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Kydd: Thomas Kydd 1
 
 

Kydd: Thomas Kydd 1 [Kindle Edition]

Julian Stockwin
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Amazon.co.uk Review

From C.S. Forester onwards, the tale of high adventure on the sea has produced some splendidly vivid writing; in fact, as genres go, there have probably been more consistently impressive creations in this field than in all historical fiction. With such a legacy looming behind him, a new author has to be able to present something special in order to make any kind of mark. With Kydd, Julian Stockwin quickly signals that he is an innovative and accomplished fresh talent in the field, with a complex and richly drawn hero (always so necessary in the naval tale) at the centre of an intelligently structured narrative.

Thomas Paine Kydd is press-ganged in Guildford, and is wrenched from his safe profession of wig making to join the crew of the 98-gun line-of-battle ship Duke William. We have been treated to the horrors of the below-deck life of the common seaman before, but Stockwin renders these scenes as exuberantly as any of his predecessors. He is also particularly good at delineating the changing character of his hero, as Kydd comes to admire the skills of the seamen and (of course) becomes a true sailor himself. Although, at times, the book has the feel of the setting up of a new series, it's none the worse for that. Stockwin can command your attention with ease when his writing has such unyielding power as:

The boatswain's mate advanced, taking the cat-o-nine-tails from the bag. He took a position a full eight feet away to one side, and drew the long deadly lashes through his fingers, experimentally sweeping back to ensure that there was enough clear space to swing it. Kydd stared across the few yards of empty deck at the man's pale, helpless body. At the instant it flew downward the drumbeats stopped, so the sickening smack of the blow came loud and clear. Donelly did not cry out, but his gasp was high and choked. The nine tails not only left long bruised weals, but at every point where they landed, blood began to seep.
--Barry Forshaw

Amazon Review

From C.S. Forester onwards, the tale of high adventure on the sea has produced some splendidly vivid writing; in fact, as genres go, there have probably been more consistently impressive creations in this field than in all historical fiction. With such a legacy looming behind him, a new author has to be able to present something special in order to make any kind of mark. With Kydd, Julian Stockwin quickly signals that he is an innovative and accomplished fresh talent in the field, with a complex and richly drawn hero (always so necessary in the naval tale) at the centre of an intelligently structured narrative.

Thomas Paine Kydd is press-ganged in Guildford, and is wrenched from his safe profession of wig making to join the crew of the 98-gun line-of-battle ship Duke William. We have been treated to the horrors of the below-deck life of the common seaman before, but Stockwin renders these scenes as exuberantly as any of his predecessors. He is also particularly good at delineating the changing character of his hero, as Kydd comes to admire the skills of the seamen and (of course) becomes a true sailor himself. Although, at times, the book has the feel of the setting up of a new series, it's none the worse for that. Stockwin can command your attention with ease when his writing has such unyielding power as:

The boatswain's mate advanced, taking the cat-o-nine-tails from the bag. He took a position a full eight feet away to one side, and drew the long deadly lashes through his fingers, experimentally sweeping back to ensure that there was enough clear space to swing it. Kydd stared across the few yards of empty deck at the man's pale, helpless body. At the instant it flew downward the drumbeats stopped, so the sickening smack of the blow came loud and clear. Donelly did not cry out, but his gasp was high and choked. The nine tails not only left long bruised weals, but at every point where they landed, blood began to seep.
--Barry Forshaw

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 399 KB
  • Print Length: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder (11 Dec 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003LPV10Y
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #18,668 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Julian Stockwin was sent at the age of fourteen to Indefatigable, a tough sea-training school. He joined the Royal Navy at fifteen before transferring to the Royal Australian Navy, where he served for eight years in the Far East, Antarctic waters and the South Seas. In Vietnam he saw active service in a carrier task force.



After leaving the Navy (rated Petty Officer), Julian practised as an educational psychologist. He lived for some time in Hong Kong, where he was commissioned into the Royal Naval Reserve. He was awarded the MBE and retired with the rank of Lieutenant Commander. He now lives in Devon with his wife Kathy. More information can be found on his website at www.julianstockwin.com.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sharpe hits the high seas 28 July 2011
By Parm TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
The first book in a long running series this title has many of the debut title issues, the characters need a bit more work, and there is innocence to the plot that seems to be scared to move away from the standard set by others who have already ridden these waves.

But when you take all that for what it is you can see beyond to the fantastic melodic dialog, and the characters that do start to grow on you and work their way into your affections.
There is still plenty of work to do from Kydd, but having read the rest of the series and read the rest of the reviews i can tell others that Julian did learn and progress the characters, he did move away from that innocent slightly scared plotline to create his own original work, and when that was coupled with his obvious passion for the sea and all things nautical, you end up with a series that does rank up there with Forrester and O'Brian, every year i look forward to my new instalment of Kydd...but to get there you have to start at the beginning.

