The Captain's Vengeance Paperback – Oct 31 2006
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From Publishers Weekly
This 12th installment of the Alan Lewrie naval adventure series sends the British captain to 1799 New Orleans in pursuit of pirates. Unlike the manly, ship-shape society aboard his frigate, New Orleans seems dominated by seductive women, especially the coquettish pirate ringleader Charité, who is plotting an insurrection against Louisiana's slothful Spanish rulers that will reunite it with Republican France and forestall a takeover by the uncouth but energetic Americans. Crying "laisser les bons temps rouler," Charité fights for her right " 'to be French... to take joy in being sans moralité' "; for her, the French Revolution—the great problem of the naval adventure genre—is not a sociopolitical rupture but a new, unconventional defense of traditional Gallic decadence and frivolity against the encroachment of Yankee industriousness. Out of his depth, Lewrie confronts her unruly French femininity the only way he can on dry land—through noisy, seven-condom sex marathons ("her pleasure made her squawl out loud... grunting and lowing like a heifer being taken by a rutting bull") undertaken while his associates unravel the various intrigues. Throughout, Lambdin layers on period minutiae of clothing, weapons, customs and patois (" 'You cheese-paring bougre!' ") along with accounts of Mississippi valley trade and settlement patterns. A wealth of historical detail and lively, if stereotyped, supporting characters partly make up for the novel's slack plot and overdone sex.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From the Inside Flap
It is early February, 1799, a year of war.
Sailing in the Caribbean, Captain Alan Lewrie, RN, is once again pursuing a chimera.
A rich French prize ship he'd left at anchor at Dominica has gone missing, along with six of his sailors. What starts as a straightforward search for it, and them, from Hispaniola to Barbados, far down the Antilles, leads Lewrie to a gruesome discovery on the Dry Tortugas and to a vile cabal of the most pitiless and depraved pirates ever to sail under the "Jolly Roger" . . . and the suspicion that one of his trusted hands just may be the worst of them all!
Against his will---again---the usually irrepressible Lewrie is made his superiors' "cat's-paw" once more, and his covert mission this time is to go up the Mississippi in enemy-held Spanish Louisiana to the romantic but sordid port of New Orleans in search of pirates and prize, where one false step could betray Lewrie and his small party as spies. Beguilements, betrayal, and death lurk 'round every corner of the Vieux Carré, and it's up to Lewrie's quick but cynical to win the day wits for their survival and wreak a very personal vengeance on his foes!
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Hoy, the boat!" Mr. Midshipman Larkin cried his challenge to the approaching civilian cutter, though he had known who its passengers were as soon as they had stepped down into it on the distant quay ten minutes earlier; had been awaiting those passengers' return for at least the last two hours past. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Lewrie, who would very much like to catch these pirates, finds himself down the Mississippi without a boat of his own. He has been ordered on a covert mission to scout out the political landscape and work out the feasibility of a British invasion to take over New Orleans. Posing as a security detail for a wealthy merchant shipper, he soon makes the steamy acquaintance of Charité, the ravishing and wanton female pirate, as well as her brothers and would-be lover, and an American contingent clearly up to the same invasion scouting as Lewrie.
There's a cartoony element to the swashbuckling - lots of "gawping" and "japing" - and the evil characters are particularly, but colorfully, one-dimensional. And the sex scenes are lustily over-the-top. But there's humor too and the historical setting is rich, deep and fascinating. Patrick O'Brian fans may not be satisfied, but those who would just as soon leave the social byplay out of their naval adventure should enjoy it.
Other naval recommendations - James L Nelson; Biddlecomb series "By Force of Arms"
I wish Mr. Lambdin would can the dialect. I'm sure he is transcribing an accurate version of an Irish brogue or a pirates patois, but have some pity on the poor reader.
Dialect is good in a film or play perhaps, but not in an adventure novel. After going through this latest Alan Lewrie adventure, I have a new appreciation for Patrick O'Brian's elegant prose.
I have read the previous eleven installments of the Alan Lewrie saga.The time has come to bring the series to a close or discipline the writing.