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Kydd Hardcover – Jun 2001

3.8 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner (June 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743214587
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743214582
  • Product Dimensions: 22.3 x 14.8 x 2.2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 386 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #651,301 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Thomas Paine Kydd. Arrr, matey, there's a name to hang a man for sure. In this delightful first installment in a new series in the tradition of Patrick O'Brian, Kydd is a bright lad pressed into the service of his majesty (Farmer George, the Madness himself) on the ship-of-the-line Duke William. It's 1793, and England is on the brink of war with the French. In what seems almost a day-by-day account, we follow Kydd from his nightmarish introduction to naval life to his promotion to ordinary seaman. Befriended first by Joe Bowyer, a simple, honest sailor who teaches him the ropes, Kydd later makes the acquaintance of Nicholas Renzi, a cultivated-looking man with a secret. Camaraderie, grog and pride in their work is all the sailors have to ease the hardship of life on board ship. It's a rough life, and Stockwin skillfully makes readers share the pain and tedium of it, but this is more than a historical adventure tale: it is the story of the education of a young man. Stockwin, who joined the Royal Navy at 15 and retired a lieutenant commander, knows his ships and his men as well as his historical era. Kydd, a strong, ordinary sort with a mind of his own, is a convincing character and so are his shipmates. The jargon comes thick and fast, so much so that the book would have benefited from a glossary a ship's diagram would have come in handy, too. But the skim of the story and the depth of the characterizations will ease readers past any obscure terms. Agent, Stuart Krichevsky. (June)Forecast: Less literary than O'Brian, more atmospheric than Hornblower and more realistic than Lamdin, this promising series will need a bit of a push at first, but should pick up steam in the long run.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

When wig maker Tom Kydd is impressed into the British navy, he finds himself ill prepared to endure the rigors of life at sea. Not only must he contend with his ignorance of all things nautical and the constant threat of being swept overboard, but he must also deal with the inedible food and a sadistic boatswain who eagerly punishes crew members. The kindly Bowyer, who recognizes a potential seafarer in Tom, soon takes the young boy under his wing and gives him a comprehensive naval education. Later, Tom forges a friendship with the enigmatic Renzi, whose stone-faced composure belies a troubled past. With his newfound friends, Tom battles shipwrecks, mutinous crews, and heated battles with the villainous French. Stockwin charts Tom's transition from helpless landlubber to able seaman with zest, and history buffs will appreciate the careful attention Stockwin pays to the minutiae of life on the sea. Adventure and historical fiction fans will delight in this well-crafted yarn, the first in a planned series. Brendan Dowling
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

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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Format: Hardcover
Thomas Kydd, a young wigmaker from the English countryside is impressed or more accurately shanghaied into military service aboard the British battleship Duke William. It is 1793 and in the midst of the French Revolution, England and France are at war. The British hierarchy object to the regicide of King Louis and are trying to blockade the French navy in the English Channel. All available hands are needed to man the British naval vessels.
Kydd, a landlubber is a genteel sort, not used to the rough life of hardship typical of the English sailor. He is at first scorned by his shipmates but eventually is taken under the wing of seawise sailor Bowyer. Bowyer with a gentle touch teaches Kydd the duties of a sailor. Kydd after realizing that he will not escape his fate aboard the ship relents and solely desires to become an able seaman. Kydd is progressing toward his goal when Bowyer is tragically killed in a fall off a towering yardarm of the main mast. Kydd is then befriended by the previously taciturn Renzi a cultured aristocratic sort who is paying self imposed penance aboard the Duke William.
Together Kydd and Renzi fight together against the French in a fierce naval battle and share adventures as the war progresses.
Stockwin recreates a seemingly authentic representation of the lifestyle of a British sailor in the 18th century. The book unfortunately begins with a plethora of sailing terminology which initially make it a difficult read.
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