David Mamet and I Share A Moment
Once you wade through the nautical terms (including the most awkward word in the English language: fo'c'sle . . . and a rope splicing term that will make you blush) then Patrick O'Brian's novel Master and Commander is less about sailing a brig in the Napoleonic Wars-- although there is plenty about sailing-- and more about how Commander Jack Aubrey navigates his great authority over men, while still being under the authority of his ranking officers; it is the first book in a series of twenty-one and I will certainly read more of them, though they are, as David Mamet calls them in a Times article, "Humble Genre Novels," but he argues that they will last longer than any of "today's putative literary gems," and then Mamet decides he will write a fan letter to O'Brian, thanking him for the great series, only to read in the newspaper that O'Brian has just died . . . and this reminds me of when I "discovered" Mitch Hedberg on a comedy DVD from Netflix, thought he was brilliantly funny, and went on-line to check if he was coming to The Stress Factory any time soon, only to find he had just died.