Friday, May 27, 2005

The Sea, pt. II

So, obviously, I’m given to romantic notions of sailing and the sea in general, recently stirred by what I’m reading in my plentiful spare time. My sister and brother-in-law gave me Patrick O’Brian’s The Complete Aubrey/Maturin Novels for my birthday, and I’m well over halfway through the first volume. The stories take place during the Napoleonic Wars in the early 19th century; the film Master and Commander was based loosely on a few of the novels in the set.

In simple terms, they’re about Jack Aubrey, a fictional officer in the Royal Navy, and his surgeon friend Stephen Maturin. The New York Times once called these novels “the best historical novels ever written,” and although I try to avoid most historical fiction and my experience is therefore limited, I’m inclined to agree. O’Brian was an amazing writer, not to mention prolific. These are the kinds of stories that are by turns dramatic and hilarious, but more importantly, believable.

I’m so enthralled by this stuff that when I eventually get a cat, I’m naming it Captain Jack Aubrey. I’m having visions of a very large and very obnoxious yellow tabby beating the hell out of a dog twice its size, probably my dog, which I plan on naming Whiskey.

“God damn your eyes, Captain Jack Aubrey, stop attacking Whiskey!”

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