JUNE GROUP READ - Master and Commander
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I originally bought this in 2017 on the recommendation of a fellow in my bookclub. I got just under halfway through it when (for some forgotten reason) I put it aside and didn't pick it up again.
I picked up a new copy of the book (without the movie-inspired cover, this time around) just the other day. While I could have gotten it from the library, somehow that didn't feel quite right to me, for this book. I have to say I love the Geoff Hunt covers, and I am really looking forward to reading this!
I have also been looking things up as I've gone along, though not everything I didn't know. I'm a bit ambivalent about it - on the one hand I understand the language is authentic to the time, on the other I am continually pulled out of the story by words I'm not familiar with and can't even necessarily guess at given the context.
I was amused by Dillon and Stephen's conversation towards the end of Chapter Five.
I'm also enjoying their 'encounters' with other vessels and the tactics displayed, while appreciating that the story is more than simply a 'boy's own adventure'.
I wasn't expecting it to be funny so that's a pleasant surprise. The scene in Chapter Eight when they're at dinner at the Harte's and Stephen retrieves his napkin from under the table gave me a giggle, including the aftermath when the ladies leave the table. Teehee!
There are a lot of funny scenes, and some where one event gets the payoff in a later scene. There's the bit in chapter six where Jack is watching the flogging of seven men for drunkenness and he reflects on the fact that either the men are getting into the spirit-room or someone had brought a store of liquor aboard. Then, in chapter seven, after the engagement with the Gloire when Jack is going to check on who is wounded, and Stephen has a grave complaint to make; someone has been at his asp, and drunk all the double-refined spirits of wine that it was stored in. I think I know where the sailors were getting their liquor. :D
I love the contrast between Jack and Stephen, and how they manage to make their friendship work, despite having largely different interests.
A handful of thoughts:
Someone in my local Buy Nothing group was giving the whole series away but sadly I saw the post too late. So while I do intend to read the next one, it probably won't be for a while.