"I am with child to see a dew pond." -- Time to reread Aubrey-Maturin
March 22, 2018 1:45 AM - Subscribe

Hey. I am embarking on a reread of all 20 Aubrey-Maturin books. I was thinking there might be some MeFites who have never read them, or who would like to reread them, but have been waiting for a sign, or other people to talk with. This could be that sign! We could be those other people!

I am thinking of just posting threads as I finish reading the books, and not particularly going by a schedule, but let's call it once every two weeks, starting not very long from now.
posted by fleacircus (26 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

(I have only read half the series to date - out of order, at that - and have been intending a full chronological read-through for an age. This will be perfect. :D )
posted by Morfil Ffyrnig at 4:37 PM on March 25, 2018 [1 favorite]

posted by fleacircus at 4:40 PM on March 25, 2018

I would like to talk about these books! It took me forever to get started, but then I devoured them several times and am always up for a reread.
posted by theatro at 8:18 AM on March 26, 2018

I don't know if I'll make the full voyage, but I'll certainly start.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 12:44 PM on March 26, 2018 [1 favorite]

I made a post for the first book.
posted by fleacircus at 4:57 PM on March 26, 2018 [1 favorite]

You should start a Aubrey/Maturin club! Took me a while to find it, but there's a "start your own club" link in the sidebar of the Clubs page.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 7:48 PM on March 26, 2018

Good idea! Done and done with help from taz, here's the club.
posted by fleacircus at 2:38 AM on March 27, 2018

posted by Happy Dave at 9:11 AM on March 29, 2018

I'm in! Even if I don't re-read them all (again) this time around I'll definitely follow along with the book club.
posted by pharm at 7:47 AM on March 31, 2018 [1 favorite]

i cannot BELIEVE i have been UNLAWFULLY SEDUCED back to this terrible lifedraining site in order to shout about huge nerds in the napoleonic wars
posted by poffin boffin at 11:17 AM on April 3, 2018 [4 favorites]

I seem to be reading them faster than every two weeks. There's probably no way I can slow down or schedule things without losing momentum.
posted by fleacircus at 1:38 AM on April 15, 2018

Yeah, I'm two books behind now.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 5:52 AM on April 15, 2018

And still one behind; caught up to The Fortune of War but now I'm waiting for my hold on The Surgeon's Mate to come in. It seems to be my lot to add the last comment on each book's post.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 4:41 AM on May 9, 2018 [1 favorite]

Probably not forever, I'm pretty good at killing threads.
posted by fleacircus at 7:07 AM on May 9, 2018 [2 favorites]

When we get to Far Side of the World, could we also do a books-included movie post?
posted by showbiz_liz at 12:04 PM on May 9, 2018

Ooh, yeah, I was thinking that too. We keep mentioning the movie in passing; it'd be fun to watch it again with the books fresh in my mind.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 1:31 PM on May 9, 2018

That's a good idea. It's not "freely" available to stream or I already would have rewatched it, but when both halves of the title are done seems like a good time.

On nautical movies in general, I haven't seen The Bounty (with Hopkins) since high school. Watching clips now I'm like, "Jeez just go around the Horn you wimps... FFS, don't talk back like that what is your problem." I'll be a conservative soon.
posted by fleacircus at 4:11 PM on May 9, 2018

I'm aboard for the duration, or at least as long as a fair wind lasts. I adore this series, though have yet to make headway into the books after about Surgeon's Mate or so. I know I have some of the best parts ahead of me.

As a matter of interest, are we all reading these books in print, or does anyone else enjoy the audiobooks as much as I do? Patrick Tull is a delight, and I cannot imagine any other narrator doing the books justice.
posted by Alensin at 8:58 PM on May 11, 2018 [1 favorite]

Ooo, I might have to cash in an Audible trial to try them out. A good narrator can make all the difference to an audiobook production.
posted by Happy Dave at 2:11 PM on May 12, 2018

I adore this series, though have yet to make headway into the books after about Surgeon's Mate or so

IMHO the next book after Surgeon's Mate is way better, push on push on.

I was looking around for links and found this old site, "O'Pinions & O'Bservations O' O'Bscure O'Briania", very Web1.0, with some content from the very Web 0.5 Gunroom email list.
posted by fleacircus at 2:48 PM on May 15, 2018

I just picked up five of these in a book sale here in Edinburgh, so I am set.
posted by Happy Dave at 5:45 AM on May 16, 2018

OK I am far enough ahead that I just finished The Reverse of the Medal, and you guys I cried three times at that stupid boat book like wtf
posted by showbiz_liz at 12:06 PM on May 16, 2018 [2 favorites]

I've never read the Hornnblower books or seen the adaptations. I've heard Aubrey is Horatio's opposite in many ways. Opinions?
posted by bq at 3:00 PM on September 13, 2018

Yeah, I'd agree with that. Hornblower is depressive, deeply introspective, moody, self-critical and self-mortifying. He puts enormous pressure on himself and feels guilty for falling short, often only feeling better after he has secretly punished himself (not like a whipping, but like, if he gives up some benefit that he might otherwise have gotten). He's secretive. He's not physically robust. His crew loves him in a protective way, for his excellence and his fragility, almost as if he is their precocious child.

Jack is physically adventurous as well as big and robust, he's by nature an optimist almost all the time, cheerful and outgoing, decisive, seldom second-guessing himself. He's a bit of an open book. His crew loves him for his luck and his leadership, almost as if he is their firm-but-caring father.

Hornblower basically ends up with one friend, who is also his direct subordinate (and stays within those bounds), so he never fully unwinds-- whereas not only does Jack have sociable buddies of his own rank (e.g. Heneage), he also has Stephen, who can and does understand him very deeply and also sometimes tells him where to get off.

Something I do feel Hornblower and Aubrey have in common is that they're both terrible on land in one way or another, though the terribleness takes different paths. Aubrey is mostly terrible with his finances, and sometimes with his tomcatting, though his marriage and family life end up generally good and solid, as he both loves and respects his wife. Hornblower is a much worse mess in his personal life, marrying his landlady's daughter simply because she has a crush on him and he has absolutely no interpersonal skills, and after that he only ever seems to vacillate between internal criticism of her and pity for her, which, in a very typically-Hornblower way, he always strives to expiate by being carefully kind to her. (Although, like Jack, he loves his children and loves being a father.)
posted by theatro at 6:44 AM on September 14, 2018 [1 favorite]

I’m also going to give O’Brian a big hat tip for including a homosexual character in boon 1 and a Jew in Book 2, published in 1969 and 1972, without being terribly offensive. In fact JA says much worse things about Irishmen!
posted by bq at 10:38 AM on September 16, 2018 [1 favorite]

Sorry the last couple took so long to post. I did not want to be done.

It was fun writing the posts and I am glad it was not the grim scenario I imagined where it would be zero comments, book after book. But of course lots of people love these books. Thanks to everyone who commented along the way. It's not like conversation is over, though.
posted by fleacircus at 4:47 AM on December 31, 2018 [3 favorites]

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