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Tag Archives: Patrick O’Brian

The Far Side of the World – Patrick O’Brian

The serialization of the Aubrey-Maturin series continues, picking up where Treason’s Harbour leaves off. Aubrey had successfully dismantled the French operation in Malta, but the real traitor remains, unknown to him, at large. At the same time, Aubrey is given a lesson in how to report successes through careful revision before being dispatched immediately to […]

Treason’s Harbour – Patrick O’Brian

Treason’s Harbour, the ninth installment of the Aubrey-Maturin series, picks up very nearly where the Ionian Mission leaves off, skipping only the denouement Aubrey’s mission to capture a Balkan harbor. This time both his ships, the H.M.S. Worcester and the H.M.S. Surprise, are stuck in harbor and potentially never to set sail again, so the […]

Autumn Quail – Naguib Mahfouz

Isa ad-Dabbagh is a young bureaucrat in Egypt who is flourishing through a combination of nepotism and corruption, and is about to rise to the top levels of government although he is only in his thirties. Then the revolution of 1952 where the army outlawed the political parties takes place. Isa is an early victim […]

Starship Troopers – Robert Heinlein

Robert Heinlein’s 1959 science fiction novel Starship Troopers won the Hugo Award for best science fiction novel, but nonetheless elicits controversy and it is easy to see why. On some levels there is very little to this slim book–few rounded characters, almost no plot—and can be seen as a jingoistic pro-military piece of ideologically-infused drivel. […]

The Ionian Mission – Patrick O’Brian

Also known as Volume 8 of the Continuing Adventures of Aubrey and Maturin. Captain Aubrey must once again fly from home life in order to escape creditors and therefore accepts the first commission available, on a ship he does not like, to a task he finds dull, and under a senior officer with a grudge. […]

The Day of the Jackal – Frederick Forsyth

On a whim a few weeks ago I picked up some spy novels. In short, I decided that I needed a change of pace from my usually run of heavy literature and wanted something that could be both exhilarating and also read at a different rate from my usual. At the same time I didn’t […]

July 2015 Reading Recap

I read a lot again in July, quickly falling back into old habits of spending muggy evenings just reading and, for most of the month, felt pretty well-balanced as a result. Part of the reason I was able to read so much was that, for the first time in a while, I read a significant […]

June 2015 Reading Recap

I read more fiction this month than in any calendar month in a few years, and so much so that I’m sorting and grouping the books by loose category, first literary fiction, then genre fiction. Fiction Men at Arms, Evelyn Waugh Guy Crouchback is the scion of a vaguely aristocratic, Catholic, British family most of […]

May Reading Recap

The Skin, Curzio Malaparte Reviewed here, The Skin is a grotesquely surreal retelling of the American liberation of Italy in 1943. It is horrifying and nightmarishly entrancing. I The Supreme, Augusto Roa Bastos Reviewed here, this is a sprawling portrait of José Gaspar Rodríguez de Francia y Velasco, a nineteenth century dictator of Paraguay who […]

I The Supreme, Augusto Roa Bastos

letters couldn’t care less whether what is written with them is true or false. [The Supreme] Why is it you don’t write these true things down among all the lies that your hand borrows from other lies, believing that they’re your truths? [The ghost of the Supreme’s dog, Sultan.] Pupil Liberta Patricia Nuñez, age 12: […]