Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Nutmeg of Consolation by Patrick O'Brian

Well, I guess it was bound to happen at some point.  This book was not that great.  It dragged on.  But being as I was stuck in a car for 52 hours over the course of last week, I had nothing better to do than read this book (while my sweet wife drove and listened to my music on my smart phone).

The Good
NOC starts where 13 Gun ended - with the crew stuck on an island.  The account of their battle with the Dyak pirates was thrilling ending with an amazing cannon shot.

Historically speaking, the description of the penal colonies in Australia was amazing.  I had no idea it was that brutal.  Up to this point, all the novels have had brutality in them, but reading the these parts of the book was chilling.

The Bad
Up to this book, I've thought the naturalist side of Maturin was interesting, but POB takes it to a whole new level in this book.  Granted the part about the Orangutans in the monk monastery mountains was neat; but the rest was kind of monotonous.  I kept asking my self, "when is this going to end" while reading the dialogue between Maturin and Martin.

And then there was the bad as in bad-ass!  Maturin does not like Captain Lowe's opinion of the Irish and is disgusted with him.  But Captain Lowe takes it a bit too far.  Read this incredible passage:

Stephen looked at him attentively.  The man was in a choking rage but he was perfectly steady on his feed; he was not drunk.  'Will you answer for that, sir?' he asked.

'There's my answer,' said the big man, with a blow that knocked Stephen's wig from his head.

Stephen leapt back, whipped out his sword and cried 'Draw, man, draw, or I shall stick you like a hog.'

Lowe unsheathed his sabre: little good did it do him.  In two hissing passes his right thigh was ploughed up.  At the third Stephen's sword was through his shoulder.  And at the issue of a confused struggle at close quarter he was flat on his back, Stephen's foot on his chest, Stephen's sword-point at his throat and the cold voice saying above him 'Ask my pardon or you are a dead man.  Ask my pardon, I say, or you are a dead man, a dead man.'

'I ask your pardon,' said Lowe, and his eyes filled with blood.

The Ugly
The ending was "blah"-ugly.  Really?! It ends with Maturin getting pierced by a male platypus.

No comments:

Post a Comment