Recommended Summer Reading: “Master and Commander”

by Marilou Moursund on July 16, 2009

in Books,Recommended Reading

Master and Commander, by Patrick O’Brian, is the first novel in a series of sixteen detailing the adventures of Captain Jack Aubrey and his friend, surgeon Stephen Maturin.  The series starts in 1800 with Jack in command of The Surprise, a small British man-of-war.  The detail about life aboard a naval ship is amazing, but it does take a little time to get used to some of the old-fashioned language and nautical terms.

Jack is completely straightforward in his dealings with his crew and peers, but he can be devastatingly devious when planning a battle strategy.  As the series progresses, we learn that there is more to Maturin than meets the eye.  He is actually a spy for the War Office, and he fights for King and country both on the sea and on the land.

The movie starring Russell Crowe from several years ago pulled events from several of the early novels, and I thought that it did a good job of bringing the novel to the screen.  If you like Master and Commander, you’ll end up hooked on the whole series.

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