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In Gallant Company Paperback – Import, 1978

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Arrow Books Ltd; New Ed edition (1978)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099169703
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099169703
  • Product Dimensions: 4.3 x 0.8 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,538,828 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Bill Mac on February 4, 2000
Format: Paperback
Of all the writers of historical naval fiction, Alexander Kent has by far the most inspiring titles. His titles suggest action and adventure and his novels appear to deliver. Unfortunately, readers might be inclined to take this novel less seriously than it warrants because of the title. That would be a shame as In Gallant Company has serious themes to it.
In Gallant Company is set in 1777 during the American Revolution and features Richard Bolitho who starts as a lowly lieutenant on a ship with 6 of them. The parallels to the British position in the 13 colonies and the American position in Vietnam are extensive; long supply lines, no great sense of purpose, atrocities on both sides, overwhelming firepower that is essentially useless, large neutral countries supporting the enemy and the inability to readily tell friend from foe. Some of the rebels have English accents and some of the royalists have American accents. Bolitho is participating in a truly nasty civil war.
The Revolution is the "bloody war" that junior naval officers look for and advancement comes to the talented Bolitho as much through attrition as through his heroism. War, as Kent describes it, is brutal and some horrible injuries are described graphically. While the title implies action, and Kent delivers it in spades, In Gallant Company is very realistic in its details especially in the effects of shot and shell on men.
In Gallant Company is an action tour-de-force and is suitable for all ages old enough to read it.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By tertius3 on December 26, 2001
Format: Paperback
This volume in the long Bolitho series has added value for North Americans. It takes place along and off the east coast of the American colonies early in their rebellion. Here we have an English view to match (and out-write and out-excite) the American view purveyed by James Nelson in his Biddlecomb series. Bolitho has the distinct advantage (to American readers) of growing up in the British Navy earlier in history than most of the other fictional naval heroes from the Age of Fighting Sail, who are confined to the Napoleonic World Wars postdating the American Revolution.
4th Lt. Bolitho is now small fry on a large third-rate (80-gun) ship. Tasked to supress rebel privateers working close inshore, duty combines endless waiting, tense anticipation, and the sudden shock of small and bloody actions. Bolitho is centrally and most audaciously involved in successive fierce actions, 2 in small boats, 1 between brigs, 1 aboard a 3rd-rate, and once in the taking of a fort ashore. As we see the chances of battle visibly empty the ranks above him, he advances by skill and survival. Kent does a great job of developing characters here, as we can even understand the motivations of the arrogant and the cowardly officers with whom Bolitho is juxtaposed, and with whom he must deal at critical moments. In the course of rising in rank Bolitho collects another devoted acolyte, a midshipman, and begins to build a reputation in the fleet for dash and success through unorthodox, bloody, and killing conflicts.
The narrative structure is somewhat loose and episodic. The cover art is exciting and "ripped from the very pages" of this novel, but there are absolutely no other visual aids like maps, sail plans, or ship diagrams.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Michael K. Smith TOP 1000 REVIEWER on October 14, 2002
Format: Paperback
This is the first Richard Bolitho novel written, and the fourth by the series internal chonology. Bolitho begins the spring of 1777 as Fourth Lieutenant in the eighty-gun Trojan lying in New York harbor. Because of the death in action of one of his superiors and the capture of another, he ends as Second Lieutenant and then, to his surprise, as prize master of a captured American brig -- during the operation of which he manages to grab yet another enemy ship, which is more than enough to give him his step to Commander in the next book! Bolitho is an officer in the Hornblower mode -- self-possessed, self-critical, and sometimes prey to self-doubts -- which is to say, he's closer in some ways to a late-20th century man than a true denizen of the 18th century (like O'Brien's Jack Aubrey). The chracterizations are carefully done and the action is clearly described without being overly technical (also a difference from O'Brien). Note: I personally find series like this more interesting when the characters are younger and lower in rank, fighting smaller vessels. Flag rank tends to remove the officer -- and the reader's viewpoint -- too far from the "front lines."
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 26, 1999
Format: Paperback
All of Mr. Kent's novels are excellent and completely enthralling. Richard Bolitho is an interesting and in-depth character sailing in a dangerous and fascinating time period. Dozens of unique characters crew the warships, all of them rich with personalities. Many do not survive the perilous adventures. These solid tales are alive with bloody sea battles, long voyages, violent storms, brutal superior officers, ruthless pirates and deadly mutinies. The books are all well researched and absolutely great reading. I highly recommend any and all of his works. Mr. Kent (Douglas Reeman) is a true English gentleman who does respond to his fan mail. The tale behind him choosing Alexander Kent is quite touching. Again, I found them all to be excellent and look forward to the new books that will round out the life and career of Bolitho and the rumored fresh tales of his nephew,but I don't wish to betray any secret. So scamper up the rigging, run out the 32 pounders and stand by to repel boarders. "Ahoy deck there! Sail hull down, port quarter, Sir. French frigate." "Very well! Stand by for action".
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