Author Topic: Easy to read, rip-roaring, swashbuckling adventures.  (Read 3586 times)

Fry

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Easy to read, rip-roaring, swashbuckling adventures.
« on: March 15, 2020, 08:19:13 AM »
Recently read Treasure Island, I found a copy lying around and realised I'd never actually read it. Excellent little book. It was fascinating to see how thoroughly just one relatively short and simple book established an entire set of cliches and conventions. Everything we think about when we think about pirates came from this one bloke. Mental. Anyway, I loved it. It put me in mind of The Three Musketeers, one of my absolute favourites. I was wondering what some of CaB's recommendations are when it comes to kind of basic, enjoyable little adventure romps. Moustache twirling villains, fit dames all in distress, comraderie, fighting.... adventure! All that fun shit. Old or new don't care. What you got?

magval

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Re: Easy to read, rip-roaring, swashbuckling adventures.
« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2020, 08:22:21 AM »
Would Bond count? Fits a few of what you mentioned at the end there and Dr No in particular is a fuckin blast.

Re: Easy to read, rip-roaring, swashbuckling adventures.
« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2020, 09:12:49 AM »
The 39 Steps.



Being the implausible escapades of one Richard Hannay after getting sucked into a German spy conspiracy prior to the start of WW1. it's a proper old-fashioned page-turner. no wonder it's been adapted for films & TV about a million times.

Cerys

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Re: Easy to read, rip-roaring, swashbuckling adventures.
« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2020, 09:37:07 AM »
The Pyrates, by George Macdonald Fraser.

bgmnts

  • Depressed to the point of poisonous toxicity.
Re: Easy to read, rip-roaring, swashbuckling adventures.
« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2020, 09:41:43 AM »
Hard to look past the Musketeers, aye.

chveik

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Re: Easy to read, rip-roaring, swashbuckling adventures.
« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2020, 10:41:38 AM »
The Master of Ballantrae, also by Stevenson

Re: Easy to read, rip-roaring, swashbuckling adventures.
« Reply #6 on: March 15, 2020, 11:28:10 AM »
The Bulldog Drummond stories, by Sapper (Herman McNeile) are good.  They were written in the 20s and 30s.  Be warned that one of the books, called Female of the Species, includes the word 'n**ger' used by the hero, Hugh Drummond.

QDRPHNC

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Re: Easy to read, rip-roaring, swashbuckling adventures.
« Reply #7 on: March 15, 2020, 12:26:25 PM »
English Passengers. An engrossing, well-written page-turner.

Sin Agog

  • Dogs fucked the pope; no fault of mine
Re: Easy to read, rip-roaring, swashbuckling adventures.
« Reply #8 on: March 15, 2020, 12:53:55 PM »
There are some actual public domain accounts by real-life pirates that are surprisingly fun to read.  At least if you're me and you've got a weird fetish for historical horse's mouth scribblings.  I think this one was written by an O.G. pirate about some of his more notable companions (haven't read it in years, but I seem to recall one of them being a woman, but that might just be some old Errol Flynn knock-off): https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/8635231-the-pirates-of-panama

Captain Crunch

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Re: Easy to read, rip-roaring, swashbuckling adventures.
« Reply #9 on: March 15, 2020, 10:40:18 PM »
Mortal Engines is very good, lots of action and nice Adams-y humour. 

Famous Mortimer

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Re: Easy to read, rip-roaring, swashbuckling adventures.
« Reply #10 on: March 16, 2020, 03:45:41 PM »
The Count of Monte Cristo (preferably that new translation) is fantastic. The entire second half of the book is one long fantastic revenge story. So much fun to read.

The Patrick O'Brian "Aubrey / Maturin" series is a lot of fun too. 

Mister Six

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Re: Easy to read, rip-roaring, swashbuckling adventures.
« Reply #11 on: March 16, 2020, 04:38:35 PM »
Mortal Engines is very good, lots of action and nice Adams-y humour.

Oh, really? The film looked very po-faced for such a daft concept.

Chollis

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Re: Easy to read, rip-roaring, swashbuckling adventures.
« Reply #12 on: March 16, 2020, 05:13:36 PM »
The book was much better than that abomination of a film, it is YA fiction though. Apparently he wanted to make it a fair bit darker but publisher said no :(

Re: Easy to read, rip-roaring, swashbuckling adventures.
« Reply #13 on: March 16, 2020, 09:40:40 PM »
I seem to remember that 'The Stars My Destination' moved along at a fair old lick.

Re: Easy to read, rip-roaring, swashbuckling adventures.
« Reply #14 on: March 16, 2020, 11:05:51 PM »
Mark Gatiss' Lucifer Box novels were OK if you don't mind his shtick.

Re: Easy to read, rip-roaring, swashbuckling adventures.
« Reply #15 on: March 16, 2020, 11:13:09 PM »
I seem to remember that 'The Stars My Destination' moved along at a fair old lick.

Oh yeah that's a great book. Couldn't get into The Demolished Man the same way, but I will try again.

Mark Gatiss' Lucifer Box novels were OK if you don't mind his shtick.

I really liked the first one. At the time I thought the opening line of the second book was fantastic but I admit I didn't make it through the whole book. My brother tells me its better than the first though.