Well recommended

(Parm)
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23 of 27 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
Like a previous reviewer, I found this a hard book to get into at first. In fact, I pretty much gave up after the turgid anchor raising mentioned below. But having heard Julian talk about his book at the Historical Novel Society's conference in London I thought that he was a very engaging character and he deserved another attempt at his book.
It's a difficult book to review, simply because it is such a mixed bag of inspiring moments, wonderful scene setting and impressive dialogue, on the one hand, and underdeveloped characters, irrelevant episodes and recycled events from other books. For example, both Forester and Cornwell have used the small scale invasion of the French coast before. Why couldn't Stockwin have come up with something more original?
The main difficulty with the novel is its perspective. While I was greatly looking forward to a worm's eye view of Nelson's navy, it is a viewpoint that is fraught with problems for the author. Big things rarely happen to small people. What makes Sharpe and Hornblower work for their readers is the sense in which they are bound up with significant events and have sufficient rank to act with a degree of autonomy within the rigid confines of military structures. If our hero happens to be a squaddie, or equivalent, then he can only respond to most events. I had the same difficulty with a character joining the Roman legions, and had to get round it by offering a multiple perspective across the ranks, together with a sub-plot that gave the protagonist a measure of autonomy. While Kydd's experiences on the rigging of his ship of the line are engaging, the narrative, such as it is, just floats listlessly around. What on earth was the point of the sequence dealing with the insurance scandal ship? Other than filling up a few pages.
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stockwin's Kydd Series 13 July 2006
Format:Paperback
I have just finished both Kydd and Artemis. I found out about the books from my son, who was going to buy me one of the later ones as he knows I love naval history fiction. I asked him to get me the first, though, so I could "start at the beginning".

Well, what a start - I have found both books entralling. Their technical detail is excellent along with very plausible story lines. As another reviewer alluded - the technical jargon can be quite daunting but then , how would it have been to a young pressed landman ..... ????? It helps to let the reader understand what Kydd must have felt like, and we can "learn" with him.

Artemis continues to build on a very strong start and develops more of the (expected future) relationship between Kydd and the enigmatic Renzi - a fascinating "coupling".

The next three books are now at home ready to be taken up. Having a break, though, with the other end of the naval spectrum, a techno-thriller by Patrick Robinson.

I look forward to returning to the 18th century thereafter.

Thanks Julian - stay bent to the task and keep 'em coming !!!

PS Thanks also to Con Campbell at julianstockwin.com who managed to get me a copy of Artemis for my holiday when I could not find one in the shops - great website as well.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thomas Kidd 26 Jun 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book is the 1st in a series and is excellent reading.I am now hooked on Thomas Kidd the hero and it gives an insite of the fighting ships of the 19th century.
Julian Stockwin is the C S Forrester of the 21st century.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A retrospective view 8 Sep 2011
By Big Jim TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I note the age of some of the reviews on here - including one by a certain Mr Scarrow in 2001. I wonder whatever happened to him?
So if you get round to reading this review what can I add to what has gone before? Not much I have to say but I think some of the early reviews are a bit too critical of the derivativeness (is that a word?) of the book and the thinness of the characterisation. You only need to look at the star ratings of subsequent volumes to note that the series develops nicely and that the author soon fionds his stride but you have to start somewhere and you might as well start here at volume 1. Bit obvious that really but there is enough here around the admittedly interminable nautical jargon - which you can skip quite frankly - to draw you in and want to know what happens next. So as a stand alone book this has its faults but as a starting point to a series which gets better and better then it does the job
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Easy reading with enough technical and action stuff to keep me! interested
Published 12 days ago by Mr. Edward Bellenie
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, this is the start of a series relating ...
Brilliant, this is the start of a series relating to a young wig maker living in Guildford, when he was dramatily caught by the press, and here starts a life on the ocean, serving... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Dave M
3.0 out of 5 stars Review
This book is the first of whole series and serves to introduce Tom Kidd,the main character, and Renzie, his friend. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Gordon C
5.0 out of 5 stars kydd by thomas kydd
I have bought several books from amazon for my husband and myself , so these comments are for all the books. Arrived in perfect condition and on time. Read more
Published 7 months ago by jean woollett
2.0 out of 5 stars Well written but not my cup of tea
There was far too much seamanship and terms for my liking. This is not to say it was in anyway a bad book, just not for me, sorry!
Published 10 months ago by Big T
1.0 out of 5 stars Boring
It is probably OK if you are interested in the detailed work of running a sailing ship (very boring), but if you are looking for a plot and some action ,then skip the first 50%... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Cyclist
5.0 out of 5 stars great
A great naval yarn, it takes a while to get used to the language used but once you get over that and get into the story it's a good read.
Published 13 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Julian Stockwin
I have the complete collection of julian stockwin kydd books, most in Hard cover just trying to get the last couple in hard cover, They are Great books with lots of action,
Published 13 months ago by Phil
3.0 out of 5 stars Kydd
Very good, will try the next book in the series and hopefully that will be as good as the first
Published 14 months ago by Steve Morgan
5.0 out of 5 stars Thomas Kydd ( Kydd )
I Enjoy This Era Of Story and Especially The Sea Going Saga's.
Excellent reading. Good Introduction of The Main Players.
Good Description of The Vessel. Read more
Published 18 months ago by A. Ward
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