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 Kenneth Maynard: Lieutenant Lamb 
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Post Kenneth Maynard: Lieutenant Lamb
Kenneth Maynard – Matthew Lamb series

I need help with this author’s work. Does it get better?

I recently finished reading Kenneth Maynard’s "Lieutenant Lamb."

Before I would read the remaining two novels in this series ("First Lieutenant," and "Lamb in Command") someone needs to tell me that it gets better. This first book is a "cookie-cutter" novel. Every thing is much like other novels. So plain, so "vanilla," so predicable.

Here is the sum total that you learn about the central character: he is tall, young and very thin. This is his first posting as an officer after five years as a midshipman in some unknown ship. There are no references to his home, family, or previous friends. He is like a generic officer. He is as near a blank page as possible while still walking and talking. During the course of the novel he loses his virginity and his little finger. Both seem to generate the same amount of interest. Does his character flesh out in the later novels?

There is some sailing and a storm -- a gun gets loose. The captain drinks too much at times but not when it would impact critical command decisions. There is a predicable battle with a French ship as the climax. Some people die. It’s as if the author took all the common events from AoS books and pasted them in this book. It’s just flat. If this was the first or only AoS book I ever read, it might be OK, but once you compare it to another… well. [I read this immediately before reading "The Fox and the Faith" by Dan Parkinson and the contrast was shocking.]

I didn’t have to look up a single new term nor place. There is a minimum of technical terms and procedures.

Since it was published in 1984, I suspect it was an attempt to jump on POB’s coattails and make some easy money.

Did I miss something or am I being too critical?

Don


Mon Oct 03, 2005 8:40 am
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Post Re: Kenneth Maynard – Matthew Lamb series
timoneer wrote:
Before I would read the remaining two novels in this series ("First Lieutenant," and "Lamb in Command") someone needs to tell me that it gets better. This first book is a "cookie-cutter" novel. Every thing is much like other novels. So plain, so "vanilla," so predicable.

I read them a few years ago. To be honest, I can't remember much about them, except that Lamb didn't really appeal to me as a character at that time. I put him in the same category as Lambdin's Alan Lewrie, who also doesn't do much for me.

There's a fourth book, Lamb's Mixed Fortunes, which I haven't read. It's harder to track down than the first three.

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Tue Oct 04, 2005 12:46 am
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Post Re: Kenneth Maynard – Matthew Lamb series
susan wrote:
I read them a few years ago. To be honest, I can't remember much about them, except that Lamb didn't really appeal to me as a character at that time.

Susan, sounds like Lamb didn't stand out any more in the later books than in the first one or you would have remembered him better. I have decided that it probably would be a waste to track down the others -- especially since there is so much more other literature to read.

Thanks, Don


Tue Oct 04, 2005 2:06 am
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Post Re: Kenneth Maynard – Matthew Lamb series
susan wrote:
timoneer wrote:
Before I would read the remaining two novels in this series ("First Lieutenant," and "Lamb in Command") someone needs to tell me that it gets better. This first book is a "cookie-cutter" novel. Every thing is much like other novels. So plain, so "vanilla," so predicable.


I read them a few years ago. To be honest, I can't remember much about them, except that Lamb didn't really appeal to me as a character at that time. I put him in the same category as Lambdin's Alan



I don't wish to hijack this Maynard thread - I can't discuss them, as I've never read them - but you mentioned Lambdin.

Lambdin doesn't do much for me, although I like the character, Lewrie, well enough. I don't care for Lambdin's writing much or his portrayal of a RN officer.

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Tue Oct 04, 2005 10:20 am
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