May 24, 2020

The Blank Shot (Review)

’m running slow on my reading these days (this week’s DOG EAR will address that). I’m nowhere near finishing my current book. But on Saturday lunch, I pulled out a favorite book from a favorite author, Rafael Sabatini, a tale from the follow-up collection of short stories detailing the adventure of that most urbane pirate, Captain Blood. In The Blank Shot, we pick up the thread of our Irish captain’s narrative just after he stole the massive Cinco Llagas in in first book. His crew really still don’t know him and are prone to second-guessing him. And there are only […]
March 21, 2021

The Flag Captain (Review)

ulled this one of my late father’s shelf, one of those 1979 age-of-sail swashbucklers written by the great Alexander Kent. Just one from the shelf run by the same author, a tale of his hero, (now Flag Captain) Richard Bolitho, facing the events of The Great Mutiny. See, I thought we were talking India, but no, this was apparently a massive mutiny that swept the Royal Navy at the time. It came as a poke in the eye to captains and their belief in rule by rank, that they could beat and punish anyone they damn well pleased. Concessions were […]
May 30, 2021

Captain From Castile (Review)

ere’s one that I’ve read before (and enjoyed) and have now reread (and enjoyed even more) – Captain From Castile by Samuel Shellabarger. It was written in the mid 40s and a big hit back then. Of course, here’s the caveat for this – occasionally it is a bit racist (in the faintest of ways). It carries a bit of white man’s burden (where whites are given the task of civilizing everyone, and the Aztecs are stone age barbarians). Fortunately his value-judgements don’t happen often and are just minor stones in the road of a crackling good novel. You read […]