Friday, January 31, 2014

Blue at the Mizzen, by Patrick O'Brian

  • Title:  Blue at the Mizzen
  • Author:  Patrick O'Brian
  • Borrowed from DC Public Library (Audiobook)
  • Started: 1/16/2014
  • Finished: 1/31/2014
Can it really be that there will be no more Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin to read?
I started reading/listening to this series with Master and Commander in about April of 2012.  I have just finished a few months of brutal chemo, was still out of work on disability, subject to all sorts of physical (and mental) issues.  As my strength slowly came back I was still too weak to go to work, but hated to spend all day in the house watching tv, sleeping, feeling sorry for myself.
So I decided I would start a big project that I could do in small pieces.  To go along with this project I decided that rather than listen to music I'd listen to books.  I went through several classics over the weeks that followed as I slowly worked and recouperated. 
Master & Commander was one of those books (as were the 2nd & 3rd books in the series, Post Captain and HMS Surprise).   I can't say it was my favorite book that I listened to (that might have been Watership Down), but it stuck with me, in particular the characters.
And so it has progressed for the last two years as I've read and listened to this series of books as I recovered from cancer treatment, returned to work, and had my life return to normal (or the new normal, as we cancer survivors like to say).
I can't pretend to have anything profound to say about the series, but it's had a ridiculoulsy big influence over my life for the last couple of years.  I'll read what is available on the unfinished work (final voyage), but I know that this really is the last book. 
I just can't get over that one guy (Patrick O'Brian) was able to create such a remarkable world of characters and situations, all so real I could believe I had been party to it.  What an incredible legacy to leave behind for others.

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