August 28, 2004

More Gratuitous Llama Recommentations

Don't you just hate people who tell you that you should try something? Me too. But don't you just love doing it to other people? Me too.

I have started in on Doctor Dogbody's Leg by James Norman Hall. (Hall, it turns out, is half of the duo of Nordhoff and Hall, who co-wrote Mutiny on the Bounty.) Doctor Dogbody is a one-legged surgeon of many years' service in the Royal Navy. With Napoleon safely deposited on St. Helena, he holds forth at The Cheerful Tortoise, an inn in Portsmouth (rather like Mr. Mulliner's Angler's Rest). Each of the stories in the book is a different account of how the good Doctor lost his "larboard" leg, and contains a delightful mix of outrageous lies, good natured chaff and gripping adventure. Hall's writing is not nearly as rich as Patrick O'Brian's, but it is a step up from C.S. Forster's Hornblower saga. (Doctor Dogbody is also considerably more cheerful than the dour Horatio who, in my humble opinion, gets rather tedious sometimes.) Hall obviously loves both the period and his characters.

If you are a Patrick O'Brian fan, I'd heartily recommend this book.

Posted by Robert at August 28, 2004 10:24 AM | TrackBack

For uninteresting reasons, I have a collection of 4 First edition Foresters from the Hornblower series. They make for a good read, but they're certainly not high-literature. I'll definitely have to pick up Doctor Dogbody.

Posted by: Beck at August 29, 2004 02:21 AM
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