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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 members say

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • 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 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.

18 of 18 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • 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.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • 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 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • 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 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • 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.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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

I loved this book.

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

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • JEFF 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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 20-05-18

200 + year old sea saga

The charm AND the drawback of this book was that it was written 200 + years ago.It is a rollicking cheerful look at the British navy and the prevailing class culture of that period.As such it portrays and assumes nobility and birth as for the most part good.
The writing/plot with it's twists and challenges is interesting sprinkled with interesting stories by the various characters both high and low born.Riches to rags to riches with plenty of adventure in between. It would not be a best seller today but inteersting because it WAS written 200 + years ago.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Chris
  • 19-02-18

Hidden gem

If you are a fan of O’Brien you won’t want to miss this one. Similar adventures to Jack Aubrey with the same feelings of relationship with the main character’s best friend. So happy to have found! You will not be disappointed.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Organic Design
  • 27-01-18

A rousing sea story!

A bit contrived but a great read. A fast moving story with superb narration. FUN!