the years (when he has money anyway).

builds character
Jan 16, 2008

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coyo7e posted:

Jack began at the age of what, 23 or 25ish? He's very consistenly referred to as fat, pudgy, portly, well-fed, and the like. In the later books it's one thing to argue however, he sounded like a great golden curly-topped egg of a man of who also happens to be a bloodthirsty badass whenever you give him even the whiff of a chance at booty.


these were also men who were kings. As in "I can have your entire family burned alive if you don't get me some loving lemoncakes in 10 minutes flat!"

One thing I appreciated about the very early books was how Jack sort of had to be reminded to keep up appearances, so instead of staying in his cabin working on his rutters or whatever, he was expected to wine and dine the officers of his crew from his own person stashes - whether or not he had them.

The thing that's funny about jack's weight is Stephen cracking on him because he gets a little chubby when he has cash, but yeah he's a big hard dude who smashes everyone in his way with a sword and doesn't have an issue climbing the rigging until he gets older and more consistently wealthy.

builds character
Jan 16, 2008

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InediblePenguin posted:

not by the early 19th century no


You have disgraced yourself, and you must be punished. Confine yourself to our royal suite at the Waldorf-Astoria.

builds character
Jan 16, 2008

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Hieronymous Alloy posted:

Just think of the whole series as one very long book.

Plus, it's a nice series to re-read.

builds character
Jan 16, 2008

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bollig posted:

Interesting. I may do this. I may also make them my 'go to' vacation books. Just kind of line one up for each time I head out of town or something. Although I've always kind of had Wodehouse in the barrel for that. Thanks for this idea, though. I'm actually kind of surprised at how itchy I am to get back out to sea.

I pulled a 'not a moment to lose' with my father the other day. He was bumbling around with something in a stack of papers, and that was how I got him out the door.

The tide waits for no man.

builds character
Jan 16, 2008

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VendoViper posted:

Started reading this series two months ago, and at this point I am about to start book 14. I can't get enough of Patrick O'Brian's writing, it is seriously good stuff. I am glad that I still have seven to go, but the comfort brought by there being novels remaining is shrinking fast. I am going to be jonesing hard, like Stephen coming down off any number of substances, once I finish the final book.

Fortunately, re-reading is almost as good. A more subtle pleasure. Not quite as good as the first time but at least you know what the gently caress you're doing. Unlike the first time. God drat you for a useless lubber, sir.

builds character
Jan 16, 2008

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Octy posted:

Pale and sallow, I think, but he is described as going very dark on long voyages in sunny parts. Apparently tans in the nude too. I wonder what the rates of skin cancer were for sailors back then? I'm sure I'd have died of melanoma pretty quickly.

He got shipwrecked on that tiny island full of birds after the French tortured him and it helps him recover some use in his hands (and really tans *all* of him). I think he's more tan after that for quite a few books.

Don't worry about skin cancer, just take this blue draught.

builds character
Jan 16, 2008

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Raskolnikov2089 posted:

He didn't have the right forms signed to transfer his money over, so it never happened.

He signed the form to his bank transferring money out "Stephen" and the letter to Diana "THIS IS REALLY MY LEGAL SIGNATURE, DR STEPHEN MATURIN, DDS" and his bankers were like "I heard you wanted all the gold you put in our bank back but sorry "Stephen" if that even is your real name, you need that poo poo notarized or at least use your full name. PS thanks for the continued use of your loot."

The Lord Bude posted:

I bought the awesome hardcover boxed set that condenses all the books into 5 exquisite bound volumes with nice placemarking ribbons.

My favorite books.

builds character
Jan 16, 2008

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Panzeh posted:

Are there any of these novels written from a French perspective? It would be kinda neat seeing what a French frigate captain and crew would do.

Day 4,365 spent being blockaded in Brest. Ate a shitload of toasted cheese. Drank eleventeen bottles of the chateau lafite.

builds character
Jan 16, 2008

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The Merry Marauder posted:

I was certainly jarred by (Hundred Days) Bonden's death, which felt a little perfunctory.

That never happened.

Hieronymous Alloy posted:

Yeah, that's what I'm referring to. And Stephen says that sometimes he has to lie but doesn't like to be reminded of it.

