Peter Simple is a towering tale from the great age of sail, filled with keen wit, vivid characters, and thrilling adventure.
(P)1998 Blackstone Audio Inc
"[Marryat's] adventures are enthralling; the rapidity of his action fascinates....His greatness is undeniable." (Joseph Conrad)
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OK, I'll break the ice here. This book is wonderfully entertaining. I hadn't heard of it before, but narrator Frederick Davidson never seems to pick a dud, so I gave it a listen. The book is 300 years old, if I remember correctly, but the language is fresh and easily understandable. Very funny, even to the modern reader, and not in that high-brow way in which we're supposed to think a 500-year-old Shakespeare comedy is funny. The depiction of a naval press gang at work is worth the price alone. Anyone who enjoyed the Master and Commander series by Patrick O'Brien will love this one, too.
I almost gave up on reading this, the story starts out slow... At least the first 1/2 hour. But after Peter goes to sea the story really picks up. I recommend to this for Nautical fiction fans of any stripe. Its hard to believe this book is 200+ years old. The humor is great, and very relevant. Just give it a half-hour, because the novel is totally worth it.
"Great adventure novel"
This book was first published in 1834. Frederick Marryat (1792-1848) was a British Royal Naval officer, novelist and knew Charles Dickens. Marryat developed the widely used system of maritime flag signaling known as Marryat’s Code. He wrote a semiautobiographical novel “The Midshipman Easy.” He is famous as an early pioneer of sea stories.
This book is probably the most accurate account about life at sea in the Napoleonic era as it was mostly likely taken from the authors own experiences. Patrick O’Brian had stated he was inspired by Marryat’s writings.
Marryat writes with such vivid descriptions it makes the story most enjoyable. Peter Simple is a young British Midshipman sailing for fame and fortune in the Royal Navy during the Napoleonic War. Marryat writes with humor and the English is as it was in 1834. Marryat provides the reader with the slang of the sailing navy of the time along with the definitions. The social life reveals life as it was then including the prejudices and racism of the period. The author is a great story teller and he writes mainly of human nature.
If you enjoy sea stories of the Napoleonic era you will most certainly enjoy this story. Frederick Davidson narrated the book.
"If you love the genre you will like this."
I love British navy stories and this is as good as either the series by Patrick OBrien or the Alan Lewrie series. The good or bad point depending on your viewpoint is that there is only one of them. It is not a long series. This has more humor than the other two series and is quite funny at times. I enjoyed this and it was worth the one credit. If you have listened to all the other series or are tired of those characters try this one instead.
"Could be a 4 to the right listener"
Frederick Davidson places a unique audible spin on this very funny and advanced tale when you discover how long ago it was penned. Peter Simple starts off in the most bumbling of fashions and through his many escapades discovers people who accept he is not the smartest but have high hopes for his improvement. What the narrator brings is a smug quirkiness and naive simplicity to the voice through what appears, at first listen, to be a monotonous delivery. He sounds bored but, given time, this very boredom IS the essence of the character. His Irish delivery is fast and very very funny.
If you like tales of the sea give this book a try for it will make you laugh but you have to get past the implied 'irritation' in the voice. When you get over that you find it is empirical to the tone of the whole tale.
"I loved this book."
Loved it so much that I listened to it two times in a row.
"Oldie but goodie..."
There's a plot that chugs along to an inevitable conclusion, but that's OK. The humor, character development and description of life in the Royal Navy raise the book way above the formula. The narrator brings these good points forward. The more I listened, the more I liked it.
What a wonderful story....so well read by Fredrick Davidson.....what irony mr Davidson lost his voice...what a loss he and John Lee are my favorites....Great story if you like high seas adventures and all the literary accouterments you will enjoy this 200 year old novel.
"Wonderful Story and Captivating Narration"
I will listen again. The descriptions of life on board a Royal Navy ship in the 19th century whether in storm or in battle are better than modern writer can match. Marryat was there. It's authentic. But beyond that, Marryat's characters and the situations he creates for them are so entertaining. Marryat was a wonderful author. He kept me eager to find out what became of each of the characters he presented. I loved the way he wound up the story.
I have to say that the narration of Frederick Davidson (a pseudonym of David Case) was a wonderful. He brought to life characters with different accents, whether male or female, and they all sounded just right. What an amazing voice actor! He doesn't just read the book, he makes you see it in your mind. I'll look for other books narrated by him. I was so sorry to read that he passed away in 2005.
It's hard to pin it down to just one thing. I love history so I enjoyed the look into what life was like in the first third of the 19th century in Britain and the Caribbean. I loved Marryat's description of the dangers faced by men at sea. But his sense of humor and romance made it even more enjoyable.
Again, I can't pin it down to one scene. There were many. And I don't want to give away some surprises where characters meet again when you don't expect it.
I hate that question. I'm not a writer. My tag lines are cheesy.
I've read other novels by Frederick Marryat but so far Peter Simple is my favorite. I understand after reading this one why he was such a favorite with boys and young men through the 19th century and into the 20th. I would recommend him to anyone who enjoys adventure, derring-do and men of honor overcoming villains. If you don't mind a little history with your fiction, that's the icing on the cake.
"Written in 1830 before all of the other Naval"
This is a refreshing insight to a time when people's worlds where very small till the were forced to travel A great story
Watching Peter go from a frail boy to a real man who could think for himself he had alot of help and alot of curves in the path of life
I enjoyed Mr Davidson's read he did a great job look forward to more of his work
If time would allow it was a new twist on the war from a young man's side
If you were rich and powerful you could get away with murder of anything else
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