C.S.FORRESTER[HORATIO HORNBLOWER],PATRICK O'BRIAN],JACK AUBREY] AND ALEXANDER KENT[RICHARD BOLITHO] All deal with the Napoleonic Wars era and the Royal Navy.....C.S.Forrester was highly reccomended by Ernest Hemmingway,
Patrick O'Brian has been compared to a seagoing Jane Austen.I agree.Alexander Kent is somewhere in between .In a previous review I mistakenly mentioned that I have over 20 of these books in audible.I own more and have listened to every unabridged version available by these authors.Why have they been and continue to be so popular ??
Here's the short version.
 The books could best be described as loose historical fiction in that
 The characters and situations are based on on ACTUAL historical people and situations.
 Ships logs where required,Diary's were more common than not among ship's Captains and many officers so there are thousands upon thousands of written records,memoirs newspaper articles etc.This is a substantial resource for much of the material by these authors combined with their imagination,sailing expertise and the ability to tell a good story.
 The FACTS are that the Royal Navy was replete with Brutality,Politics,The Absolute authority of Captains,Promotion due to Family power,seaman that were kept on board for years at a time for fear they might run away[as well they might have] and Impressment of recruits right out of homes ,the streets and taverns.
The Royal Navy was also replete with Bravery,loyalty to King and country,Crews that could out perform the enemy in number of Cannon Shots,discipline etc.and officers that were true leaders beloved by their men .These officers came both from the priviledged class and the ranks..promoted for their abilities.
 Because of the system of awarding Prize money based on the value of ships captured ,the lowliest crew member could retire to comfortable circumstances with enough to own a farm or small business.Many of the officers entered the service poor[the 3rd or 4th son not likely to inherit] and left the service wealthy prosperous men with substantial fortunes.
NOW IF THAT'S NOT THE MATERIAL FOR GREAT STORIES ABOUT CONDITIONS THAT REALLY EXISTED AND SITUATIONS THAT REALLY HAPPENED I DON'T WHAT IS.!!!!
THE FLAG CAPTAIN is one such story.There are credible heroes,villains and flawed characters who seek and find redemption.Political intrigue at it's worst,the good and bad traditions of the Royal Navy,Naval Battles,Piracy,Slavers,Mutiny,Treachery,Loyalty.You name it and it's there.THE FLAG CAPTAIN is one example of the genre.It is a good story because Kent TELLS A good story and most important a CREDIBLE story because that's how things were back then and those things really happened,albeit maybe not all to one person.Michael Jayston is the perfect narrataor.His accents and inflections make you feel like there are several good narrators.Happy Listening !!
Science fiction was my main passion in my youth and I've read a lot of it.Now I read the genre occasionally .Riddle,the Atlantis Gene author, would have benefited from a good editor.The premise and the book have potential and it does have it's moments and interesting plot twists.I became confused figuring who was who and who was doing what to whom.Sometimes it was like a Monte Python skit where John Cleese keeps pulling of one rubber mask after another revealing different characters.
"OH MY!! It's NOT Ming the Merciless......it's Mother Teresa !!!,OH MY!! It's NOT Mother Teresa...........it's the evil SS Captain Obbenfurer !!!...... OH MY !!! It's NOT the evil Captain at all.............All this time it was............Madam Bovary !!! I don't want to belittle Riddle.What he tried to do here was interesting,just a bit confusing,It's OK to be innovative.For example,in THE GAME OF THRONES when the author kills off what everyone thinks as the main hero in the 1st few chapters,it both shocks and intrigues us.
Like many reader/listeners,I remember story better than characters names and I kind of refresh myself as I go from the sense and flow of the story.that's definitely not easy to do with Atlantis.A narrator who does different voices certainly helps but there are a LOT of characters to keep track of here.
I honestly feel that if Riddle read some of these reviews,got some "editor"help and rewrote
Atlantis with just a few twists and turns he could transform it from average to great.
Another point I think Audible might be well served to have brief character descriptions in their "Details" link so we can consult them if necessary as we listen.
I am addicted to Sea Fiction around the time of the Napoleonic wars. I have purchased and listened to nearly everything Audible has to offer in this genre from
Patrick O'Brian/Jack Aubrey to Alexander Kent/Richard Bolitho and numerous others.
After listening to the 1st chapter of Ramage,the 1st in a series of novels by
Dudley Pope......So far I'm impressed.The beginning is different than any other novel like this in how it sets up the character in a bit of action from the get go.If the rest of the book continues in this vein[and I expect it to] I will have discovered a hidden treasure trove series of novels that I will continue to buy if Audible co-operates.After listening to the entire book I will modify and complete this review.
I am 65 years old.When I was about 13 I discovered science Fiction outside of comic books.It was a novelette in GALAXY Science Fiction magazine by Jack Vance entitled THE DRAGON MASTERS which had just won the Hugo and [I think] Nebula awards.
I was hooked on both Jack Vance and Science Fiction.To this day Jack Vance is one of my favorites.WORDSMITH comes to mind.Not only does he create worlds,characters,civilizations and concepts as good as any of the genre,he's different.No Sci-Fi/Fantasy author writes quite like Vance.Lyonesse is of course fantasy.It's kind of like reading a Grimm's Faerie tale/Lord of the Rings with a touch of Edgar Allen Poe and a dash of H.P.Lovecraft.This is his most ambitious work and it does not disappoint .However don't rule out reading his other books.I suggest you start with THE DRAGON MASTERS.
The much requested[according to King]sequel to "The Shining" does not disappoint !!
IF you have not listened to the unabridged version of "The Shining" I suggest you do so first.
