September 15, 2001
MarkBernstein.org
 

Beat To Quarters

Beat To Quarters
C. S. Forester
Is O'Brian really better than Forester? As I pass the half-way mark of the Aubrey/Maturin saga, it seemed time to check again, and yes, it's true: Hornblower is great fun, but Aubrey is deeper, richer, and more fully connected to his age. The outlandish claim that O'Brian's series are the greatest historical novel, ever, seems less outlandish today than it did a decade ago.

This is an important claim, too: you can argue (as indeed Paul Fussell does argue) that the historical novel will turn out to be the genre of our time.