Master and Commander

I am a big fan of historic novels and, British naval action stories in particular.  For heart thumping action, you can't get better than them.  Apparently Tim Bray is the same.  Check out his clamoring review of Master and Commander, the movie.  I haven't seen it yet but I am itching to.

Like Tim, I heartily recommend that you read rest of Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey-Maturin series.  You will be better off borrowing the books from your local library because each book cost around $15.  Frankly, I liked C.S. Forester's Hornblower series better.

Alexander Kent's Bolitho series is also not bad you can find cheap paperback editions at used bookstores.  Early volumes of more recently published Dewey Lambdin's Alan Lewrie series is also enjoyable.  If you are more of land fighting fella, Bernad Cornwell's Sharpe series is legendary.  I am still in the middle of collecting that series.

The only problem with these wonderful historic novels is they are expensive.  I must have spent more than a thousand dollars to get Aubrey-Maturin, C.S. Forester, Dorothy Dunnett, etc.  Vivid lingering images are worth it though, far stronger than other types of books including fantasy and SF.