This is the kind of thing that feels way more natural after reading ten or eleven of the books.

builds character
Jan 16, 2008

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khamul posted:

I'm now a few chapters into Master and Commander and really enjoying it, but despite all the effort O'Brian puts into describing it, I can't picture what a "quarterdeck brig" like the Sophie is supposed to look like. All the brigs I'm familiar with (like the USS Niagara) from later in the era seem pretty straight-decked and lacking of any amenities. Are there any illustrations,. besides that of the front cover on some editions that shed light on the arrangement? O'Brian does do a great job of describing the Sophie's rigging and how it worked for his readers.

It also boggles the mind that the RN had warships running around the Mediterranean with 4-pounders, instead of refitting them with heavier carronades or gunades. If the British Board of Ordnance was independent from the Admiralty back then, I suppose that could explain why they were so slow to improve the armament on their smaller ships.

Four pounders were perfectly sufficient to take merchants and sink any local pirates. Waste not want not!

builds character
Jan 16, 2008

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Arglebargle III posted:

Well I just finished the series. Quite bittersweet for me. Though the characters get their happy ending more or less. Too bad Stephen never got back home to that pretty young naturalizing widow.

I'm already thinking about reading it again.

Favorite books:

Master and Commander
The Mauritius Campaign
The Fortunes of War
Desolation Island
The Nutmeg of Consolation

I feel like I should read some Jane Austen before I tackle Pride and Prejudice and Boats again.

Did you read the couple of unfinished chapters of the next book too?

builds character
Jan 16, 2008

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Do you think you'll finish that read through? I enjoyed what you'd written.

builds character
Jan 16, 2008

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ovenboy posted:

How did it turn out?

They haven't posted since. RIP.

builds character
Jan 16, 2008

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Murgos posted:

I checked out this audiobook from the library, so far I am liking it but all the main characters (we haven't gotten to Captain Fredrick yet) are pretty much all reprehensible, the petty small mindedness and concern with preference and breeding really reads like satire. Is it attempting to be accurate? I know Jane Austen was of that class of people but I don't know if shes being honest.

e: Her brother, Francis Austen, was an accomplished navy officer who would have been a very senior post-captain around the time the novel was written (flag captain of the channel fleet) and was knighted in 1815. Although he didn't make rear-admiral until 1830 he later climbed as high as Admiral of the Fleet.

e2: She also had another brother, Charles Austin, who also was a post-captain in the royal navy around the time the novel was written. So, I would guess that her naval characters are pretty well grounded in reality and are probably based on people she met socially.

Jane Austen is good because she is 100% making fun of the vast majority of the people in her books.

builds character
Jan 16, 2008

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Hieronymous Alloy posted:

Yeah, Austen wrote her characters with multiple levels of irony. It isn't unusual for the character speaking, the one hearing, the narrator's voice, and the author's voice to each be working on a separate level of irony.

That said there usually is at least one character in her novels who is relatively sympathetic. Look for the young, unmarried, intelligent female.

Agreed, but she does makes fun of them too. From two of her better known works, you've got Emma being pretty and rich and spoiled and lazy and entitled and just awful at matchmaking. Or Elizabeth who's smart, witty, generally pretty nice but totally unrealistic about her prospects (good thing it works out for her) and makes stupid, stupid decisions because of her (are you ready?) pride and (seriously, though, wait for it...) prejudices. I do think those tend to be much more on the level of the author to the reader only rather than working on six different levels like all of her making fun of everyone else. But anyone who doesn't like Austen is a bad person and should feel bad and also be a bit more careful about their reading because they're pretty light books if you just skim through them but they're hilarious if you take a bit more time/care.

edit: only a little related, I just finished six frigates. I'd bought it maybe a year ago thinking it was a book I would very much enjoy having read and not a book I was looking forward to reading and then I actually picked it up and it was great! So if you haven't read it yet and liked Patrick O'Brian then I recommend it as well.

builds character
Jan 16, 2008

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Hogge Wild posted:

I also read them straight through and felt the same. Could anyone recommend a series that has the same kind of feel to it?

it's called a re-read.

builds character
Jan 16, 2008

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That's one of the things that makes jack interesting though. Anyway, these books are great. Please post your reactions as you read through. Also any hilarious bon mots or puns.

builds character
Jan 16, 2008

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ItalicSquirrels posted:

Actually, that's an interesting point. Is it time to start the thread over? It's almost six years old and the OP's been marked with an R since about a month after it started (and only halfway through book 2!). Should we begin from the beginning or should we press on, crack on regardless?