My nomination is Tim Powers' On Stranger Tides. It's not a Pirates of the Caribbean thing, although it does contain pirates and the Caribbean. It inspired Monkey Island!


Dewt

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Re: Easy to read, rip-roaring, swashbuckling adventures.
« Reply #16 on: March 16, 2020, 11:13:31 PM »
The Beetle by Richard Marsh.

Re: Easy to read, rip-roaring, swashbuckling adventures.
« Reply #17 on: March 16, 2020, 11:19:27 PM »
The Pyrates, by George Macdonald Fraser.

Flashman too, natch.

These are kids' books but actually, they're wasted on kids:


Sin Agog

  • Dogs fucked the pope; no fault of mine
Re: Easy to read, rip-roaring, swashbuckling adventures.
« Reply #18 on: March 17, 2020, 01:52:34 AM »
The Beetle by Richard Marsh.

Remember liking this.

Recently really gotten into a woman named Francis Stevens (or Gertrude Barrows Bennett).  She got into the writing racket to supplement her income when her husband died doing some real-life expeditioning, leaving her with an elderly mother and a few tykes to feed.  Thing is, she was blessed with a pretty wicked imagination- Lovecraft was a fan, though her works were usually imbued with a much stronger sense of adventure and globetrotting, like a less schlocky Abraham Merritt.  The Heads of Cerberus might be the best place to start.  That has her characters finding a powder that transports anyone who breathes it in or touches it to a shadowy liminal dimension manned by dancing little people and a spider lady (it's a shame when your favourite bit is early on in a book, but that is definitely mine), which they then pass through to go two hundred years in the future.  Here people take part in a rigged olympics to receive powerful positions over the plebs.  It's a pulpy (but a bit better than that) adventure novel, so don't expect Orwell or anything.  The other few books I've read from her have each been very different from each other (Claimed being the most similar), but they're all pretty inspired.  I believe she gave up writing when her mother passed away and she no longer had to work from home.

Dewt

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Re: Easy to read, rip-roaring, swashbuckling adventures.
« Reply #19 on: March 17, 2020, 02:34:31 AM »
Remember liking this.

It's just a really easy, fun read.

Sin Agog

  • Dogs fucked the pope; no fault of mine
Re: Easy to read, rip-roaring, swashbuckling adventures.
« Reply #20 on: March 17, 2020, 02:42:33 AM »
Been yonks, but I definitely tore through it.  It's like a Jack the Ripper-era version of The Thing.  Also happens to be written by the granddad of the Limey Lovecraft, Robert Aickman.

timebug

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Re: Easy to read, rip-roaring, swashbuckling adventures.
« Reply #21 on: March 17, 2020, 09:42:56 AM »
The Richard Sharpe novels by Bernard Cornwell fit this mould too.Forget the stit telly version with Sean Bean playing Sean Bean, but try the original books. 21 novels and three long-ish 'short stories' I ignored the telly version when my Dad used to watch it,
and had no idea about the books until a couple of years ago,when I stumbled upon them, and blazed through them.
And I agree the Aubrey/Maturin books by Patrick O'Brian are very good as well!

gilbertharding

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Re: Easy to read, rip-roaring, swashbuckling adventures.
« Reply #22 on: March 18, 2020, 02:56:28 PM »
Rogue Male, by Geoffrey Household is pretty hard to beat - there is real tension in the parts where he's on the run and hiding in Dorset. And the bit where he shoots the baddie in the face with the crossbow...

Riddle of the Sands, by Erskine Childers is too convoluted and has too much rowing to class as 'rip roaring' or 'easy to read' by today's standards.

Re: Easy to read, rip-roaring, swashbuckling adventures.
« Reply #23 on: March 18, 2020, 07:14:29 PM »
Lord Tyger, by Phillip Jose Farmer is a rip roaring, bloody adventure.  Interesting take on the 'raised in the wild' trope.

Re: Easy to read, rip-roaring, swashbuckling adventures.
« Reply #24 on: July 24, 2020, 06:50:58 PM »
try 'The Golden Ocean'  by Patrick O'Brian

QDRPHNC

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Re: Easy to read, rip-roaring, swashbuckling adventures.
« Reply #25 on: July 24, 2020, 09:08:20 PM »
English Passengers, great story about a group of strangers sailing to Van Diemen's land, unknowingly aboard a Manx smuggling vessel.

Ambient Sheep

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Re: Easy to read, rip-roaring, swashbuckling adventures.
« Reply #26 on: July 28, 2020, 04:54:07 PM »
I seem to remember that 'The Stars My Destination' moved along at a fair old lick.

Thirded on this one.

Re: Easy to read, rip-roaring, swashbuckling adventures.
« Reply #27 on: July 28, 2020, 05:17:39 PM »
The Tiger Standish adventures by Sydney Horler.

Re: Easy to read, rip-roaring, swashbuckling adventures.
« Reply #28 on: August 03, 2020, 07:23:51 PM »
Recently read Treasure Island, I found a copy lying around and realised I'd never actually read it. Excellent little book

I was in the same boat schooner, having never read another word of Stevenson after having Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde ruined for me by school. I'm halfway through, after your recommendation, and am having a wonderful time with the thing. There's absolutely no fat on it, which is nice given my limited alone time/attention span - just pure fun.

Cheers for the reminder!

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