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 Alexander Kent: Band of Brothers 
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Post Alexander Kent: Band of Brothers
I've now read the latest one from Kent which reveals the destiny/demise of Martyn Dancer, and fills in a few gaps.

I'd be happy to discuss this .....

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Sun Oct 02, 2005 5:38 pm
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Post Spoilers below!
Spoilers below!

Spoilers below!

Mary, before starting Band of Brothers, I expected to find several things:

… a story longer than a short story. Why I expected this I don’t have a clue. A novel would not have matched the two earlier midshipman short stories. Wishful thinking is my only defense against my illogical expectation. I am ashamed to admit that I even knew the number of pages in the story "before" I bought the book and I still was disappointed.

… every minute detail of Martyn Dancer’s actions leading to his injury and death. I was disappointed again. There is plenty there but not everything.

… Richard being heroically saved by Martyn at the time of Martyn’s injury. I surmised that such an event had happened resulting in a rationale of Richard’s intense grief in the later books – in addition to the bare fact of losing his best friend. Why I expected such drama can only be explained by a serious defect in my personality.

Kent/Reeman went another way with the story. Richard’s grief over losing his best friend was increased by the fact that Richard was not present with Martyn when he was critically injured. [Richard could always wonder if they had been together, could he have saved Martyn's life, I guess.] Maybe it is a good thing I am not a writer. In this case, I would have picked a common soap opera story line. Give me 40 whacks with a wet noodle! (Just keep Lizzie Bordon away from me!)

… some sort of grief scene with Nancy Bolitho – maybe reading a letter from her brother. Even though I expected this, I did not want it to appear. In this case, a weepy soap opera scene would have been too much. I was glad that the author left this out.

Even though this was a decent story that generally filled in the gap in Richard’s life and seemed to match the other midshipman stories, I was left feeling like Oliver Twist… more, Sir… I want some more...

Don


Sun Oct 02, 2005 11:36 pm
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Post Re: Spoilers below!
timoneer wrote:

Mary, before starting Band of Brothers, I expected to find several things:

… a story longer than a short story. Why I expected this I don’t have a clue. A novel would not have matched the two earlier midshipman short stories. Wishful thinking is my only defense against my illogical expectation. I am ashamed to admit that I even knew the number of pages in the story "before" I bought the book and I still was disappointed.


I don't think I can add much, Don, as you've about covered it, but I will chip in a few words, here and there. I didn't realise it was such a slim volume, although I should have done. I am certainly glad I borrowed it from the library and didn't shell out £12.99 for it.

It's such a long time since I read the first two books. Do you think it slotted in well between the tale with Avenger and the next one, Stand into Danger? I had feared that, in view of how long it had been since they were written, and the developing of Bolitho's character over a long stretch of time, that perhaps he would not be able to "pick up" the young Richard again, but I was pleased to see that the young earnest Richard was still there.



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… every minute detail of Martyn Dancer’s actions leading to his injury and death. I was disappointed again. There is plenty there but not everything.


I haven't been one of those who'd scratched my head over Dancer's demise, but seeing as AK was filling in the gaps, I admit I did expect more too. No mystery, or intrigue at all; I fear many other readers will be disappointed.

Perhaps it would have been better for the book to have remained unwritten, and the demise of Dancer unsolved, as, IMO, the series should have ended with Richard's death. Aye, I know; the old chestnut depending on whether the reader likes Adam or not. :D

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Tue Oct 04, 2005 10:49 am
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Post Re: Spoilers below!
Mil Goose wrote:
Do you think it slotted in well between the tale with Avenger and the next one, Stand into Danger?


I think it did. I didn't notice any obvious problems. As you said, the old Richard was certainly there.

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I haven't been one of those who'd scratched my head over Dancer's demise, but seeing as AK was filling in the gaps, I admit I did expect more too.

Perhaps it would have been better for the book to have remained unwritten, and the demise of Dancer unsolved


I never was one of those who spent much time thinking about Dancer either... but there was so much hype surrounding this book "solving the mystery" that I got caught up in it.

I agree with you. In hindsight, it would have been better for it to have remained on the author's hard-drive. What's wrong with a bit of mystery now and then? I think it was more a matter that Kent/Reeman is running out of story ideas with such a long series. He probably got repeated questions from new readers about Dancer and finally decided to answer his readers.

Future readers will never realize the controversy.

Don


Tue Oct 04, 2005 1:55 pm
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I haven't read Band of Brothers yet, but will in the near future. The book I've always wanted Reeman/Kent to write is Bolitho as a 12-year-old in his first ship. Clearly the author has the characters to write it, he introduced that captain in To Glory We Steer, but I've never seen any indication that he will ever tackle a project that shows Richard as a four-thumbs, one finger neophyte in the RN.
It seems to me that there would be more material to develop Richard at a younger age than the current Midshipman books deal with.
Sorry for taking this slightly OT.
Charity


Wed Oct 05, 2005 6:40 am
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HMS Charity wrote:
I haven't read Band of Brothers yet, but will in the near future. The book I've always wanted Reeman/Kent to write is Bolitho as a 12-year-old in his first ship. Clearly the author has the characters to write it, he introduced that captain in To Glory We Steer, but I've never seen any indication that he will ever tackle a project that shows Richard as a four-thumbs, one finger neophyte in the RN.
It seems to me that there would be more material to develop Richard at a younger age than the current Midshipman books deal with.
Sorry for taking this slightly OT.
Charity


Not off topic at all, Charity - extremely to the point seeing as we're talking about his midshipman days.

I agree, it would have been nice to read about his initial impressions at going aboard the first time as the less-than-capable Bolitho.

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Wed Oct 05, 2005 8:11 am
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I finished 'BOB' last week - it started well enough and the writing style was much more in the 'old' AK/DR style that initially got me into AoS - good descriptive but not too much to hold back the storyline.
As has been said it does not centre around the Martyn Dancer 'episode' - which almost appears as an incidental at the end of the book. My copy was only 129 pages and the generous spacing on small pages makes me wonder how it big would be in paperback.
Despite this I still it found it enjoyable reading about Richard again - rather than Adam.

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Wed Oct 26, 2005 10:00 pm
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Sjnplym wrote:
My copy was only 129 pages and the generous spacing on small pages makes me wonder how it big would be in paperback.

I went to Borders today and had a look at the book. I was rather disappointed to see how thin it was for something that costs $20. Bought the Max Adams Collingwood bio instead.

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susan


Sun Nov 20, 2005 2:26 am
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Okay, so I finally purchased BoB (at 2/3 price) and finished it earlier today.

My impressions: Martyn's death scene is well handled, although their relationship became almost an Archie/Horatio episode from the Hornblower films.

Kent handled those elements well, but there were other elements like they could have been made richer, fuller. I'm well aware of the "everything speeding up" aspect of action, but there is also one of "everything slowing down" and the tiniest little detail suddenly standing out like a drop of blood on new breeches and I missed those elements in the climax of the novella.

I've read a lot of books that were no longer than BoB (which is an honest 110 pages, making it a novella). I would recommend it as good beach reading for this summer, and it will come out in paper back in July, according to reports I have seen.

Charity


Thu Apr 13, 2006 7:18 pm
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