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Master and Commander by Patrick O’Brian
This is the first in a sequence of novels about life
in the Royal Navy during the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars.
Though there are adventures and battles aplenty, it is how men live together
rather than the tedious brutalities of war that is the subject here. O’Brian’s
portrayal of life aboard a nelsonic man-of-war, of weapons, food, conversation
and ambience, of the landscape and the sea, is faultless and the sense
of period throughout is acute.