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Captain Caution [Kindle Edition]

Kenneth Roberts
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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Book Description

In this conclusion to the Chronicles of Arundel, the year is 1812 and America has declared war on Britain. The American ship Olive Branch is waylaid by a British cruiser. In the ensuing fight, Captain Dorman is killed and his crew is taken prisoner, including the captain's pretty and strong-willed daughter, Corunna. With his keen eye to detail Roberts weaves a colorful tale of swashbuckling and sea battles. He portrays the bravery of American and French seamen, their sufferings at the hands ot the British the invention of the Gangway Pedulum, and the sailor's dangerous and dramatic escape from the prison hulks.


Product Details

  • File Size: 900 KB
  • Print Length: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Down East Books (January 1, 1999)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00CBDC6GU
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #422,818 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
(11)
4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good old-fashioned serial, but not Roberts' best January 30, 2001
Format:Paperback
At slighly more than 200 pages, *Captain Caution* may be Roberts' shortest novel after *Boon Island*. Its historical context- privateering during the War of 1812- makes it very similar to *The Lively Lady*, which I consider a superior novel for its handling of the love story and its potent evocation of Dartmoor Prison. However, a more discriminating reader will probably admit, with Booth Tarkington (Roberts's closest friend) that it is "about an entirely different sort of privateering, and about a phase of war imprisonment wholly unlike the sorry interlude of Dartmoor."
The plot is rather simple: returning from Canton and unaware that war has started between America and Britain, the merchant barque *Olive Branch* from Maine is captured by a British ship and its crew sent to Europe. Among them is the hero, Daniel Marvin, a.k.a. Captain Caution, and the Captain's daughter, strong-minded but easily blinded Corunna Dorman, whose budding attraction to Daniel appears to be crushed by her holding him responsible for her father's death during the capture. As always in Roberts' novels, the two lovers are separated by external forces and the book is basically a story of the hero's undaunted efforts to regain his dulcinea.
*Captain Caution* was a tough sell for Kenneth Roberts, and for the right reasons, I think. Carl Brandt (who must have been Roberts' agent) said that "the absence of the heroine for such a long period... would make monthly magazines reluctant to use it." And reluctant they were. As Roberts noted in his diary on October 25, 1932, "*Captain Caution* has now been to every slick magazine in the United States, and has been unhesitatingly rejected by all of them".
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A compelling read! March 14, 2004
By A Customer
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Captain Caution, the final installment of the Chronicles of Arundel series, is markedly different from the other five Roberts novels I have read so far. In some ways, it is the best.
Because it is written in third person instead of first, the lead character, Dan Marvin, can be developed very slowly. Early on, Marvin seems like a secondary character. As the action progresses, he becomes a reticent and hesitant protagonist. But he evetually emerges as likeable, resourceful, heroic, and uniquely American. This character, dubbed "Captain Caution" by his crew, really grows on you.
The novel despite its compactness, provides plenty of rich scenery, most notable being the prison hulk prize fight between Marvin and Little White, which jumps off the page.
Character development is, as always, superb. Argandeau, Marvin's colorful French sidekick, is among the very best of Roberts' characters, and the slave ship captain, Slade, is so subtly villainous that it's hard work not to like him a little, drooping eyelid and all. And Corunna is portrayed with such a careful balance of delicacy and depth that she is at once physically ethereal and emotionally strong, typical of Roberts' heroines.
If you could choose only one of Kenneth Roberts' fine novels, this wouldn't be the one most people (including me) would recommend. Nevertheless, it is one of the best novels I have ever read, and you're not likely to stop at one anyway, so enjoy!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Captain Caution February 4, 2000
Format:Paperback
Keneth Roberts wrote many great novels and Captain Caution is another fine example of his descriptive narrative style. You find yourself engrossed in the lives of the main characters from the battles at sea to the horrible living conditions upon the prision ships in England. There are twists and turns that will suprise you. Only Roberts could make history so vivid.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
FACT WRITTEN AS ONLY KENNETH ROBERTS CAN RFESEARCH AND THEN SPIN A NOVEL AROUND ACCURATELY PRESENTED HISTORICAL FACTS. THE AMERICAN REVOLUTIONARY CAUSE WAS NEARLY 25 YEARS OVER. AMERICA DIDN'T LOOK MUCH LIKE A VICTORIOUS NATION. OUR NAVY WAS DOWN TO A FEW SHIPS AND ENGLAND WAS BACK TO RULING THE SEA. HAD FRANCE AND SPAIN NOT CONTINUED TO CHALLENGE ENGLAND FOR SUPREMACY OF THE SEA, OUR NEW NATION WOULD HAVE PROBABLY BEEN FORCED NTO ITS KNEES SINCE WE WERE SO HEAVILY DEPENDENT UPON EXPORTS AS WELL AS IMPORTS FROM ABROAD.

ROBERTS ACCURATELY DESCRIBES THE NATURE OF THE SHIPS INVOLVED IN SEA BATTLES. THEIR TACTICS IN BATTLE IS DISCUSSED IN GREAT DETAIL AND WHAT IMPRISONED AMERICANS COULD EXPECT IN TERMS OF PRISON WHEN THEY WERE FORCED TO SURRENDER TO THE BRITISH NAVY.

THIS IS A STORY EVERYONE SHOULD READ IF FOR NO OTHER REASON TO ENJOY A WELL WRITTEN AND INFORMATIVE SNAPSHOT OF HISTORY NEARLY 200 HUNDRED YEARS AGO. ROBERTS DOES SUCH A FINE JOB AND HE DOESN'T DISAPPOINT. NO AUTHOR TODAY CAN WRITE AS ROBEFRT'S DID. TREAT YOURSELF. REW
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not His Best Work October 11, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
As a fan of Kenneth Roberts I was disappointed in Captain Caution. The tale moves along rather ploddingly with the intervals of adventurous action being brief and the finale somewhat expected and anticlimactic. The characters were also less dynamic than usual and failed to prompt much sympathy from this reader, perhaps because Mr. Roberts' "insight" into the female psyche is extremely dated (even for its time) and flawed.

If you enjoy Kenneth Roberts historical fiction, you will derive entertainment from this novel, but be forewarned that it is not among his best.
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