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The Jackass Frigate Paperback – September 20, 2009

Book 2 of 6 in the Fighting Sail Series

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 244 pages
  • Publisher: Fireship Press (September 20, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 193475773X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1934757734
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #466,278 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Alaric Bond has been writing professionally for over twenty years with work covering broadcast comedy, periodicals, children's stories, television and the stage. His "Fighting Sail" series of novels, set during the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, differer slightly from the standard formula of the "hero who becomes an admiral". Instead they chart the course of several characters, from both lower deck and commissioned ranks, and give a dramatic and authentic insight into life aboard a man of war during the age of sail.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
5 star
52%
4 star
41%
3 star
7%
2 star
0%
1 star
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See all 27 customer reviews
I will encourage you to read the book to find out.
Susan K. Keogh
Alaric Bond has laid the groundwork for a great series of Age of Fighting Sail novels and I can only hope that the next one comes soon.
P. Keene
The author not only knows his subject well, he creates a thoroughly believable and entertaining story as well.
John Hensley

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By P. Keene on March 9, 2009
Format: Paperback
With The Jackass Frigate (2008), Alaric Bond has stepped into the first rank of writers of historic naval fiction. The story follows the fortunes of the officers and crew of the frigate HMS Pandora, newly built and commissioned, but smaller and more lightly armed than most. After an exciting bit of detached service, the Pandora joins the Mediterranean Fleet under Jervis in time for the Battle of Cape St. Vincent. Bond shows a deceptively easy mastery of the mainstays of Historic Naval Fiction narrative - ship handling, seamanship, shipboard life (both before the mast and in `officer country"), gunnery, surgery, and above all, flawless descriptions of both fictional and historic battles. It is, however, the loving and thorough treatment of the principal characters aboard the Pandora that make The Jackass Frigate transcend mere adventure fiction. Many of the Pandora's people resemble the "stock" characters that, in the hands of lesser writers, stand as cardboard figures that serve only to carry the narrative forward: the sadistic first lieutenant, the rich young captain buoyed by "interest," the newly-made junior lieutenant, the japing-but-good-hearted midshipman, the drunken surgeon, the up-through-the-hawsehole master's mate and the heart-of-oak yeoman sailors. Under Bond's pen, however, each of these men - among others - takes on a real life. The reader comes to see each as a unique individual, to understand his feelings and motivations, and finally to care very much about him. Bond achieves this through the risky technique of frequently-changing points of view. The reader sees in turn through the eyes of most of the important shipboard characters - from the simple boy who tends the manger to the captain, and even Sir John Jervis and Horatio Nelson (well, eye, singular, in his case.Read more ›
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Richard E. Spilman on July 10, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Alaric Bond's Jackass Frigate is comfortable and familiar while managing to be fresh and distinctive at the same time, not an easy trick to pull off. More than anything else, it is simply fun to read. I picked it up and literally had a hard time putting it down. While that may be a cliché, in my case, it was indeed true.

Virtually every work of naval fiction since Marryatt has followed a young officer; whether as midshipman, lieutenant, captain or admiral. Jackass Frigate is different. Bond uses a wide range of characters and perspectives from the gun deck, to the cockpit, to the quarterdeck. Eighteenth century men-of-war were the most complex, technologically advanced machines of their day, requiring a wide range of skills and abilities to function It took far more than the officers on the quarterdeck to sail and to fight. Jackass Frigate gives the reader a glimpse at the ship in action, from top to bottom.

Bond gives voice to topmen, gunners, surgeon's mates, landsmen and idlers, as well as to the midshipmen, lieutenants, the master and, of course, the captain. The danger to this approach is that the voices can become jumbled, which to Bond's credit somehow doesn't happen. He has the enviable skill of making each sufficiently distinctive to stand out while under way or in the heat of battle. The shift between the various voices and perspectives is remarkably smooth and seamless.

Jackass Frigate follows the newly fitted out HMS Pandora from her maiden voyage to join the Mediterranean fleet in 1796 to the battle of Cape St. Vincent.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Larry D. Foreman on March 26, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am new a new reader of this genre, but after reading Bond's "His Majesty's Ship," I just had to read his second book. I enjoyed it immensely and really couldn't put it down - reading it straight through save a night's sleep midway. There are multiple major naval actions and numerous minor events that keep the action moving. With the ebb and flow of action, Bond manages to weave in the development of a wide range of characters for us. I wholeheartedly endorse the reviews of Keene, Spilman, and Paige that were posted before mine. I would add that as a person only slightly familiar with nautical terminology, I read through some of the words without understanding their full meaning. Nevertheless, the color and realism of the language was captivating. Despite my limitations, I followed the action and conversations with only an occasional need to reread a passage. A previous visit on board the Victory in Portsmouth helped my mental image of that ship. I'm looking forward to Bond's next nautical adventure.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Christina Paige on January 2, 2010
Format: Paperback
Alaric Bond has vaulted himself into the company of great naval historical novel writers with this well-written, adventure-packed tale of a frigate's company going to sea at a time of war. What makes this one so good are the range of characters and the realistic accounts of conditions. So often, novels focus on just one or two main characters; but a ship's company was forced to live together for years at a time, and each person had the potential to make the experience better or worse for others. Bond shows this, from the hazing of new midshipmen to the machinations of a sadistic officer, to the friendships between the sailors. He also provides the most vivid, visceral descriptions of the cramped quarters these men endured.
I hope Bond has some sequels in mind.
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