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Old 20-03-2014, 13:57   #1
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Blue at the Mizzen... (may contain spoilers - discusses the ending of the series)

I was not going to post here any more, and I doubt I will bother with the main forums, but I just finished O'Brian's Aubrey /Maturin books and I felt a need to speak with other sailing folk about it. If I post this sort of thing on my local yacht club's website... well, it is not a race result so I would expect a bit of "feedback" rather than opinion or dialogue.

The last full book - Blue at the Mizzen - seemed to be set against a sunset. Everything seemed to be tying up loose ends and it almost felt like Jack and Stephen knew that the end was approaching. The next book - The Final Unfinished Voyage of Jack Aubrey - seemed very laid back, superficial perhaps. The "end" where Jack and Stephen were surrounded by those dear to them sailing on a perfect ocean may have been unfinished thanks to O'Brian's death, but somehow it was almost if it was planned that way, leaving our heroes in a sailing nirvana. It made me wonder if O'Brian had a premonition of his own approaching demise.

The final book had facsimiles of O'Brian's handwritten pages and it seemed to me that over the pages his writing became progressively worse, as if the pen was harder to hold.

I cannot decide if the ending was a perfect one for the series or whether I would have rather have seen all the loose ends tied up and Jack and Stephen retiring in glory.

I will have to take some time away before I can reread the whole series. Knowing the end, I wonder how I will feel when I start reading that famous scene at the recital where our friends meet for the first time.
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Old 21-03-2014, 06:41   #2
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Re: Blue at the Mizzen... (may contain spoilers - discusses the ending of the series)

It's still one of the best nautical reads I can recall, although the Hornblower-in-France story Flying Colours, from which I recall O'Brien liberally poached in his own series, remains a firm favourite.
Can't sleep? Read for fast relief. Can't read? Avoid, because it's just personal reviews of sea books.
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Old 21-03-2014, 07:05   #3
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Re: Blue at the Mizzen... (may contain spoilers - discusses the ending of the series)

When I read the name "Hornblower" I always see Gregory Peck in my mind's eye. Having said that, Jack Aubrey will always look exactly like a blond Russell Crowe.

Jack was modelled on Thomas Cochrane who died an Admiral of the Red so it would be nice to think that Jack would also have progressed further in his career. Cochrane however, died on the operating table. Obviously not Dr Maturin operating....
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