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Jade Rooster (Dreadnaughts and Bluejackets) Paperback – February 10, 2009


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Product Details

  • Series: Dreadnaughts and Bluejackets
  • Paperback: 268 pages
  • Publisher: iUniverse (February 10, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1440116210
  • ISBN-13: 978-1440116216
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,279,083 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 7 customer reviews
Great mystery - it entertains and teaches!!
Old Salt
The author wields a unique literary sword, with minimal feints, within an intricate labyrinth of clues and barrels of fascinating data, naval and cultural.
Maelstrom
The quality of appearing to be true or real.
SONNET CLV

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By PBackWriter on September 18, 2007
Format: Paperback
If Patrick O'Brian Read More Noir...

Jade Rooster
By R.L. Crossland
Reviewed by Chris Knopf

There are worse things than being compared to Patrick O'Brian. And that's good news for R.L.Crossland, because comparisons between his historical naval thriller/crime story and the tales of O'Brian's Captain Aubrey are inevitable.
Both share an almost hypnotic evocation of the past, with rich descriptive detail and an encyclopedic command of nautical terminology and the vernacular of the times.
Where they begin to part company are the times themselves - for Crossland, it's early 20th century Asia, in particular Japanese-occupied Korea. A time that most readers, even lovers of exotic sea yarns, will find unfamiliar. Crossland's style, like O'Brian's, effectively captures the mood of this extremely alien environment, signaling from the first pages of the book that this ain't Kansas, Toto. So get ready for something completely different.
The other crucial distinction is that Jade Rooster is at heart an intricate murder mystery, complete with a self-possessed amateur sleuth in the form of Petty Officer Third Class Hobson of the U.S. Navy, a full complement of picaresque characters of questionable morality and several very nasty villains.
The triggering event is the disappearance of the merchant ship Jade Rooster, on a seemingly routine voyage from California by way of Hawaii. Not insignificantly, a tender from the freighter, a whaleboat, has been discovered aimless and abandoned with a cargo on board you could reasonably describe as gruesome (the behavior of some of our current jihadi terrorists come to mind, which should give you the drift).
Hobson's parents were missionaries who raised him in the Far East.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By SONNET CLV on January 21, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
JADE ROOSTER

Verisimilitude. The quality of appearing to be true or real.

When I was in junior high school, quite some years ago, my English teacher, Mr. John, assigned the class to write an essay featuring verisimilitude. I looked up the definition of the word and wrote a paper about being at Pearl Harbor during the Japanese attack. At the time I didn't know much anything about Pearl Harbor, the military, or the war, outside of what I knew from history books, learned from research, or heard from my Uncle Lem who had been in the South Pacific during the War. And I didn't know all that much about writing, either, or anything at all about verisimilitude. I suspect my paper wasn't too good. I don't remember what grade I got. I don't want to.

R.L. Crossland's latest novel, on the other hand, defines verisimilitude. R.L. Crossland is verisimilitude!

Indeed, it's easier to believe that Crossland owns a time machine and used it to visit early 20th Century Japan than it is to believe that JADE ROOSTER is a fiction. Unlike my own high school knowledge of Pearl Harbor, Crossland's knowledge of the topics he covers in JADE ROOSTER - early 20th century Japan, the Navy and merchant marine of the day, sailors and their ways - proves encyclopedic. In fact, JADE ROOSTER falls into that category of fiction I so treasure, the encyclopedic novel, where one finds the likes of Dickens's TALE OF TWO CITIES, Melville's MOBY DICK, and Jules Verne's 20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA. These books prove highly entertaining while being substantially informative.

Crossland writes with a credibility and authority that could only be gained by years in the military. A recently retired U.S. Navy SEAL officer who has written copiously for U.S.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Old Salt on January 29, 2007
Format: Paperback
I've been meaning to write this review for quite a while. As I read much better than I write, I was having trouble finding the words to capture this unusual and delightful book. I read Sonnet CLV's review and thought, "why this person put my thoughts into words for me."

This story seems to take us in a time machine to pre-WWII Japan. Not only do we learn something about the US presence there and Asian history, we are caught up in a compelling mystery filled with colorful characters, twists and turns. Although this is not a time and place I may have researched, I was delighted to find myself living in it with R.L. Crossland's engrossing tale.

Great mystery - it entertains and teaches!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Maelstrom on December 2, 2007
Format: Paperback
Jade Rooster

Captain Roger Lee Crossland, U.S. Navy Reserve (Retired). Lake Junalaska, NC: Broadsides Press, 2006. 263 pp. $17.95.

China, Japan, Korea, and the Philippines of 1913 may be unfamiliar historic or geographical venues for a complex, nautical mystery, but Jade Rooster acclimates itself and showcases a solid, captivating flair for gripping, detailed, exhilarating fiction.

The author wields a unique literary sword, with minimal feints, within an intricate labyrinth of clues and barrels of fascinating data, naval and cultural. Descriptions by clothing, language, and character of heroes (clever, intuitive Quartermaster Hobson, his buddies Oyster Pirate, Tiger Cheng, buck dancer Jackson), simpatico mudangs (shamans), and various high- and low-lifes alike, are flawless. Action and script, occasionally horrific with everything from severed heads to sperm whale intestines "up or down current like scuttlebutt," is contextually appropriate.

Crossland's pirates/bandits/opportunists, in name or demeanor, are more Pirates of the Caribbean than the Mikado/ Penzance variety, but Wallace Beery, Popeye Doyle, Steve McQueen, and Orlando Bloom would blend-in with a theme song from Puccini by the Grateful Dead. After story-integrated brain teasing, tantalizing event and name dropping illusions, the author amiably serves up a summation of historical facts to help readers cull out the fictions.

Roosters--jade, barnyard, barques (funnels), tattoos, et al--symbolized victory during 19th and 20th centuries, teach courtesy per the Talmud, constitute the tenth sign of the Chinese Zodiac, and purportedly protect from yin energy, "the unseen world." Readers feast on plenty of that--in a challenging but eminently engaging and titillating spellbinder.

Reviewed by Alice A. Booher
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