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Peter Simple

Narrated by: Frederick Davidson
Length: 17 hrs and 38 mins
4.0 out of 5 stars (12 ratings)

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Summary

In this seminal story of naval life during the Napoleonic wars, Frederick Marryat's young hero embarks upon a life at sea and finds it to be a rough school indeed. Simple's trials and triumphs, with his faithful mentor, Terence O'Brien, at his side, mirror Marryat's personal experiences. Among the exciting events depicted are the hand-to-hand combat of "cutting-out" missions, the devastating hurricane off St. Pierre, and a mutiny aboard the Rattlesnake.

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

Critic reviews

"[Marryat's] adventures are enthralling; the rapidity of his action fascinates....His greatness is undeniable." (Joseph Conrad)

What listeners say about Peter Simple

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Lost gem

If you like dickens and Patrick o,Brian This is for you Shining parts ,funny, great plot

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  • BARRY
  • 28-01-07

Wonderful

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 200 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.

19 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Autumn
  • 15-07-08

Entertaining

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.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Jean
  • 26-06-15

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.

5 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Brodie
  • 11-07-10

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.

4 people found this helpful

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  • John S
  • 17-01-14

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.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Geoffrey
  • 30-04-10

I loved this book.

Loved it so much that I listened to it two times in a row.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • JC YOUNG
  • 31-01-09

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.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Bluestramp
  • 11-11-16

Pure charm

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.
Rex

1 person found this helpful

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  • Dennis
  • 01-10-14

Written in 1830 before all of the other Naval

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

This is a refreshing insight to a time when people's worlds where very small till the were forced to travel A great story

What did you like best about this 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

Have you listened to any of Frederick Davidson’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I enjoyed Mr Davidson's read he did a great job look forward to more of his work

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

If time would allow it was a new twist on the war from a young man's side

Any additional comments?

If you were rich and powerful you could get away with murder of anything else

1 person found this helpful

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  • Shane Rodarte
  • 03-08-13

Good old fashion adventure

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

It has everything. Everything that a book should have. Adventure, battles, love, and the best thing of all. It was fun and funny.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Peter Simple?

"I nibbles on her for four years before I sailed her." " You got have a women with good ballast to keep her up right." (I'm paraphrasing here.) "A women with drink is like a ship without a rudder." I been married for 15 years and its all true. I love this book.

What does Frederick Davidson bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

I felt like the Lord so and so was reading to me. Like little boy hearing a an adventure, and that how it should be read.

Who was the most memorable character of Peter Simple and why?

The Irish characters and the priest. Oh my gosh that was the best part is herring the Irish. It is so real. I'm chocoholic and I could relate to everything about the characters. I love characters that are real and you are able to pick fun at. Its like family. The Irish are not shy about pointing out the elephant in the room. God bless them.

Any additional comments?

I love 18th to early 20th century novels. I think because life sucked so much back then they needed to have good stories. To give you hope. That there is a pay off for being good. Now days its all about guns, sex and violence. This book had that, but it didn't. What the difference. Oh Yeah its called,"GOOD WRITING."

1 person found this helpful