Captain's Surrender Paperback – 3 Aug 2010
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Thrilling! On every level, Captain's Surrender is thrilling. Alex Beecroft spins image, voice, character, setting, and story into a captivating whole, accomplishing the rare feat of inducing in the reader a forgetfulness that we are, indeed, reading...
I said at the beginning of this review that Captain's Surrender thrilled me. It satisfied a craving I've had for decades, for a certain kind of book, the kind that's so seldom written it's an almost violent surprise when one crosses my path. It drilled right down to the bedrock of my psyche, dug out that part of me that whiled away childhood afternoons with elaborate seagoing, swashbuckling epic fantasies, then set it in the sunshine beside my adolescent longing for a more bent, more tolerant world. Add to that damned good writing to satisfy an adult self with high standards and broad tastes, and you've got a keeper. And something to recommend with impunity. -- Five Stars from Lee Benoit at Rainbow Reviews --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From the Back Cover
Ambitious and handsome, Joshua Andrews had always valued his life too much to take unnecessary risks. Then he laid eyes on the elegant picture of perfection that is Peter Kenyon.
Soon to be promoted to captain, Peter Kenyon is the darling of the Bermuda garrison. With a string of successes behind him and a suitable bride lined up to share his future, Peter seems completely out of reach to Joshua.
But when the two men are thrown together to serve during a long voyage under a sadistic commander with a mutinous crew, they discover unexpected friendship. As the tension on board their vessel heats up, the closeness they feel for one another intensifies and both officers find themselves unable to reign in their passion.
Let yourself be transported back to a time when love between two men in the British Navy was punishable by death, and to a story about love, about honor, but most of all, about a Captain's Surrender. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
Just kidding. This is a great book. After just a few pages I was set back to a time when boarding a ship to the Caribbean had nothing to do with a journey on a luxury cruise ship, but with one on which you could very well die. I'm no expert on sea stories but in my opinion Alex Beecroft did a great job with her description of the life on a brig or frigat. The atmosphere is so dense that you can nearly touch the wood or smell the gunpowder.
Especially in the first chapters this also made me squirm a bit, because the book starts off with an execution, which is the reason the two main characters meet, and a lot of punishments like floggings follow. Alex Beecroft proves her love for details also in these scenes. But these descriptions doesn't seem to be exaggerated, but a detailed image of the atmosphere of brutality and terror on some of the naval ships in these times and thus are an integral part of the overall mood in which the main characters get to know each other.
The relationship between the main characters Josh and Peter starts off slowly. It's first a friendship which deepens on their journey to Bermuda and then becomes a love relationship. The struggle of both characters with their love for each other in a time in which it was forbidden and punishable is perfectly carved out. Josh is mostly concerned about Peter, of hurting him, of denying him the possibility to marry and lead a "normal" life.Read more ›
I absolutely loved Peter Kenyon as a character and longed for the whole book to be from his point of view, as I think that would have really upped the tension that extra notch - as I do admit I wasn't much taken with Josh, though I did understand where he was coming from. Emily is also great as an essential part of the "chorus".
In fact, the male romance elements were, for me, a secondary part of this novel - and I did find myself wondering how it would have been if Beecroft had been allowed to focus more on the sea-going/adventure aspects. I envisioned this as a Hornblower-type book - Peter's ascent to the captaincy and his ongoing story were for me the most important aspects. That said, the romance is well-conveyed, but I'd expect nothing less from a writer of this quality.
However, I do have to say that the cover is absolutely frightful - far, far too drippy for the novel's content, it gives totally the wrong impression and neither of the two male leads looked like that. I was actually embarrassed to be seen in public with something with that cover! Please, please, for the second edition someone have the mercy to change it! I'm also wondering if the title should be different - I'd have preferred "Kenyon's Choice". It's stronger and conveys more of who Peter is, but that's just my feeling.
In any case, I will certainly be looking out for this author's next offering.
The plot is the same old, but this does not irk me: it is 1779 in the Caribes (and the east coast of the soon to be United States). The setting is the usual British ship where noble gay men struggle with the requirements of a harsh life in a homophobic milieu.
One reviewer has mentioned the fact that the naval details are inaccurate but I am unable to confirm or deny this charge (which would be quite serious, were it true).
First, while I am sure life onboard at the time was very hard, I suspect there might have been far more tolerance towards homosexual behaviours among members of the crew. Of course this would have detracted from the angst and I understand that Ms. Beecroft chose to ignore this possibility.
The general plotting is sound and there are scenes of cleverly built and highly emotional pathos.
Problem is this generally good plotting is not enriched and fleshed out but stands there like a mechanical skeleton of a narration that takes place only occasionally (the already mentioned emotional scenes) and for the rest of the time remains there, hurried, unfinished.
Characterization does not help.
To begin with, while it is always very good (and welcome) to have strong side characters, here they enjoy nearly as many pages as the main ones. It looks as if whole chapters with more storyline for the two main ones were completely missing. Moreover the side character of Emily (who is the most important one) nearly never confronts the two main ones as if she lead a narrative life totally indipendent from them.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Good story line that keeps you guessing. Set in the British Royal Navy in more brutal times.Published on 22 July 2010 by Downsman
Books such as "Captain's Surrender" by Alex Beecroft is a read I love to hate. I hate that it exceeded my expectations and yet I love that I wish I had written this book. Read morePublished on 22 Dec. 2008 by Aonia
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