Book picks similar to
Master and Commander: 20 Volume Set by Patrick O'Brian
Mr. Midshipman Hornblower
C.S. Forester - 1950
Bullied and forced into a duel, he takes an even chance. And then he has many more chances to show his skills and ingenuities - from sailing a ship full of wetted and swelling rice to imprisonment and saving the lives of shipwrecked sailors. And along the way, he fights galleys, feeds cattle, stays out of the way of the guillotine, and makes friends with a Duchess. Here Hornblower becomes a man and develops the strength of character which will make him a hero to his men, and to all England.
Gates of Fire
Steven Pressfield - 1998
Theirs was a suicide mission, to hold the pass against the invading millions of the mighty Persian army.Day after bloody day they withstood the terrible onslaught, buying time for the Greeks to rally their forces. Born into a cult of spiritual courage, physical endurance, and unmatched battle skill, the Spartans would be remembered for the greatest military stand in history—one that would not end until the rocks were awash with blood, leaving only one gravely injured Spartan squire to tell the tale. . . .“A novel that is intricate and arresting and, once begun, almost impossible to put down.”—Daily News “A timeless epic of man and war . . . Pressfield has created a new classic deserving a place beside the very best of the old.”—Stephen Coonts
The Archer's Tale
Bernard Cornwell - 2000
At dawn on Easter morning 1343, a marauding band of French raiders arrives by boat to ambush the coastal English village of Hookton. To brave young Thomas, the only survivor, the horror of the attack is epitomized in the casual savagery of a particular black-clad knight, whose flag -- three yellow hawks on a blue field -- presides over the bloody affair. As the killers sail away, Thomas vows to avenge the murder of his townspeople and to recapture a holy treasure that the black knight stole from the church.To do this, Thomas of Hookton must first make his way to France; So in 1343 he joins the army of King Edward III as it is about to invade the continent -- the beginning of the Hundred Years War. A preternaturally gifted bowman, Thomas quickly becomes recognized as one of England's most deadly archers in King Edward's march across France. Yet he never stops scanning the horizon for his true enemy's flag.When Thomas saves a young Frenchwoman from a bloodthirsty crowd, her father -- French nobleman Sir Guillaume d'Evecque -- rewards his bravery by joining him in the hunt for the mysterious dark knight and the stolen holy relic. What begins as a search for vengeance will soon prove the beginning of an even higher purpose: the quest for the Holy Grail itself.
Karl Marlantes - 2009
It is the timeless story of a young Marine lieutenant, Waino Mellas, and his comrades in Bravo Company, who are dropped into the mountain jungle of Vietnam as boys and forced to fight their way into manhood. Standing in their way are not merely the North Vietnamese but also monsoon rain and mud, leeches and tigers, disease and malnutrition. Almost as daunting, it turns out, are the obstacles they discover between each other: racial tension, competing ambitions, and duplicitous superior officers. But when the company finds itself surrounded and outnumbered by a massive enemy regiment, the Marines are thrust into the raw and all-consuming terror of combat. The experience will change them forever.Written over the course of thirty years by a highly decorated Vietnam veteran, Matterhorn is a visceral and spellbinding novel about what it is like to be a young man at war. It is an unforgettable novel that transforms the tragedy of Vietnam into a powerful and universal story of courage, camaraderie, and sacrifice: a parable not only of the war in Vietnam but of all war, and a testament to the redemptive power of literature.A graduate of Yale University and a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University, Karl Marlantes served as a Marine in Vietnam, where he was awarded the Navy Cross, the Bronze Star, two Navy Commendation Medals for valor, two Purple Hearts, and ten air medals. This is his first novel. He lives in rural Washington State.
George MacDonald Fraser - 1969
Join Flashman in his adventures as he survives fearful ordeals and outlandish perils across the four corners of the world.Can a man be all bad? When Harry Flashman’s adventures as the reluctant secret agent in Afghanistan lead him to join the exclusive company of Lord Cardigan’s Hussars and play a part in the disastrous Retreat from Kabul, it culminates in the rascal’s finest – and most dishonest – turn.
