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The Commodore (Vol. Book 17) (Aubrey/Maturin Novels) Paperback – April 17, 1996
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top Customer Reviews
Even though Commodore Aubrey's mission is to suppress the slave trade off the west coast of Africa and later onto a secret mission on the Irish coast to prevent a French invasion, `The Commodore' is not filled with seagoing adventure. In fact, the main components of the tale take place ashore. Maturin and Aubrey find themselves home after a long and successful adventure. While Lucky Jack is promoted to Commodore of the First Class, not all is well at home. Both he and his wife suspect the other of infidelity. Dianne has run away leaving Stephen's autistic child with the widow Clarissa Oakes. Political intrigue forces Stephen to slip some of his fortune and his child to Spain.
At sea, Stephen battles his addition to coca leaves and a severe bout with Yellow Fever. Commodore Aubrey's leadership and seamanship are tested by two Captains under his command. One is more interested in polished brass and drives his crew hard with the whip. The other is a sodomite, whose favoritism to those young men among his crew that he beds disrupts discipline and the fighting efficacy of his vessel.
This is one of the more magnificent books in the series and I heartily recommend it, as I do with the rest of the books in the Aubrey/Maturin series.
When Lord Hornblower was dealing with this subject, I found it thrilling and captivating. But halfway through, it changes to Hornblower entering France and taking part in the rebellion against the tottering Napoleon. It was then that the novel ground to a screeching halt. Hornblower's attempts to deal with the crown prince of France are amazingly dull and his later guerilla campaign was unbelievable. Perhaps I was turned off by a developement with Bush halfway through that was abrupt and cold. But for some reason, the last half of his book dragged for me -- a situation I'd never experienced before in a Hornblower book.
I would probably still recommend purchasing this book if you've come this far. But don't get your hopes up. This is a low point in the series.
The earliest part of Lord Hornblower, where Hornblower is dealing with the mutinous Flame, is the novel's best. It features an unpredictable and creative resolution that hearkens to many of Hornblower's pre-captaincy adventures. When the book moves into France, however, it suffers. Land campaigns are still not Forester's strong suit, and he skips over lengthy time periods where quite a lot happens in order to fit this story into one novel. One of Commodore Hornblower's main problems was that Hornblower was well-removed from the action, and never in any real danger. Forester has corrected this here, perhaps to the extreme.
Hornblower, as usual, is wildly successful in his endeavors, although he benefits greatly from several very convenient plot devices and not a little bit of deus ex machina. And as severe and hard on himself as Hornblower is in most areas of his life, and as guilty as he feels when he perceives a failing in himself, it continues to be remarkable that he always drops his pants the first chance he gets, with no regard for anyone but himself. At least he never really has the decency to feel bad about it afterward.
It has become quite clear that the novels of Hornblower's earlier career are superior - both the stories and the man himself are considerably more interesting and likable.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Another great Hornblower story but on a decidedly different tack. Whereas the previous books centered on sailing adventures this one stayed, for the most part, landlocked in... Read morePublished 10 days ago by Todd Gutschow
Great book,great read, love his series. Well written, an factual.
Bla bla bla bla bla bla blax bla bla bla
Although all of the books in the series have been excellent, this was one the best. The tales are fresh, interesting and spell-binding at times. Read morePublished 1 month ago by BabyR
Very exciting, just as the issues that came before. Would have liked more ship action that this author does so well. Enjoyed very much.Published 1 month ago by RC Haskins
Do not buy this book in Kindle form from Amazon.
I love this book, I love the whole Horatio Hornblower Series.I have read this book in paper and ink form more than once. Read more
Just one more in a long line of excellent reads. Will probably read it multiple times.Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
My husband had purchased the DVDs of the Horatio TV series and I hungered for more of the stories. I purchased all of the books written by Forester and had a hard time leaving... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Y.M. W.