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The King's Coat (1989)

by Dewey Lambdin

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Alan Lewrie (1)

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250885,660 (3.9)7
The very first Alan Lewrie naval adventure in this classic series is now back in print! 1780: Seventeen-year-old Alan Lewrie is a brash, rebellious young libertine. So much so that his callous father believes a bit of navy discipline will turn the boy around. Fresh aboard the tall-masted Ariadne, Midshipman Lewrie heads for the war-torn Americas, finding--rather unexpectedly--that he is a born sailor, equally at home with the randy pleasures of the port and the raging battles on the high seas. But in a hail of cannonballs comes a bawdy surprise. . . .… (more)
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English (7)  Dutch (1)  All languages (8)
Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
Gave it a 2 because I did not finish the book. It moved from ship encounters to porn encounters. So much for that series. ( )
  delta61 | Apr 23, 2019 |
The key difference between this series and others of its ilk (which are now part of the canon of seagoing tales) is its focus on the actual deckplate life of a Midshipman (little more than a slave) during the Revolutionary War. Anyone not familiar with sails and rigging of ships of that day can get easily overcome with detail but don't let that deter you: read on. It'll become evident or irrelevant, either way not impinging on your enjoyment of this book. I'll be reading the entire 20+ volumes in the series now, guaranteed! ( )
  minfo | Jan 12, 2017 |
In The King's Coat first in the series, Lewrie is forcibly introduced to the navy. Nicknamed "the little bastard" by his father, he was the product of an early premarital and pre-war fling of Sir Hugh, his father, adopted, pampered and rather spoiled. Alan, at age eighteen, enjoys the ladies, but even he is surprised when his half-sister, Belinda, propositions him. They are busy having a grand old time in bed, thinking the house is empty, when much to their, or Alan's, consternation, they are surprised by the local priest, Alan's father, the butler, and Sir Hugh's father. Alan springs out of bed wearing only a silk sheath condom — "he was only fairly sure of her latest amours," — she cries rape, and Alan decides it's time to run. Unable to escape their clutches, he is given a choice of joining the navy as a midshipman or facing the local magistrate, where the penalty for rape is the gallows. Not being a fool, Alan chooses the former, where, the reader learns, Sir Hugh hopes he will be killed. There is the matter of an estate that Alan might inherit but of which he knows nothing. With him out of the way, Belinda and Sir Hugh, get the goods. Alan has his suspicions, but no evidence. I like Lambdin, and he may become my favorite after O'Brian. He's much more blatant and shameless than Forester or Kent. After putting to sea in the Ariadne, new hands typically had difficulty getting their sea legs. "Those with touchy stomachs were being dragged to the lee rails to 'cast their accounts' into the Channel, and those who could not wait were being ordered to clean up their spew." Our hero at first appears immune, but before long he begs to die. "He honestly could not have choked anything down that could possibly have scratched on the way back up." The designation of all the lines at first stumps him and he often becomes confused. When asked to "baggy-wrinkle" on old lines, Lewrie thinks to himself, "Shit, new words again. Baggy-wrinkle? Sounds like my scrotum about now." All turns out well, and following numerous close escapes and lucky turns, at first appalled by the conditions of the service, he discovers to his surprise that not only is he good at it, but he likes his new trade as well. Only twelve more volumes to go.

( )
  ecw0647 | Sep 30, 2013 |
The thing I really like about reading historical fiction is the sense of superiority it gives me over those who read other genres of fiction, particularly the fantastic. At the end I may have wasted as much time as they did, but you can't help but learn something useful...like the difference between a topgallant and a staysail...very useful here in this landlocked state. ( )
  Neilsantos | Oct 8, 2010 |
This is the first book in a fantastic series of naval adventures set during the War for American Independence and Napoleonic Wars. I've read all 15 books so far and still can't get enough.

Alan Lewrie, is virtually forced into the Royal Navy as a total scamp of a teenager who formerly ran wild among the vices of London. It was his father, one of the greatest of cads ever, who set him up in order to get his inheritance, but Lewrie has always had a problem with resisting a romp in the hay--so he is easily entrapped. Totally inexperienced with the sea, Lewrie is in for a stunning change of life. He undergoes no miraculous conversion, neither, but knows all too well the hardships and other down-sides. Almost despite himself he finds he can make his way... and actually find some things he might actually like.

Lewrie is a very human, flawed, but likable character who is a joy to follow as he makes his way through life--both domestic and naval. There are ups and downs--but a lot of humor and action and enough realism and great historical detail just add to the fun. The whole series is a joy.

I have read and enjoyed O'Brian and this series is quite different, but that is all to the better, I think! Try it and see! ( )
1 vote aprillee | Mar 31, 2010 |
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» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Dewey Lambdinprimary authorall editionscalculated
Hess, RichardCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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The very first Alan Lewrie naval adventure in this classic series is now back in print! 1780: Seventeen-year-old Alan Lewrie is a brash, rebellious young libertine. So much so that his callous father believes a bit of navy discipline will turn the boy around. Fresh aboard the tall-masted Ariadne, Midshipman Lewrie heads for the war-torn Americas, finding--rather unexpectedly--that he is a born sailor, equally at home with the randy pleasures of the port and the raging battles on the high seas. But in a hail of cannonballs comes a bawdy surprise. . . .

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