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Kydd Hardcover – Jun 1 2001


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner Book Company; First Edition edition (June 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743214587
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743214582
  • Product Dimensions: 21.8 x 14.7 x 2.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 386 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #84,141 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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By A Customer on Nov. 29 2003
Format: Paperback
As a first novel, this book is impressive. Sometimes the story line seems a bit implausible, but the characters are vivid and realistic. Readers who don't know much about naval fiction will feel right at home, as Kydd is a young man who has been press-ganged to sea and must work his way up on his first ship, experiencing firsthand the beauty and horror of the sea. Having read 'Artemis' and 'Seaflower', the sequels to Stockwin's first novel, I have come to appreciate 'Kydd' a lot more. Disappointingly, I feel that Stockwin had a wonderful capability and his books were promising, but have not found his proceeding books as engaging as this one. So read this book and appreciat it - you can't always find other ones as rewarding, even by the same author.
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By John Keenan on Aug. 1 2003
Format: Hardcover
I'm a Hornblower fan, but unlike so many others, I've never enjoyed Patrick O'Brian's naval books. (They are fine books, I know; for some reason, they just don't click with me.) So I was delighted to find "Kydd," a Napoleonic seafaring adventure, capturing my interest almost from the first page, as the hero is unhappily pressed into service in the Royal Navy. Unlike Hornblower, Kydd is a rankless landlubber, which enables Stockwin to provide a new and interesting perspective. Like the C.S. Forester novels, though, "Kydd" is fast-paced and interesting. This is a promising start to what one hopes will be a long series.
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Format: Paperback
This is the first naval adventure novel I've ever read. Now I want to read them all and compare! If the rest are as good, or only near as good, as this one, I won't be wasting my time.
"Kydd" is an intense read. I could only manage one chapter each sitting, for the most part, because each chapter has a remarkable storyline in and of itself, usually culminating in something highly emotional and vivid such as cannons firing back and forth. The battle scenes are rendered with no details spared so prepare yourself for some blood and gore. I could also *feel* the chill of the wind, taste the awful food and the warming relief of the grog.
I enjoyed Kydd's character very much as he adapts to his new life and finds he actually loves it, but I liked his best friend Renzi even better. The two make a perfect pair of buddies - Kydd is fresh, young, unschooled, and Renzi with his haunted past and intellectual musings on life, together make a whole person you just have to appreciate.
I don't know many of the sailing terms but it did not stop me from enjoying the story one bit. I've visited the author's website, and there are links to glossaries there. I appreciate the way the author explains some things but lets others slide, so you never get bogged down into details. This story moves fast and yar. I added this book to my list of "great reads."
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Format: Hardcover
Kydd is just too perfect. There are so many authors around that are writing sea stories, and their main character is too lucky, too good looking, and too successful with the women. There are no women in this novel but that will probably change in later books by this author. Ho hum. And that is the problem with this novel.
I liked the technical descriptions of how ships operate, but this may not appeal to others. The novel is really a collection of short stories in the life of Kydd who is pressed into the Navy and then grows into a seaman; so it jumps around a lot. Kydd's best friend, Renzi, is not any better drawn that Kydd, but maybe future books by Stockwin will better define their character and make them more dimensional.
I enjoyed reading this book, but if the author does not improve his characterization and flow of narrative, I will not be reading any future books by the author. There are a number of authors out there that are worthy of consideration beside O'brian--Richard Woodman has got this type of sea story down. Try Jan Needle for a view of what life is like in the lower decks with a crazy captain.
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Format: Hardcover
OK. First off, this initial instalment in a new naval fiction series isn't Patrick O'Brian reborn. There aren't the depths upon depths of O'Brian in style, nor the superb characterisation of Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin.
But the setting is the same, with a bonus of more realism than O'Brian ever managed, and the language of the lower deck is just as pungent.
It's much the same world, this time seen from before the mast, and this is the half-world that O'Brian rarely peeped into. We live in the shadows of the gun decks, our existence made up of rows and rows of hammocks, the mess tables between the guns, the fo'csle make and mend and the taunt line to be toed when dealing with officers.
The atmosphere is pungent - and you can almost smell the rich aromas that arise during the action. The sights and sounds of the lower deck complete the picture.
If I have a criticism, it's that some of the events and characters are a little far-fetched. A few too many coincidences for my liking, and one is made conscious of the mind of the author doing a little embroidery here and there.
But, that niggle aside, this is a series I shall follow with keen interest. Maybe Stockwin cannot match the literary style of O'Brian, but he gives us a new view on the same world and it is a pleasure to revisit it.
Oh yeah. Keep a bucket handy for when the barky starts to toss. You'll find yourself at the end of the book afore ye know it and be rolling down the street to buy the next in the series.
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