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Jazzdude’s book reviews

What a fun read! The plot has all the nutty twists of a Buster Keaton movie and Rejto breezes through them with a knack for situational humor that at times will have you laughing out loud.

I just wish he had survived WWII to write many more books.
If you're a sailor you will appreciate the skill of sailing a sailboat with no auxiliary motor through the shifting channels of the Frisian tidal flats. Most of the canals, harbors and towns can be seen on Google Earth and much is the same after more than a century.
A strange sequence of unlikely and unanticipated changes to the disposition of the candlesticks creates a twisted plot that is delightfully clever. I enjoyed the journey through the maze of events.
I've read many books about the rigors of life in a square rigger but none can touch this one for the sense of "being there". The author must have written from his own experience of a voyage around the Horn. His use of the salty language is exceptional. If you don't follow the Scotch brogue for a while, just hang in there. You'll get it. It's a great sea story.
This book fits the "ripping yarns" category. It has a lot of salty sea talk and a new peril around every twist in the plot. The hero is a very proper Englishman. His conversational style is precisely formulated in the genteel fashion of the 19th Century. But it's a good swashbuckler with a pretty predictable resolution.
McFee is a true wordsmith. If you love the English language and wonder what will happen to our polysyllabic words in this age of texting, his writing is a tonic. It helps to have the integrated dictionary on your Kindle.

He puts difficult concepts into beautiful words.
I think Dickens had an insight into the social causes of the French Revolution which he might have turned into a history book. Using a novel to delve into those causes through the fortunes of individuals glosses the content. He gives the various segments of French society personal catchall names. The aristocracy is referred to as "Monsieur", peasants as "Jacques" etc.
I enjoyed the book for the insight it provided but it is not as easy or as pleasant to read as "Little Dorrit" which also examines human character extensively.