There is a saying that time and tide wait for no-one. If one adds in internet connection problems then trying to keep a business running that uses the net this is an issue. Add keeping my book list reviews up to date is a real problem. (All I can say is if using BT Broadband then do read their spam emails because if they say they are going to change your settings even if you have not asked them to they will and it is not easy getting them to put things right and as to telling you why they changed things then “that is a mystery – The system seems to have a mind of it's own” as the man from their finance dept said).
So after much thought rather than playing catch up all the time, I will list all the 7 books I have read or listened to in the last few weeks without a review and then hopefully move on from there.
So this brings the total up to book 44 week 32 fiction 41 (audio books 12) non fiction 3
Friends this is my review of the book Clarissa Oakes by Patrick O'Brian. This is book 15 of the Jack Aubrey series, one which I have been reading over the last few years.
Captain Jack Aubrey is back on his favourite ship Surprise, and they have escaped the prison colonies of Australia with a stowaway, that is unknown to him. William Oakes, a midshipman on the Surprise, smuggled Clarissa aboard when the ship departed Sydney.
To ensure her safety she is married to William Oakes, and then proceeds to cause quite a bit of trouble on board ship by chatting up the officers. She eventually befriends the ships doctor Stephen Maturin, who is also a secret agent for the king.
When Clarissa reveals to Stephen some vital information about spies in London, he realises that she must get back to England as soon as possible. He helps arrange for Mr Oakes to make that journey in a prize that they have managed to capture, and of course Clarissa goes with her husband.
The writing style of the book was very noticeable in this case. With most modern authors the ratio of action to description is probably around 2 to 1, maybe even less in some cases!! Here in this book it was probably about 8 to 1 in favour of description. In the book Patrick uses words to beautifully paint, the world in Napoleonic times in Polynesia. There was one section which I though was very clever was where they were sitting down for a meal with the native queen and she gives them bowls of food. Floating in the liquid is part of a human ear!! a local favourite.
Just five and a half more books to go in the saga..
This was book 17 week 12 fiction 15 (2 on audio) non fiction 2
This is book 14 in the Jack Aubrey series, and carries on from where the last book left off which I read last September Jack and Stephen are stranded on an uninhabited island in the Dutch East Indies, having been attacked by pirates.
They manage to get off the island with the help of some bird nests, and eventually manage to find themselves in New South Wales, where Patrick provides a fascinating description of life living among the convicts who have been deported and transported to Australia. He manages to capture the vastness and untamed wilderness of the country, whilst at the same time imagine what life would be like for those who have now set up a life for themselves in Australia. He manages to have characters who range from those who are completely poverty stricken to those who seem to own most of the area.
Professional critics have said that this book was one of his finest – it certainly was a pleasure to read as book 51 – week 38 – fiction 45 (13 on audio) non fiction 6
So we come to book 5 - Still on target for the challenge, though there does often seem to be a conflict between keeping the blog up to date and reading the books. - The Thirteen-Gun Salute by Patrick O'Brian Immediately following The Letter of Marque, the narrative picks up with Jack Aubrey getting the Surprise underway for a mission to South America. Upon reaching Lisbon, however, Dr Maturin is intercepted by Sir Joseph Blaine and told that he and Aubrey will be required to first go on a mission to the Sultan of Pulo Prabang, a (fictictious) piratical Malay state in the South China Sea. They are to transport Fox, the envoy who will lead the mission to persuade the Sultan to become an English rather than French ally. The French are being openly assisted by the same English traitors - Wray and Ledward - who were responsible for Aubrey's former disgrace – The tale ends with a weather related twist that will no doubt have consequences in the next book.
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