Johnny Got His Gun
Dalton Trumbo - 1939
This was a war to make the world safe for democracy. And if democracy was made safe, then nothing else mattered - not the millions of dead bodies, nor the thousands of ruined lives... This is no ordinary novel. This is a novel that never takes the easy way out: it is shocking, violent, terrifying, horrible, uncompromising, brutal, remorseless and gruesome... but so is war. Winner of the National Book Award.
The Clan of the Cave Bear
Jean M. Auel - 1980
Through Jean M. Auel’s magnificent storytelling we are taken back to the dawn of modern humans, and with a girl named Ayla we are swept up in the harsh and beautiful Ice Age world they shared with the ones who called themselves The Clan of the Cave Bear.A natural disaster leaves the young girl wandering alone in an unfamiliar and dangerous land until she is found by a woman of the Clan, people very different from her own kind. To them, blond, blue-eyed Ayla looks peculiar and ugly--she is one of the Others, those who have moved into their ancient homeland; but Iza cannot leave the girl to die and takes her with them. Iza and Creb, the old Mog-ur, grow to love her, and as Ayla learns the ways of the Clan and Iza’s way of healing, most come to accept her. But the brutal and proud youth who is destined to become their next leader sees her differences as a threat to his authority. He develops a deep and abiding hatred for the strange girl of the Others who lives in their midst, and is determined to get his revenge.
Robert Louis Stevenson - 1886
Or at least that was the plan, until the ship runs into trouble and David is rescued by Alan Breck Stewart, fugitive Jacobite and, by his own admission, a ‘bonny fighter’. Balfour, a canny lowlander, finds an echo of some wilder and more romantic self in the wilful and courageous Highland spirit of Alan Breck. A strange and difficult friendship is born, as their adventures begin.Kidnapped has become a classic of historical romance the world over and is justly famous as a novel of travel and adventure in the Scottish landscape. Stevenson’s vivid descriptive powers were never better than in his account of remote places and dangerous action in the Highlands in the years after Culloden.‘A cracking tale of low skulduggery and high adventure, Robert Louis Stevenson’s Kidnapped has enthralled generations of readers since its first publication in 1886. A book for thrill-seekers of all ages, this romp through Jacobite Scotland is a true classic.’ Sunday Herald‘A delicately balanced book, expertly controlled, sharply focused, and written with an affectionate irony. It is perhaps the finest of Stevenson’s novels.’ Jenni Calder
Eiji Yoshikawa - 1935
Musashi is a novel in the best tradition of Japanese story telling. It is a living story, subtle and imaginative, teeming with memorable characters, many of them historical. Interweaving themes of unrequited love, misguided revenge, filial piety and absolute dedication to the Way of the Samurai, it depicts vividly a world Westerners know only vaguely.
Dan Simmons - 2007
As part of the 1845 Franklin Expedition, the first steam-powered vessels ever to search for the legendary Northwest Passage, they are as scientifically supported an enterprise as has ever set forth. As they enter a second summer in the Arctic Circle without a thaw, though, they are stranded in a nightmarish landscape of encroaching ice and darkness. Endlessly cold, with diminishing rations, 126 men fight to survive with poisonous food, a dwindling supply of coal, and ships buckling in the grip of crushing ice. But their real enemy is far more terrifying. There is something out there in the frigid darkness: an unseen predator stalking their ship, a monstrous terror constantly clawing to get in.When the expedition's leader, Sir John Franklin, meets a terrible death, Captain Francis Crozier takes command and leads his surviving crewmen on a last, desperate attempt to flee south across the ice. With them travels an Inuit woman who cannot speak and who may be the key to survival, or the harbinger of their deaths. But as another winter approaches, as scurvy and starvation grow more terrible, and as the terror on the ice stalks them southward, Crozier and his men begin to fear that there is no escape.