The great thing about about this is when you get the typical "Let Down" because an engrossing story is over and you want more.........You have "Doctor Sleep" to look forward to !!
While Doctor Sleep is a continuation...It is not just more of the same....
Different plot,different situation but with the main character .......well........I don't want to give anything away.
"Doctor Sleep" stands by itself but by listening to"The Shining" you will enrich your enjoyment of "Doctor Sleep",especially if you only saw the movie[different experience]or read the book years ago.King is at his best in both books.Masterful story telling,intriguing plot,all the things you expect from Stephen King who draws from both his drinking and recovery days.
Without giving away the plot,the horror and fear part comes from the mundane world around us that we would never suspect that must be dealt with by a person far from perfect,beset by his own inner demons and many of the problems we all face.
Will Patton narrating Stephen King........what's not to like ??
This book may not be for everybody.I thoroughly enjoyed it.The intriguing mystery which is revealed at the end is only part of it.What I found interesting was the glimpse into a different period of which the author was very familiar.The language,the premises,morals of the day and the depiction of a bygone era by an author who lived in that bygone era.
It's an easier read than Bram Stroker's Dracula.Elements of Jane Austen and just a pinch of Dickens,more in the plot than Dickens'colorful descriptions of lower class characters.
The writing style was peculiar to many British novels of the 1860's and while lengthier than what might be written today,fascinating as it unfolds.I tried to read The Woman in White
20 years ago and never did get through it.Listening to it was much easier and entertaining.
Why wouldn't it be for you ??....People don't write that way today and that society doesn't exist anymore.However,that is exactly why I enjoyed it.
I am a male and somewhat addicted to history,war stories,Napleonic sea adventures such by Patrick O" Brian and authors like Stephen King.Tom Clancy etc.This borders on being a "Ladies"book.Yet I found it engrossing ,well written and VERY well performed.
Americans like stories where someone is thrown into a strange environment and with limited resources and succeeds through there intellect,pluck,an wit.
All the better if it is a City of Immigrants like New york city at the turn of the century.
Molly Murphy is a spunky Irish Lass who through a series of circumstances is forced to emigrate to America where she immediately finds herself embroiled in a tricky situation with no money and no place to live.I don't want to give away the plot but it's a great read and Rhys Bowen is setting the ground work for the series.
WARNING:......At the end of the book don't listen to the free 1st two chapters of book # 2,
...........unless you want to be compelled to buy it.
I did and I already bought it.
Being hooked like this is a real pleasure.
I read many of the reviews of "Gardens Of the Moon"before I purchased it .The one comment I remember is that this is not a book you can listen to casually while driving around.
I agree and I tried but its definitely not one of my favorites.To give you and idea .............
I loved and highly recommend........"The Lord Of The Rings"Trilogy and George R.R.Martin's "World of Fire and Ice" series.
If you are really into magic,sorcery ,wormholes etc,you will probably love Gardens of the Moon.
But I found myself not caring for the characters and getting lost in the plot even though I continually replayed chapters to try and understand things better.
You say....well ....the Lord of the Rings is full of magic.
It is, but somehow it's better
As lengthy as the Rings is , it is never confusing or boring.
CRASHED is a kind of an Elmore Leonard genre novel.
The similarity between Jack Foley[Bank robber] in OUT OF SIGHT [by Elmore Leonard] and Junior Bender[burglar in CRASHED] is that both are good hearted but Jack
Foley [played by George Clooney in the movie version]seems more believable as a successful criminal.......... as do the bunch of flawed people he is surrounded with.
Still,while CRASH is not as raucous and funny as a good Leonard novel,,,,,,,,,,,
If you are in the mood for some light summer fare it is an enjoyable listen.
The plot and characters are well crafted,the narrator does a good job.
I MIGHT listen to more Hallinan depending on what I'm in the mood for.
This is a "Feel Good" novel.Everybody feels good at the end.
The good are treated good .The bad are punished.
Somehow I had this feeling throughout the listen.
When I was a kid I loved Andre Norton so I thought I'd give one of her classics that I read years ago a try.
It is definitely more suited to juvenile tastes.Seriously,I think it's well suited for pre-teens and teens and should be treated as such by audible.Of course Hunger Games and Harry Potter were designed for young people and read by all.
The mind thought melding with animals was what always appealed to me as a young man.The plot is kind of like a Zane Gray Western with some Sci Fi mixed in.I can't really recommend it for adults.
Those old timers that saw the movie BRIDGE OVER THE RIVER KWAI may remember a famous British actor,Jack Hawkins,who played the British officer that led the attack force to blow the bridge.I actually thought HE was the narrator until I read some of the narrator comments about POST CAPTAIN and realized it was Patrick Tull. They sound so much alike,you'd think they were related.
Tull's is a very Manly voice that suits seaman and officers dialogue very well.True,it is less effective as a woman's voice and Tull's voice has less of the subtle nuances we are used to hearing from Simon Vance[one of the best book narrators you will find anywhere].
While Tull would be ill suited to read Little Women or Pride and Prejudice.....
Post Captain IS a novel primarily about Men and what Men must do.Tull sounds what you would expect a British Seaman to sound like and as such really enhances the story.
I have listened to Simon Vance narrate many books including books by Patrick O'Brian.
Both tell a story in their own way and are excellent in their own way.
Speaking of narrators in the "what it's worth"department....................
The all time best narrator academy award superstar performance goes to Rob Inglis for his narration of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy and The Hobbit.I swear it's better than either watching the movie or reading the books.These unabridged versions have only recently become available on Audible and I challenge you to listen to a few chapters without becoming entranced by the magic of his versatility telling a marvelous tale.
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