Mr. Midshipman Easy


Read by Adrian Praetzellis

(4.8 stars; 80 reviews)

One of the first novel-length pieces of nautical fiction, MR. MIDSHIPMAN EASY (1836) is a funny and easygoing account of the adventures of Jack Easy, a son of privilege who joins the Royal Navy. The work begins as a satire on Jack’s attachment to “the rights of man” that may try the listener’s patience. But despair not, for the story soon settles down as the philosophical midshipman begins his many triumphs over bullies, foul weather, and various damned foreigners of murderous intent.

Caveat audiens: This novel employs racial/ethnic epithets and religious stereotypes, as well as taking a rather sunny view of supply-side economics. In short, there's something here to offend almost everyone.

Frederick Marryat (1792-1848) entered the Royal Navy as a 14-year-old midshipman. He resigned his commission at the rank of captain after 24 years of service to devote his time to writing. (Summary by Adrian Praetzellis) (16 hr 16 min)

Chapters

Chapters 01 to 03 23:55 Read by Adrian Praetzellis
Chapter 04 22:55 Read by Adrian Praetzellis
Chapter 05 16:51 Read by Adrian Praetzellis
Chapter 06 24:43 Read by Adrian Praetzellis
Chapter 07 19:40 Read by Adrian Praetzellis
Chapter 08 21:23 Read by Adrian Praetzellis
Chapter 09 20:45 Read by Adrian Praetzellis
Chapter 10 26:03 Read by Adrian Praetzellis
Chapter 11 22:02 Read by Adrian Praetzellis
Chapter 12 31:43 Read by Adrian Praetzellis
Chapter 13 45:42 Read by Adrian Praetzellis
Chapter 14 36:12 Read by Adrian Praetzellis
Chapter 15 20:38 Read by Adrian Praetzellis
Chapter 16 21:01 Read by Adrian Praetzellis
Chapter 17 40:52 Read by Adrian Praetzellis
Chapter 18 36:45 Read by Adrian Praetzellis
Chapter 19 27:16 Read by Adrian Praetzellis
Chapter 20 26:06 Read by Adrian Praetzellis
Chapter 21 32:55 Read by Adrian Praetzellis
Chapter 22 28:15 Read by Adrian Praetzellis
Chapter 23 43:17 Read by Adrian Praetzellis
Chapter 24 30:10 Read by Adrian Praetzellis
Chapter 25 29:23 Read by Adrian Praetzellis
Chapter 26 24:16 Read by Adrian Praetzellis
Chapter 27 21:00 Read by Adrian Praetzellis
Chapter 28 20:41 Read by Adrian Praetzellis
Chapter 29 23:17 Read by Adrian Praetzellis
Chapter 30 19:56 Read by Adrian Praetzellis
Chapter 31 24:22 Read by Adrian Praetzellis
Chapter 32 29:06 Read by Adrian Praetzellis
Chapter 33 17:00 Read by Adrian Praetzellis
Chapter 34 19:20 Read by Adrian Praetzellis
Chapter 35 22:36 Read by Adrian Praetzellis
Chapter 36 22:09 Read by Adrian Praetzellis
Chapter 37 20:30 Read by Adrian Praetzellis
Chapter 38 13:52 Read by Adrian Praetzellis
Chapter 39 22:21 Read by Adrian Praetzellis
Chapter 40 17:04 Read by Adrian Praetzellis
Chapter 41 10:49 Read by Adrian Praetzellis

Reviews

Excellent reading of a Wonderful Book.

(5 stars)

Having previous familiarity with Capt Marryat's first book I, which I greatly enjoyed, I was delighted that this one is even better. The characters are extremely engaging and the story is rattlingly well paced. One feels a sense of loss at the end of the book. The description warns that the work is offensive because of racial epithets etc. I found the contrary to be the case. Written in the 1830s by a RN Captain, the voice of the book is remarkably colourblind although set in a world which was not. As someone once said of Rudyard Kipling, It is arrogance for the present day to expect the past to suck up to it. The father is probably a character that Quentin Tarantino would omit from the movie which he ought to make of the book, because the rights of man angle is possibly a bit much, but I thoroughly enjoyed the satire on phrenology, which made me chuckle aloud because in that we have a quasi-scientific fad which has many parallels in modern discourse. Finally many thanks to the reader. First class!

An under appreciated book

(5 stars)

I'm a very big fan of maritime history and maritime fiction. I truly believe that Mr. Midshipman Easy is a very underappreciated book. There is so much to learn about the personal experience of naval battles, the personalities one meets at sea, and the experience of Naval officers. Mephistopheles, the African cook, is such an excellent character (and read wonderful by Mr. Praetzellis). I cant say enough good things about this book. Furthermore, Adrian Praetzellis is such an excellent reader. He puts such time and thought into each of his librivox contributions and it really shows. Its very professional and entertaining, thanks again Adrian!

A beautiful recording!

(5 stars)

A timeless tale of a midshipman's rise in Nelson's navy. Widely regarded as Marryat's best work, Mr. Midshipman Easy is based on the author's adventures sailing with Lord Thomas Cochrane. This classic seafaring tale is a fascinating account of naval life and warfare, of French prisons and love affairs, and of the midshipman's berth. Marryat's ready wit, unforgettable characters, and true-to-life details have earned him praise from Conrad, Hemingway, and Ford Madox Ford, who called him "the greatest of English novelists." Full of wit, a twisty plot and a beautiful reading by Adrian Praetzellis. Highly recommended!

This is a great story

(5 stars)

Easy is as easy does, would be the motto of Midshipman Easy. Under the poor influence of his father, Easy develops some rather bad beliefs. His search for pure equality sends him to sea, where he learns a lesson or two about equality. Along the way he finds friendship, love, adventure, and success. It is a wonderful story with a happy ending. The reader did a flawless job. It was professional sounding and a pleasure to listen to. Enjoy!

(4 stars)

I'm so happy to have discovered this gem of a story. An excellent balance is struck between the "rights of man" and the reality of the world as it is. The flavor is romantically historic, even whimsical and the book is flawlessly read by one of the very best narrators on this forum. Highly recommended an would have received 5 stars but for overwrought Catholic bashing. Do have a listen.

A wonderful contribution

(5 stars)

Adrian Praetzellis brings this nautical adventure to life, giving each line so much meaning and enhancing the text, clearly appreciating Captain Marryat's original work. I doubt I would have finished reading this book if I hadn't been listening to it, but from Chapter 3 I was hooked on this excellent audio version.

Excellent Adventures (& misadventures)

(5 stars)

a 5 star reader! one of my favorites. excellent volume pitch pace pronunciation and voices for various characters! a wonderful book of growing up and becoming ones own person, making up your own mind of the world. full of adventures at sea and attacking ships. recommended for young and old.

Interesting tale with humor

(4 stars)

This was fun to listen to. Many events seemed silly in today's world (2018) and Jack's good luck could not be broken. The author has an interesting take on the value of human life. The reader is excellent, I've listened to him before.