Rafael Sabatini - 1922
He escapes and becomes the most feared pirate captain on the Spanish Main, but all the glory of his adventures cannot help him, for the woman he loves cannot love a thief and pirate. Even when he destroys England's enemies, even at his most triumphant...but wait! What's that... Long Description: Peter Blood, an Irish physician and former soldier is happily settled, in the 1680's, as the doctor in an English town, when the rebellion of the Duke of Monmouth catches him by accident. He saves a man's life, as a doctor must try to do, but the man is a rebel and the hanging Judge Jeffreys sentences him to ten years as an indentured slave in the Caribbean colonies. Once there, his knowledge as a physician is recognized, and thus he meets and falls in love with the daughter of the man who own his servitude; not likely to be a successful love story! A Spanish ship attacks the town, and while the Spaniards celebrate their victory he boldly steals their ship, and he and his fellow convicts sail off to become the boldest and most fearless of pirates among the islands and on the Spanish Main. But all the glory of his adventures cannot help him, for the woman he loves cannot love a thief and pirate. Even when he destroys England's enemies, even at his most triumphant...but wait! Is that... The classic novel of adventure and romance, and one of Sabatini's best.
Once an Eagle
Anton Myrer - 1968
Damon is a professional who puts duty, honor, and the men he commands above self interest. Massengale, however, brilliantly advances by making the right connections behind the lines and in Washington's corridors of power.Beginning in the French countryside during the Great War, the conflict between these adversaries solidifies in the isolated garrison life marking peacetime, intensifies in the deadly Pacific jungles of World War II, and reaches its treacherous conclusion in the last major battleground of the Cold War -- Vietnam.A study in character and values, courage, nobility, honesty, and selflessness, here is an unforgettable story about a man who embdies the best in our nation -- and in us all.
The Pillars of the Earth
Ken Follett - 1989
But what makes The Pillars of the Earth extraordinary is the time the twelfth century; the place feudal England; and the subject the building of a glorious cathedral. Follett has re-created the crude, flamboyant England of the Middle Ages in every detail. The vast forests, the walled towns, the castles, and the monasteries become a familiar landscape. Against this richly imagined and intricately interwoven backdrop, filled with the ravages of war and the rhythms of daily life, the master storyteller draws the reader irresistibly into the intertwined lives of his characters into their dreams, their labors, and their loves: Tom, the master builder; Aliena, the ravishingly beautiful noblewoman; Philip, the prior of Kingsbridge; Jack, the artist in stone; and Ellen, the woman of the forest who casts a terrifying curse. From humble stonemason to imperious monarch, each character is brought vividly to life.The building of the cathedral, with the almost eerie artistry of the unschooled stonemasons, is the center of the drama. Around the site of the construction, Follett weaves a story of betrayal, revenge, and love, which begins with the public hanging of an innocent man and ends with the humiliation of a king.For the TV tie-in edition with the same ISBN go to this Alternate Cover Edition
James Hilton - 1933
Hugh Conway saw humanity at its worst while fighting in the trenches of the First World War. Now, more than a decade later, Conway is a British diplomat serving in Afghanistan and facing war yet again—this time, a civil conflict forces him to flee the country by plane. When his plane crashes high in the Himalayas, Conway and the other survivors are found by a mysterious guide and led to a breathtaking discovery: the hidden valley of Shangri-La. Kept secret from the world for more than two hundred years, Shangri-La is like paradise—a place whose inhabitants live for centuries amid the peace and harmony of the fertile valley. But when the leader of the Shangri-La monastery falls ill, Conway and the others must face the daunting prospect of returning home to a world about to be torn open by war. Thrilling and timeless, Lost Horizon is a masterpiece of modern fiction, and one of the most enduring classics of the twentieth century.
The Game of Kings
Dorothy Dunnett - 1961
In 1547 Lymond is returning to his native Scotland, which is threatened by an English invasion. Accused of treason, Lymond leads a band of outlaws in a desperate race to redeem his reputation and save his land.