If you like Master and Commander by Patrick O'Brian

If you like Master and Commander by Patrick O'Brian

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Master and Commander by Patrick O'Brian 
It is the dawn of the nineteenth century; Britain is at war with Napoleon's France. Jack Aubrey, a young lieutenant in Nelson's navy, is promoted to command of H.M.S. Sophie, an old, slow brig unlikely to make his fortune. But Captain Aubrey is a brave and gifted seaman, his thirst for adventure and victory immense. With the aid of his friend Stephen Maturin, ship's surgeon and secret intelligence agent, Aubrey and his crew engage in one thrilling battle after another, their journey culminating in a stunning clash with a mighty Spanish frigate against whose guns and manpower the tiny Sophie is hopelessly outmatched. (catalog summary)


If you like Patrick O'Brian's Master and Commander, here are some suggestions of books dealing with men and the sea, from times gone by.


Captain Blood
by Rafael Sabatini
Peter Blood, a physician and English gentleman, turned pirate out of a rankling sense of injustice. Barely escaping the gallows after his arrest for treating wounded rebels, Blood is enslaved on a Barbados plantation. When he escapes, no ship sailing the Spanish Main is safe from Blood and his men. (catalog summary)



Captains Courageous
by Rudyard Kipling
Harvey Cheyne is the over-indulged son of a millionaire. When he falls overboard from an ocean liner her is rescued by a Portuguese fisherman and, initially against his will, joins the crew of the We're Here for a summer. Through the medium of an exciting adventure story, Captain's Courageous (1897) deals with a boy who, like Mowgli in The Jungle Book, is thrown into an entirely alien environment. (catalog summary)



Devil's Own Luck
by David Donachie
Royal Navy officer-turned-privateer Harry Ludlow might get rich capturing French trade ships, an activity sanctioned under the wartime rules of 1793. In David Donachie's first book, The Devil's Own Luck: The Privateersmen Mysteries, Harry's brother James is accused of murder, and they find themselves in trouble with corrupt naval officers as the war rages around them. (Library Journal)




In the Heart of the Sea
by Nathaniel Philbrick
In 1819, the 238-ton Essex set sail from Nantucket on a routine voyage to hunt whales. Fifteen months later the Essex was rammed and sunk by an enraged sperm whale. Fearing cannibals on the islands to the west, the 20-man crew set out in three small boats for South America, almost 3,000 miles away. Three months later, only eight were left alive. This book shares a fantastic saga of survival and adventure, steeped in the lore of the whaling tradition, with deep resonance in literature and American history, and in the life of the Nantucket community. (catalog summary)


King's Coat
by Dewey Lambdin
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...(catalog summary)




by Julian Stockwin
Kydd is a bright lad pressed into the service of his majesty (Farmer George, the Madness himself) on the ship-of-the-line Duke William. It's 1793, and England is on the brink of war with the French. In what seems almost a day-by-day account, we follow Kydd from his nightmarish introduction to naval life to his promotion to ordinary seaman. Befriended first by Joe Bowyer, a simple, honest sailor who teaches him the ropes, Kydd later makes the acquaintance of Nicholas Renzi, a cultivated-looking man with a secret. Camaraderie, grog and pride in their work is all the sailors have to ease the hardship of life on board ship. (Library Journal)


Midshipman Bolitho
by Alexander Kent
The year is 1772, and Richard Bolitho is a sixteen-year-old midshipman about to undergo a severe initiation into the game of seamanship. Two novels in one, Midshipman Bolitho follows young Bolitho's adventures as he intercepts and destroys a band of vicious pirates, and then is swept away on a dangerous mission through the treacherous stamping ground of smugglers, wreckers, and murderers. (catalog summary)




Moby Dick, or The White Whale
by Herman Melville
A masterpiece of storytelling and symbolic realism, this thrilling maritime adventure and epic saga pits Ahab, a brooding and vengeful sea captain, against the great white whale that came to dominate his life. (catalog summary)





Mr. Midshipman Hornblower by C.S. Forester
This trio offer more of the salty adventures of the title character, who sailed the ocean blue during the Napoleonic Wars. (Library Journal)



by Dudley Pope
In a daring foray, under the very nose of the French Mediterranean fleet, Lieutenant Lord Nicholas Ramage is to sail his tiny cutter close in to the Italian shore and rescue a party of stranded aristocrats from Napoleon's fast-advancing army. (catalog summary)





The Sea-Wolf by Jack London
A thrilling epic of a sea voyage and a complex novel of ideas. The Sea Wolf is a standard-bearer of its genre. The vivid story of a gentleman scholar's rescue and subsequent ordeal at the hands of a hunting schooner's brutal captain and devious crew. It remains one of Jack London's finest achievements. (catalog summary)