Dennis D. McDonald (ddmcd@outlook.com) is an independent consultant located in Alexandria Virginia. His services and capabilities are described here. Application areas include project, program, and data management; market assessment, digital strategy, and program planning; change and content management; social media; and, technology adoption. Follow him on Google+. He also publishes on CTOvision.com and aNewDomain.

Patrick O'Brian's MASTER AND COMMANDER

Review by Dennis D. McDonald

I must thank my friend Jack for lending me this book. But why oh why did I not start reading this series of adventure novels sooner?

I love reading about the stories of those sailing days of yore. The self contained world of the sailing ship, its master and the crew, venturing forth to adventure, life and death, potential riches — but most of all, adventure. The language of this novel sings. O’Brian submerges us in the Royal Navy with details about sea, ship, shipboard life, warfare, and politics. Rarely does a paragraph pass without at least one unfamiliar word to our 21st Century ears.

No matter. What comes across in the pages of this novel is real, palpable, and authentic sounding. Reading about the friendship of Jack Aubrey and physician Maturin, with side references to music, science, medicine, Ireland, the Catalan language, courts martial, outdoor dinner parties disrupted by drunken sailors, and old Barcelona, is as vivid as history can get. Life was messy back then, especially for the cogs in the great British Imperialist War Machine that are displayed on the pages of this novel. But somehow a vast fleet was supported and the interests of the Empire were promoted and protected.

In this novel we see firsthand what was involved in projecting that power. Real people made the British Empire happen, and with people like Aubrey on the side of the King, we can begin to understand the Empire’s success. I love reading about the stories of those sailing days of yore. The self contained world of the sailing ship, its master and the crew, venturing forth to adventure, life and death, potential riches — but most of all, adventure.

The language of this novel sings. O’Brian submerges us in the Royal Navy with details about sea, ship, shipboard life, warfare, and politics. Rarely does a paragraph pass without at least one unfamiliar word to our 21st Century ears. No matter. What comes across in the pages of this novel is real, palpable, and authentic sounding. Reading about the friendship of Jack Aubrey and physician Maturin, with side references to music, science, medicine, Ireland, the Catalan language, courts martial, outdoor dinner parties disrupted by drunken sailors, and old Barcelona, is as vivid as history can get.

Life was messy back then, especially for the cogs in the great British Imperialist War Machine that are displayed on the pages of this novel. But somehow a vast fleet was supported and the interests of the Empire were promoted and protected.  In this novel we see firsthand what was involved in projecting that power. Real people made the British Empire happen, and with people like Aubrey on the side of the King, we can begin to understand the Empire’s success.

Suketu Mehta's MAXIMUM CITY

Suketu Mehta's MAXIMUM CITY

Kerri Sakomoto’s ONE HUNDRED MILLION HEARTS

Kerri Sakomoto’s ONE HUNDRED MILLION HEARTS