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Gentleman Captain by J. D. Davies
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1005174,386 (3.67)None
Title:Gentleman Captain
Authors:J. D. Davies
Info:Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (2010), Edition: 1, Hardcover, 336 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:Nautical, Naval, Nautical Fiction

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Gentleman Captain by J. D. Davies



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Interesting era to explore. A changing perspective does not make Mathew Quintones a particularly interesting character. but I will try the next installment. ( )
  jamespurcell | Oct 29, 2016 |
Davies introduces to a time of the Age of Sail that I haven't found readily covered by others. Restoration England, Charles II newly upon his throne. A throne that still has enemies not only from without, but within the kingdom. The Religious wars of Europe still resonate and upon the shores of Britain no one is certain that Protestantism will prevail and people are willing to fight over their flavor of God.

Thus nothing ever changes, and nothing ever will, but now we see a hero arise with some complexity to him, and a crew molded during this time. A hero we see differently than Hornblower, Bolitho, Aubrey and many others.

This era, the ships vary from those of the Napoleonic and makes for a refreshing change. The plot is relatively complex when involving our hero and his ship and so we arrive at a satisfying and quick read. ( )
  DWWilkin | May 14, 2015 |
ARC for Kindle
  ecw0647 | Sep 30, 2013 |
Gentleman Captain
J.D. Davies

Let’s face it. If you’re going to sing the Blues, you’re going to be compared to Bessie Smith. If you write detective novels, you’ll be compared to Raymond Chandler. Get yourself elected president and you’ll be looking over your shoulder at Abe Lincoln. Write about those days of wooden ships and iron men, and Patrick O’Brian is the gold standard.

I was prepared not to like this book. J.D. Davies, after all, is not Patrick O’Brian. And a good thing, too, coz he doesn’t have to be. Come to find out, Davies can tell his own story, thank you very much, even if certain characters aboard the Jupiter bear a ryther suspicious similarity to characters that will appear aboard the Surprise more than a century later. Davies knows how to write, and he probably knows as much about Charles II’s navy as any man alive.

Our hero starts out by wrecking his ship, or rather, the ship he has been placed in charge of. Matthew Quinton is no seaman, but a political appointee. Consequently he’s a bit reluctant to tell the drunken shipmaster where to put it. So the good ship Joyful Restoration dies on the rocks. With many a good man clinging to the rigging.

Then, expediency being all, same as it ever was, Matthew is given another ship and sent up to Scotland, where the fogs of discontent and political skullduggery are thick enough to cut with a claymore. No trip to sunny Bermuda for young Matthew. Why, you might well ask, send a callow youth to do a job where even the smoothest of smooth talkers might well find himself in deep doo-doo at the slip of a tongue? Here we just have to shrug and give it up for poetic license. This is, after all, a novel.

Once we get to where we’re going, trouble blossoms like a hot-house orchid. The beautiful countess with flashing eyes, the body washed up on the beach, the army hidden in the glen; trouble that Matthew is supposed to grow into. And here’s the rub. All this contention, the switching of sides, the unpredictable countess, the Cromwellian ship captain cavorting about in make-up as if he just stepped out of a bad movie about French aristocrats, the last minute deus ex machina rescue, all seem a bit contrived, sort of tacked on, and far, far too complicated.

But these are just niggling complaints. Readers will enjoy this book if they enjoy sea-tales, sailing ships or Seventeenth-Century European history. Davies has an excellent command of the language, and would probably know exactly what to do if you sent him aloft. His characters speak lines that are believable and flowing. There is none of that awkward screeching to a halt to be sure you read correctly. The slight clumsiness at the finish of this book is probably the mere result of inexperience and enthusiasm.
  lukethedrifter | Jan 17, 2011 |
GENTLEMAN CAPTAIN by J. D. Davies is a historical suspense set in 1662 England. It is written with details. It has a gripping plot with twists and turns, intrigue, friendships, loyalty, traitors, lies, betrayal, and a young captain who is determined to prove himself to his crew and King. This is an epic tale of adventure on the high seas of treason, nobles, heroes and deception. The characters are gripping and strong. If you enjoy stories of the high seas, naval intrigue you will surely enjoy this one. This book was received for review from Net Galley and details can be found atHoughton Miffin Harcourt and My Book Addiction and More. ( )
  tarenn | Jul 7, 2010 |
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Having sunk the first man-of-war under his command within weeks, Matthew Quinton is determined to complete his second mission without loss of life or honor. His suspicion grows that the previous captain of the "Jupiter" was murdered and many among his crew have something to hide.… (more)

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