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The Gun Ketch [Mass Market Paperback]

Dewey Lambdin
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Sept. 30 1996 Alan Lewrie Naval Adventures
"You could get addicted to this series. Easily."
--The New York Times Book Review
1788--Bahamas Squadron . . .
A fighter, rogue, and ladies man, Alan Lewrie has done the unthinkable and gotten himself hitched--to a woman and a ship! The woman is the lovely Caroline Chiswick. The ship is the gun ketch, Alacrity, bound for the Bahamas and a bloody game of cat and mouse with the pirates who ply the lunatic winds there. But while war comes naturally to the young husband, politics doesn't. Sure that a powerful Bahamian merchant is behind a scourge of piracy, Lewrie runs afoul of the Royal Governor--who holds the most precious hostage of all. . . .
From the windswept Carolinas to the exotic East Indies, Alan Lewrie fights and frolics with all the wild abandon of the high seas themselves. He's a true swashbuckling naval hero in the age of great sailing ships.
"Grand, satisfying . . . Fans as well as newcomers will relish Lambdin's unerring depiction of Navy politicking, the niceties of Nassau society . . . and, in fact, all the rich details of late-18th-century life at sea and shore."
"Hair-raising action . . . Fascinating . . . Grandly entertaining."
--The Flint Journal
"Recommended . . . Lambdin's work is comparable to that of masters such as C. S. Forester."
--Library Journal

Frequently Bought Together

The Gun Ketch + The King's Privateer + The King's Commission
Price For All Three: CDN$ 29.27

  • The King's Privateer CDN$ 9.89
  • The King's Commission CDN$ 9.89

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Although we're accustomed to more rollicking tales about the Royal Navy's Lt. Alan Lewrie than Lambdin offers here--in the first scene our hero is being married, "quaking but not completely in terror of his bachelorhood's demise"--this followup to The King's Privateer is still a grand, satisfying yarn. Newlyweds Alan and Caroline set sail in 1786 for the Bahamas, where he'll captain HMS Alacrity to enforce the Navigation Acts. The handsome young Lewries are rapturously, carnally happy and Alan's occasional sea tours only hone their appetites for each other. But there are snakes in Eden. Alan finds himself in trouble with authority when he tries to fight smugglers honorably, and simultaneously to suppress jealousy about Caroline. Lambdin throws in a lot of ripping sea and land battles, a slew of vicious pirates and smugglers, a couple of nasty nemeses and one very dangerous corrupt official. Alan's triumph is only one of many things to cheer about--series fans as well as newcomers will relish Lambdin's unerring depiction of Navy politicking, the niceties of Nassau society (including the hierarchy of color among natives) and, in fact, all the rich details of late-18th-century life at sea and shore.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

This fifth book in a series of 18th-century sea thrillers (following The King's Privateer , Donald I. Fine, 1992) continues the adventures of Royal Navy Officer Alan Lewrie. Posted to command the two-masted, ten-gun Alacrity with its new crew and officers, Lewrie is to sail to the Bahamas to protect trade and suppress piracy. Before leaving England, he takes a wife, whose presence aboard the Alacrity serves to curb his previous hell-raising lifestyle. Patrols in the Bahamas provide the focus of a story involving piracy, corruption in high places, and naval action at sea. Finally, Lewrie is able to bring the notorious pirate "Calico Jack" Finney to justice. Lambdin's work is comparable to that of masters such as C.S. Forester in its technical detail, but it is distinguished by the interesting use of bawdy humor and the fact that the author is an American. Recommended for public libraries.
- Harold N. Boyer, Marple P.L., Broomall, Pa.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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4.0 out of 5 stars What do you do when there's no war to fight? May 25 2004
Lieutenant Alan Lewrie is enjoying a few weeks in England, in between the completion of his anti-pirate adventures in the Far East (as recounted in The King's Privateer) and taking up his new assignment in command of the gun ketch ALACRITY as part of the Bahamas Squadron. Such a small vessel doesn't ordinarily rate more than one commissioned officer, but on the Navy's books it's a "sloop," so Capt. Lewrie finds himself with a first officer, the rather prim but engaging Arthur Ballard, who actually is Lewrie's senior in terms of naval experience but seems to harbor no jealousy about their relationship. (In fact, the two soon become friends as well as trusting colleagues and it's apparent Ballard is destined to become "Bush" to Lewrie's "Hornblower.") Alan spends much of his time ashore with the Chiswicks in Surrey (the family he helped rescue in _The French Admiral_) and is dismayed to find that Caroline Chiswick, for whom he has a soft spot, is being matched off by her uncle to the swinish heir of the local baronet. Suddenly, Lewrie finds himself doing what he never expected: getting married. And, rather than leave his bride in Plymouth, he allows her to talk him into taking her to Nassau with him. Naval novels set in peacetime sometimes have to go far afield to find an entertaining plot, and Lewrie's domestic adjustments, together with a struggle against another set of pirates (and the corrupt civil and naval officials with whom they are in league) make for an engaging yarn.

However: The author seems not to understand the distinction between an exclamation mark properly used in dialog ("Kill them!") and its thoroughly annoying, rather gushing use in narrative (He killed them!).
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Format:Mass Market Paperback
All of the the Lewrie novels to date have been good,
with more realism (and much more sex) than Forester's
Hornblower and much freer, less wooden writing than
all but the first few of O'Brien's Aubrey/Maturin.
The sex gets a little obtrusive sometimes, but not
overly so.

Many of the Lewrie novels are distressingly hard
to get. Contrary to an earlier review, the "King
and Country" trilogy consists of King's Coat, King's
Commission, and Gun Ketch and it is a great place
to start if you can locate it.

If you like this series, see also the following
historical naval series -- James L. Nelson
(Biddlecomb -- Revolutionary War -- e.g., "Force
of Arms"), Alexander Kent (Bolitho -- Napoleanic
Wars -- e.g., "Command a King's Ship"), and
Richard Woodman (Drinkwater -- Napoleanic Wars --
e.g., "An Eye of the Fleet" -- hard to locate in
USA, easier in Canada & UK).

Consider also the historical army novels of Bernard
Cornwell. The Sharpe novels are great, the Starbuck
Civil War series good but not great.
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By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Dewey Lambdin does an excellent job portraying the image of living and working a wooden sailing vessel as well as give a feeling for what it was like in the British navy of the late 1700s. Unlike other authors who use the British navy as a setting for a plot, the author evokes the feeling that you are part of the character and the story is happening to you. The protaganist is a normal young man who was kicked out of the house for being to hard a child to handle (supposedly). Part of the assocoation with the protaganist comes from the down to earth situations he gets himself into. Like any other young 'buck' in his late teens, early twenties, he doesn't always think with his head on his shoulders when he is looking for a good time. This is definately the series for you if you want an honest look at life in the King's navy with the attending comradere, boredom and technical details. It is not for those who feel that thinking/acting like a sex a sex starved young man is unacceptable.

I suggest you start reading as early in the series as you can. Start with 'The King's Coat' (if available, it might be out of print), move on through 'The French Admiral', 'The King's Commission', 'The King's Privateer', 'The Gun Ketch' and 'HMS Cockrel'. 'For King and Country' is a trilogy that begins where the protaganist begins to settle down and contains 'The King's Commission', The King's Privateer' and 'The Gun Ketch'.

It will be interesting to see how the author handles the young man coming of age. That telling of that kind of transition is what will really determine if the author is as good as he appears to be.
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