This doesn't relate at all, but nevermind manuevers go straight at em didn't really seem to fit so here are two other quotes I like.


quote#1 posted:

Stephen nodded. 'Tell me,' he said, in a low voice, some moments later. 'Were I under naval discipline, could that fellow have me whipped?' He nodded towards Mr Marshall.
'The master?' cried Jack, with inexpressible amazement.

'Yes,' said Stephen looking attentively at him, with his head slightly inclined to the left.

'But he is the master...' said Jack.

If Stephen had called the sophies stem her stern, or her truck her keel, he would have understood the situation directly; but that Stephen should confuse the chain of command, the relative status of a captain and a master, of a commissioned officer and a warrant officer, so subverted the natural order, so undermined the sempiternal universe, that for a moment his mind could hardly encompass it. Yet Jack, though no great scholar, no judge of a hexameter, was tolerably quick, and after gasping no more than twice he said, 'My dear sir, I beleive you have been lead astray by the words master and master and commander- illogical terms, I must confess. The first is subordinate to the second. You must allow me to explain our naval ranks some time. But in any case you will never be flogged- no, no; you shall not be flogged,' he added, gazing with pure affection, and with something like awe, at so magnificent a prodigy, at an ignorance so very far beyond anything that even his wide-ranging mind had yet conceived.

quote#2 posted:

"You were always grossly obese," observed Stephen. "Were you to walk ten miles a day, and eat half what you do in fact devour, with no butcher's meat and no malt liquors, you would be able to play at the hand-ball like a Christian rather than a galvanized manatee, or dugong."

builds character
Jan 16, 2008

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Hurling = ball in net to score. Cricket = ball hits the wicket/sticks and you're out. I think you're also not allowed to pick up the ball or to run with it.

builds character
Jan 16, 2008

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Prolonged Priapism posted:

Yeah the I think the closest American analogue to that scene would be a new batter in a baseball game suddenly using his bat like a lacrosse stick, catching/blocking the pitch, dodging around the stunned fielders, running with the ball balanced on his bat in to the outfield, and flinging the ball at the backstop of an adjacent field, thinking it was the opposite goal. Or something like that. I loved that scene.

Soccer player is a striker, picks up a pass with his hands, charges through his defense and drop-kicks the ball into his own goal. Calmly walks off.

builds character
Jan 16, 2008

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Decius posted:

Stephen can be extremely ruthless. After Jack has seen what he did there, he goes out of his way to dissuade people, who want to go out with Stephen from it. One of the best scenes of Stephen losing his countenance is after the dinner in New South Wales in "The Nutmeg of Consolidation".

That's one of my favorite scenes. "nah, I'm cool now that I've stabbed him." "ok, but let's get on the ship and gtfo anyway"


ItalicSquirrels posted:

It actually starts in Surprise, when Stephen fights his duel at the end. Jack tries everything he can (within social norms) to keep the duel from happening, because he knows that at least the other guy will get killed. He flat out says, "My man is deadly". This is all after he sees Stephen practicing sword dueling in Post Captain with the Marine lieutenant before shooting the pips out of a playing card at ten paces (no mean feat with a smoothbored pistol).


My favorite's from Ionian Mission:
'You and Martin may say what you like,' said Jack, but there are two ends to every pudding.'
'I should be the last to deny it,' said Stephen. 'If a pudding starts, clearly it must end; the human mind is incapable of grasping infinity, and an endless pudding passes our conception.'


To be fair, even Stephen comments on the -worthiness of it, or at least the results.

RIP Canning. Dude had it coming though.

builds character
Jan 16, 2008

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Xander77 posted:

Really not sure that he did. Among (many) other things, he really has to play the proper gentleman to the jealous local crowd, what with being Jewish and all.

