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 Alaric Bond: The Jackass Frigate 
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Post Alaric Bond: The Jackass Frigate
I saw this book mentioned on a blog: The Jackass Frigate by Alaric Bond

It seems to be self-published (Pen Press Publishers), which puts me off a bit, having read some really poor stuff from some of the authors who choose to go this route.

Has anyone read it? Any good?

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susan


Fri Oct 03, 2008 8:35 pm
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I've placed a request with Cambs Libraries to get it in stock. It has a good customer review on Amazon.co.uk.


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Tue Oct 07, 2008 7:49 am
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This is Alaric (although I was only really called that when my mother told me off); friends call me Jim. I actually found this forum when this posting came up on Google, and was almost overawed by the level of activity and knowledge. I have been keeping a low profile as I could not be certain of the “ethos” (at one time I was a member of another forum that followed my musical interests - they fought like tigers!). I also felt it best in case Mil, or anyone else, does not like the book!

Since joining it as come as a pleasant surprise to find so many supportive, and informed members. What is almost as important, there seems to be a genial acceptance of all levels of knowledge and learning. I find this non confrontational approach both refreshing and encouraging; no one knows it all; if they did, where would the pleasure be in finding out more? A brief glance at the membership list reveals other writers that I have read and respect and I now feel very happy for Mil or anyone else to say what they like about Jackass, as I know it would be an honest opinion based on knowledge and genuine appreciation of the subject and period.

To date I have had several good reviews and only one less so, in which it was described it as “Not bad, but not Alexander Kent.” This is fine, as I have enjoyed Kent, but disappointing as I was intending different tack., So much Historical Nautical Fiction is set about one character, and the natural extension is to follow him (usually him), from boyhood to old age. This “hero who becomes an admiral” formula produces some excellent books, but has become almost intrinsic to the genre. A single central character, although good for reader identification and appreciation, sends a strong message: you know that they will survive to the end.

I am intending a series based on a wide selection of characters from all levels and disciplines of a ship, from the third class volunteer to commissioned ranks. Some to prosper, others fail; a few might appear in successive books at different ranks and in different vessels, others may be wounded, die, run, or remain in their present rank and position. I am also hoping to link more firmly to actual events; Jackass touches on the Bantry Bay invasion, and culminates at St Vincent; along the way many figures from the time are encountered.

The second book, set in an Ardent class 64, is almost ready and the third (based on the mutinies, Duncan and Camperdown), is in preparation. Jackass can be ordered from any UK library; I’m not sure of the situation abroad, but I have two review copies left that I will gladly send to anyone who asks. Further information is available at my website; www.alaricbond.com

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Fri Nov 07, 2008 4:24 pm
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Badger wrote:


..... A brief glance at the membership list reveals other writers that I have read and respect and I now feel very happy for Mil or anyone else to say what they like about Jackass, as I know it would be an honest opinion based on knowledge and genuine appreciation of the subject and period. ...





I'll be honest, Badger; I'm just waiting on receiving notificaiton from the library that it awaits me.


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Tue Nov 11, 2008 11:06 am
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NO SPOILERS

Thanks to Jim for sending me one of his review copies for which I am grateful.

I particularly enjoyed this very readable novel, which as he said, is about the crew of the frigate mentioned in the title. A novel idea and one which works well, IMO. However, I did need to keep a list of who was what which helped enormously as the story progressed. (I recently read a novel about the Crusades where the author included a character list as the series developed. What do you think, Jim?)

The characters - some likeable, and others, not so likeable - are brought to life in a vivid description, and it will be interesting to see which "survive" into subsequent books. (I have my own theories on this one, but I'll keep that to myself for the time being ;) )

I'm not going to say too much here about the plot, but the tale involves characters both real and fictitious, has a mystery element running through a good deal of it, and and I think the conclusion of the book contains a really articulate master stroke of an idea for involving the characters first-hand in the Battle of St Vincent. A nice touch, Jim; I like that one!

Needless to say, I look forward to reading the second book about the 64.


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Mon Dec 08, 2008 9:49 am
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Jim was very kind to send me a copy of this book as well.

As he explained in his post earlier on in this thread, he has taken a different approach by using more of an ensemble cast rather than focusing on one hero. This gives the reader a good idea of how all of the parts (men) contribute to the function of a ship as a whole. It also makes the story less predictable, as it is harder to tell which characters will live or die.

The interpersonal dynamics were interesting, showing the effects of good and bad officers and men upon each other.

One voice that might be interesting to include in a future novel is a woman's. I'm not talking about some eye-candy Mary Sue type or a woman dressed as a man. Maybe a gunner's or carpenter's wife?

There were a couple of typos I noticed and a point or two I questioned. However, I found the book very readable and interesting.

I had a chuckle at the bit where Hallowell slapped Jervis on the back, which produced a small cloud of dust.

Mil mentioned a character list. I usually keep one for myself for addition to the main Sailing Navies site. A printed list would be useful, especially as the series progresses and more characters appear.

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Mon Feb 09, 2009 6:43 am
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Post Re: Alaric Bond: The Jackass Frigate
I've been asked to clarify the reading order for my “Fighting Sail” series.

His Majesty's Ship is the first book, the sequel being The Jackass Frigate. Number three, True Colours, came out at the end of April (and number four is currently in the planning stage).

The Jackass Frigate was first published by Pen Press, a small independent British publisher, in 2008. Fireship Press bought His Majesty's Ship in 2009, and then acquired the international rights to Jackass, which was published by them later in 2009 (some subtle differences exist between Fireship and Pen Press editions; these are mainly to make the book appeal to the American market, and are not significant). A lot of the characters from HMS continue in Jackass, with more appearing again in True Colours.

Further information is available on my website: http://www.alaricbond.com

I'm sorry for any confusion!

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Sat Aug 14, 2010 5:06 pm
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Post Re: Alaric Bond: The Jackass Frigate
I just finished reading The Jackass Frigate and found it to be just as enjoyable as the first. It is set in a new 6th rate frigate that travels from England to join Sir John Jervis at the Battle of Cape St. Vincent.

There are at least four characters in this book from the first novel. I liked this continuity.

I do not think this is a spoiler since one of the plot elements mentioned on the book cover is the murder of one of the officers. There are two special twists in the plot related to the aftermath of the murder. I liked them both. One was unexpected (by me at least) and the other was unique in the novels I have read.

Once again there is focus on the crew as well as the officers.

The third in the Fighting Sail series arrived today. I am eager to get started.

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Thu Sep 23, 2010 6:49 pm
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