Archive for the tag 'nathaniel drinkwater'

Ebb Tide by Richard Woodman: a short review

In an oddly-constructed and wonderful book, Richard Woodman ties up the most important loose ends from his long sequence of Nat Drinkwater yarns with a series of nicely-executed flashbacks. Not what I’d expected, and accomplished better than I’d anticipated. Sad, but delightful.

Read Full Post »

Beneath the Aurora by Richard Woodman: a review

The second half of this book is an account of an unusually brutal battle, mainly between Drinkwater’s frigate and a larger Danish cruiser. That part of the book is up to Woodman’s usual fine standard, and quite fascinating, although the extremely heavy toll makes for painful reading.

Read Full Post »

The Flying Squadron by Richard Woodman: a review

After a series of really dark novels, Woodman rewards us with a romp that takes place largely in or near Chesapeake Bay. Most of the characters who’ve not been serving with Drinkwater for years are pretty much cardboard pastiches, but it’s all good fun. The exceptions are Mr. Vansittart (“Fancy-tart,” according to the Master), who’s delightfully witty, and Thurston, who’s aboard ship as a sentence for seditionist (read: democratic) tendencies.

Read Full Post »

A Private Revenge by Richard Woodman: a review

Morris, now rich and living in the orient, unexpectedly returns to Drinkwater’s life (or vice versa) and turns everything foul, as is his practice. He’s become a far more interesting character since our last encounter, but he still schemes, still manipulates our protagonist, and still underestimates his foe’s sheer dogged persistence. In the end, Drinkwater triumphs, but victory’s price is very high.

Read Full Post »

In Distant Waters by Richard Woodman: a review

Drinkwater, afflicted with a justifiably mutinous crew (the key members have not been ashore in a friendly port for four years), finds himself assigned to prevent the Russians from settling on the Pacific Coast of North America. Many of the crew desert at San Francisco or Drakes Bay, and nearly everyone spends some time imprisoned in either Spanish or Russian custody. Eventually Mr. Q manages to rescue Drinkwater and the situation improves.

Read Full Post »

The Bomb Vessel by Richard Woodman: a short review

This is the first of the Drinkwater novels where Woodman’s “found his voice,” as it were; while the earlier books were interesting and competently told, this one is more generally readable and the characters are more convincingly drawn. Well worth a read.

Read Full Post »

A Brig of War by Richard Woodman: a short review

‘Twould be a better book without Lt. Morris. Except for that, an excellent tale of the Royal Naval’s little war against Napoleon in the Red Sea. Based on fact, but only loosely so.

Read Full Post »

The Sea Warriors by Richard Woodman: a review

The book’s great strength is that it puts the sea battles into a strategic context better than any other book I’ve encountered; Woodman’s generally able to tell you both what the British Admiralty expected when they sent a fleet–or an individual frigate–to a specific station, and what the opposing commanders were trying to accomplish as hostilities began. I really like that.

Read Full Post »

a dabbler's journal is using WP-Gravatar