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Midshipman Bolitho and the "Avenger" [Hardcover]

Alexander Kent


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Book Description

Feb. 20 1978
This story is set in the winter of 1773, in and around the West Country of England. Midshipman Bolitho's ship, the Gorgon, is laid up for refit, and he with some other 'young gentlemen' is allowed home for Christmas. Bolitho, now seventeen, returns to his family in Falmouth, taking with him his best friend and fellow midshipman, Martyn Dancer. Bolitho soon discovers that all is not well in Cornwall. There are rumours of an increase in smuggling, even witchcraft, and when a murdered man is found near the Bolitho house, ugly rumour becomes reality. Wrecking, the most savage of all crimes, is a further cause for alarm. Only a small and agile man-of-war can be of use against such restless enemies. To Falmouth comes one such vessel, the Avenger, and thoughts of a carefree leave are quickly forgotten by Richard Bolitho, especially when he learns the name of the Avenger's commander. Alexander Kent's second novel to cover Richard Bolitho's early career follows the events described in Richard Bolitho - Midshipman, which was so warmly received by readers, young and old, of the Bolitho series.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Hutchinson (Feb. 20 1978)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0091320402
  • ISBN-13: 978-0091320409
  • Product Dimensions: 20.2 x 13.2 x 2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 259 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,890,974 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Alexander Kent's great interest in the ships and men of the eighteenth century navy was aroused when he was still at school. Although he attended fleet reviews and explored modern warships and dockyards with his father, he found that the great days of square riggers and battles at close quarters captured his imagination. H.M.S. Victory, Nelson's flagship at Trafalgar, was always high on his list of regular visits. He served in the Royal Navy as a young man, and saw action in the Battle of the Atlantic and other major theatres of war, but his first love of the great days of sail remained unshaken. Now firmly established as a leading writer of authentic sea stories, he still enjoys researching for new material from our rich naval heritage, His interests range from yachting to being a governor of the frigate Foudroyant, which, lying at anchor at Portsmouth, is the oldest British warship afloat.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars  17 reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 3 smuggled cargoes for a weak Bolitho effort Oct. 5 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Library Binding
The Richard Bolitho series is one of the most popular of all naval fiction series. The author brings authenticity to the subject having served in World War II in the Royal Navy and being a sailor in his own right. Perhaps that is why I found Richard Bolitho and the Avenger disappointing. It is a novel that could be much better.
In Richard Bolitho and the Avenger, Bolitho returns to his native Cornwall following his adventures in Richard Bolitho Midshipman. He brings fellow midshipman Martyn Dancer along. After some home cooking and introductions, it becomes obvious that there is something rotten in Cornwall. Murder, smuggling and witchcraft appear to be present in the area. Bolitho and Dancer spend the rest of the book trying to solve the mysteries on land and sea. Some of Bolitho's family relationships are explored along the way. The story is respectable if familiar and the novel is a quick light read. It is neither challenging nor terribly rewarding.
I was disappointed in several ways with Richard Bolitho and the Avenger. There is not much to this novel. The copy that I read was a hardback published in 1978 with a price tag of $10.50 which doesn't seem too unreasonable. However, there were only 143 pages and the print was not small. I don't think Kent gave the readers value for their money. Unlike its predecessor, much of the action takes place on land. Sure there are sailing passages and the climactic scene does take place at sea but it reads more like a change of pace for the author. It might have suited Kent after 10 years of Bolitho adventures but it doesn't fit when reading the series chronologically. Also, Bolitho seems to know less about command than he did in the first book.
Richard Bolitho and the Avenger is an enjoyable little story and it can be read in one sitting but I wouldn't go out of my way to obtain it. It's much like paying for a pint and getting a glass: you might enjoy what you got but still think that there should have been more.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The beginning of a heroic series of epic navel adventures. June 13 1997
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Library Binding
A fictional British Navel officer's life story modeled on England's greatest war hero, Admiral Nelson. This long series of tales begins with a simple tale of a young man going to sea in the age of "wooden ships and iron men". The series follows Midshipmen Bolitho up thru the ranks to Admiral and reports on many of the great sea battles of the time; Trifalger & Battle of Copenhagen.
Probably the best of this type of tale since C.S. Forrester's "Horatio Hornblower" series.
Once you start reading you'll find yourself hungry for the next installment and dreading the inevitable that some day you will have read them all...
Generally not available in the US except thru Amazon.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good book July 10 2008
By Dr J - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This is the second book in Alexander Kent's Richard Bolitho's series. Our hero, Richard, is assigned to his brother's small craft to ferret out and destroy some smugglers/pirates on the southwest English shore. The story was fine, but what really draws me to this series is that there is lots of action. Something is always going on. Kent doesn't bore us with trivial details and long explanations. This is a good book and a worthy read.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book to drag you into a series you can't put down. May 17 1999
By Ishmedagan@aol.com - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Library Binding
Alexander Kent goes back to the start of the career of Richard Bolitho, and with his usual exciting, detailed style rushes you forward into the career of a British naval officer during the American Revolution and the Napolionic wars. Exciting, humanistic and very informative about the British navy and the ships the men served.
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome! June 17 2014
By green_corey - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Excellent adventure! The characters are well written you can smell the salt air and feel the spray on your face.

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