Ramage & the Guillotine (The Lord Ramage Novels, #6) (Dudley Pope) pdf, epub, doc

Ramage & the Guillotine (The Lord Ramage Novels, #6) ePub and PDF Available
If, reading through the early Aubrey-Maturin books, I ever wondered why we never got to read about Stephen's spywork in any great detail, I now presume to know the answer. For if this book prooved anything it is that spywork is boring as hell!

This is one of the weaker volumes in the series, fortunately it is also one of the shorter ones.

It reads like the couple of chapters in Ramage & The Drumbeat in which they steal the Spanish despatches, but expanded into a whole novel, only without a big sea battle at the end and with the protagonist stuck in the same room for 80% of the time. There is simply too little action in this book, which is pretty bad for a series I read simply for its fast paced adventure plots, since it is not exactly graced with deep and complex characters. Usually the only characters in this series who are allowed any complex motives or, indeed, any deep thoughts at all, are the hero, the villains, and perhaps, on a good day, Jackson. Any other characters (if you even want to call them that), even regulars, are simply means to advance the plot, with a special set of skills or a helpful comment now and then.

Why the author now decided it would be a good idea to let these ciphers carry most of what little action there was in this book we might never know. You would think the author intended to use the occasion to give these characters a bit more of a personality, turn them into at least somewhat rounded characters. But no, they remain as static and flat as ever. Even worse, the character who really does all the work in this book is a one-off character never to be seen again, who somehow magically had all the knowledge and connections to make Ramage's plan as easy-peasy and uneventful as possible. And the fact that this character was only there by chance. Ramage just happened to find the right smuggler, who had the right smugglers working for him who knew the right French smugglers who had it in for Napoleon's regime, which allowed our hero to meet this walking deus ex machina.

Granted, Louis' sad backstory (and indeed any mention of the mass executions) does add a bit of sorely needed atmosphere to the book (as do Ramage's moody reflections once he is arrested. Surprisingly, when you consider the usual qualities of the series, these occasional reflective, very quiet moments are the truly good ones in this book). But it doesn't change the fact that very little actually happens in this book, and it fails to deliver anything new, or profound, or otherwise exciting in sufficient quantities to fill this void.

Let's hope Ramage stays at sea from now on (it was fun finally meeting his family though. It appears sailor dynasties are rarer in these kinds of books than you might think).

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Book info

  • Author:
  • Publisher:McBooks Press
  • File: 4.2 Mb
  • Ganre: Historical Fiction
  • Release: 01.10.2000
  • ISBN: 9780935526813
  • Pages 320
  • Rating: 4.55 (237 votes)

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