Friday, June 26, 2009
Summer of Patrick O'Brian: Master and Commander the Condensed Version
I am re-reading the entire Aubrey/ Maturin canon..... no easy feat. My first read-through took well over a year and was not chronological ( I started reading them during a summer studying in England and would pick them up at used bookstores everywhere just before I boarded trains with my Britrail pass).
Now, I started back at one. Instead of "reviewing" each in the series, I start my homage to some of my favourite literary works of all time ....with the ever popular format of abridgement!
Master and Commander: the condensed version
Port Mahon 1800
Enter Jack Aubrey:
Hi! I'm Jack Aubrey I am at least 15 stone and I love concerts. I am a lieutenant in the navy. I am having an affair with Molly Harte. This does not make Admiral Harte happy. He might wreck my career some day but zounds! Molly plays the harp well---among other things
Some of my ship mates call me goldilocks because my hair is blonde. Later I will be called Lucky Jack Aubrey. But, I am not so lucky now. I owe tons of money. I need a ship. Drat!
I still, however, have time to go to a concert ashore:
I really like music ( especially Corelli) but this Locatelli chamber concert is awesome. They are playing the C major quartet. Music is going to pervade this long, long book series.
I am going to beat my knee cap with my fist in time with the music
Oh look! There is a little, sparse-looking fellow with pale eyes. I think he is angry that I am making noise and humming along at the concert.
Jack Aubrey: hum-hum-hummmm!
Little sparse-looking fellow with pale eyes: Shuddup!
More music “pom pom pom”
Jack Aubrey: I can keep time with the cello part. I am making a lot of noise.
*Chair scuffle. Concert over*
Sparse-looking fellow with pale eyes *angrily*: you ruined the concert you oaf. You made so much noise!
Jack Aubrey: I am thinking I would like to beat you over the head with my chair. But I will not say this aloud. Instead, I will glare at you, you ill-looking cove!
Sparse-looking fellow with pale eyes *angrily*: You cannot beat time! You suck!
Jack Aubrey: Who are you to tell me I can'tbeat time? I challenge thee to a duel! Let’s deke it out!
Sparse-looking fellow with pale eyes.:Name the time and the place. My name is Stephen Maturin and I am staying at Joselito’s coffee house!
Jack Aubrey: You are a sparse looking fellow with pale eyes
--Jack visits Molly Harte( Jack should not do this it is bad for his naval career)
---Jack is given command of the "Sophie" and is set to sail
---Jack is happy.
---Jack runs into Maturin downtown the morning after the concert-- He is no longer angry because he has a ship
JA: Sorry I was so loud and obnoxious at the concert. I have a ship
JA: wanna go on a man date?
SM: I have not eaten since the peace. Be there
SM: Let me buy you some hot chocolate
*drink hot chocolate*
---Jack does important naval things for the next 30 pages and it looks like one of his new shipmates did something inappropriate with a goat.
---Jack and Stephen Maturin go on another man date. Here, they eat boar and sheep and drink lots of wine:
JA: I have a ship!
JA: and look! I have a shiny gold epaulette!
JA: wanna go on another man date?
SM: yah! *distractedly looks out window*
JA: are you paying attention?
SM: there's a bird! I am a naturalist. I like birds. I also speak eighteen different languages, play the cello and am strangely introverted.
JA: I play the violin
SM: let's talk music
play and talk.....play and talk.....
JA: what do you do?
SM: I am a physician. But my rich patient died and I have no money
JA: wanna sail across the world with me? You can see lots of bugs and we can play music!
---Stephen Maturin sleeping under a tree and eating leftover lamb he snuck in his pocket after his dinner the night before: “ I came all the way out here for this patient and he died on me and now I am an overqualified physician ( none of that common surgeon nonsense) and oh look! There’s a bug! I like bugs. I am a naturalist. Now I have nothing to do.
I must go to sea!
JA: I have good people here! I like Barrett Bonden and James Pullings and I like that guy who everyone thinks is gay… but… wait. I am not sure if I like this red-headed guy who is my lieutenant Oh! maybe I do!
Red Headed Guy: My name is James Dillon. I am a lieutenant. I am also Irish. I am also Catholic. But, shhh! You cannot tell ppl in the British navy you are catholic so I will be pouty and secretive.
Stephen Maturin * recognizes James Dillon from his rebel stint as a United Irishman*: I know your secret!
James Dillon: You are a sparse-looking fellow with pale eyes. Go hang out by the water pump.
*Stephen hangs out by the water pump*
---James Dillon sulks for the next three hundred pages
---Stephen Maturin writes in his diary for the next three hundred pages when he is not tripping over things or falling into the sea because he is a landlubber where Jack is a sea-lion ( note dichotomy). He writes about birds and insects and how Jack and James do not get along.
--Jack Aubrey has lots of great victories and lots of wine and gains eight pounds eating soused hog’s face and disguises the Sophie as a whaler to trick the much larger Spanish xebec-frigate the "Cacafuego"
---More music playing
----More nautical terminology
---Stephen becomes introverted and pouts. Jack loses part of his ear.
---Battles and Nautical jargon
---Stephen sees a tree frog
----Jack visits Mrs. Harte again
-----Stephen dissects a dolphin.
-----Jack is put to court martial because he let some prisoners off on an island
----Jack is acquitted but has no commission.
----lots of drinking
---Jack and Stephen sit under the stars and basically declare their undying love for each other ( in a platonic way) and plan to sail again.