Taking advantage of a helpless widow instead of making an honest woman of her? Trying to kill poor, helpless Stephen (such a poor shot that he can't even not hit what he isn't aiming at, to say nothing of his ability to climb aboard a ship without a bosun's chair). And then, worst of all, trying to steal Captain Aubrey from his Majesty's service by offering him a letter of marque. You're right. He deserved far worse.

Arglebargle III posted:

Diana and Stephen were a match in the worst way. Both intelligent and sensitive people afflicted by personal tragedy early in life and crippled by low self-esteem.

There are some nice moments too though. Like when they're married and he's talking to her in bed.

Hieronymous Alloy posted:

There's a strong argument that both Stephen and Canning deserved better than Diana. Not because she was a "fallen woman" but because she treated them all horribly.

Um, did you not see how hot she was and how one was a Jew and the other a bastard papist?

builds character
Jan 16, 2008

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Notahippie posted:

What's the quote? From memory it's something like "a deeply grasping shrewish lickpenny." I remember "lickpenny" in particular. It's evocative as all hell.

a deeply stupid, griping, illiberal, avid, tenacious, pinchfist lickpenny, a sordid lickpenny and a shrew

builds character
Jan 16, 2008

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Professor Shark posted:

I heard back from HBO, they told me they don't accept unsolicited ideas and advised me to get an agent

Get a Fugger.

builds character
Jan 16, 2008

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZnomDilySlA

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Jan 16, 2008

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An obvious nod to Jack's use of firework powder.

builds character
Jan 16, 2008

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TheAwfulWaffle posted:

I've been working my way through this series for a few years, and I've loved every word of it.

Is the last, unfinished book (Amazon calls it "21: The Final Unfinished Voyage of Jack Aubrey" any good, or should I stop at the end of Blue at The Mizzen?

Not as a book. Itís good as a little extra after the series is over, and of course you have to get it. But itís not a new book.

builds character
Jan 16, 2008

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Decius posted:

Coca leafs isn't the same as cocaine though. It's more like being addicted to super strong coffee or nicotine or using betel nuts, far, far less damaging than opium or cocaine.

When they are chewed with a little lime they sharpen the mind to a wonderful degree, they induce a sense of well-being and they abolish both hunger and fatigue.

builds character
Jan 16, 2008

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PlushCow posted:

Instead of being productive I have spent some time going through old Patrick O'Brian newsletters from his publisher, each one has a short piece from O'Brian himself and some of you may enjoy it as I have: http://www.wwnorton.com/pob/pobnews.htm

This is great, thanks!

builds character
Jan 16, 2008

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MeatwadIsGod posted:

The true romance is Aubrey-Sloth. Everything else is window dressing.


Hieronymous Alloy posted:

I think a lot of Post Captain is a deliberate Austen homage; there's basically two types of historical fiction set in the Regency era, wooden-ships-iron-men stuff for dudes and Austen-derived "regency romance" for the ladies, and I think O'Brian was trying to bridge the gap.

I'm a "convert" to Austen -- I didn't like her initially but then grew to absolutely love her writing -- and there's a definite influence in O'Brian's prose style.

I did a partial Let's Read of P&P a few years ago designed as a "Stepladder" to help folks who aren't yet fans of Austen get a handle on why she's so great:

https://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=3662001

This is good, but where's the rest?

builds character
Jan 16, 2008

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Jagiello

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Jan 16, 2008

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Look, if you guys want to believe that Diana, who doesn't view sex as a particularly big deal, and the really really really ridiculously good looking Lithuanian didn't get together after she thinks that Maturin jilted her for some hussy then I don't know what to tell you. I'm also pretty sure you're supposed to read between the lines when Diana is having the sex talk with Sophie that she just sleeps around and it's no big deal.

e:I mean sex, not a real relationship.

builds character
Jan 16, 2008

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Hieronymous Alloy posted:

Oh I expect more of Jagiello not Diana

fwiw, I actually think the books suggest that they don't actually have sex, but I do think there's room for that reading as well. Certainly the letters about the affair are from the french, but he is super good looking and Diana is angry at Maturin and sleeps around a ton generally without thinking much of it.

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Jan 16, 2008

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Thatís very good.

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