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Jack Tier by James Fenimore Cooper, Fiction, Historical, Classics, Sea Stories

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The old sea-dog, Captain Spike of the brigantine Molly Swash, calls out the order to first mate Mulford: the ship casts off with the tide -- and young Rose Budd is to be aboard! For Rose and her kindly aunt, it is to be a voyage for rest, recuperation, and escape from a world beset with worries and the rampant "pulmonary" disease, tuberculosis. As they soon learn, however, The old sea-dog, Captain Spike of the brigantine Molly Swash, calls out the order to first mate Mulford: the ship casts off with the tide -- and young Rose Budd is to be aboard! For Rose and her kindly aunt, it is to be a voyage for rest, recuperation, and escape from a world beset with worries and the rampant "pulmonary" disease, tuberculosis. As they soon learn, however, the best-planned vacations can go in unexpected directions -- toward romance, perhaps . . . and more alarmingly toward danger. The great American critic Van Wyck Brooks lauded Jack Tier for its describing "one of those fine, free, leisurely voyages around the world -- voyages that made men out of boys and abounded in shipwrecks and perilous adventures." Originally serialized as Rose Budd in the popular Graham's Magazine, the novel ranks among Cooper's finest tales of the sea.


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The old sea-dog, Captain Spike of the brigantine Molly Swash, calls out the order to first mate Mulford: the ship casts off with the tide -- and young Rose Budd is to be aboard! For Rose and her kindly aunt, it is to be a voyage for rest, recuperation, and escape from a world beset with worries and the rampant "pulmonary" disease, tuberculosis. As they soon learn, however, The old sea-dog, Captain Spike of the brigantine Molly Swash, calls out the order to first mate Mulford: the ship casts off with the tide -- and young Rose Budd is to be aboard! For Rose and her kindly aunt, it is to be a voyage for rest, recuperation, and escape from a world beset with worries and the rampant "pulmonary" disease, tuberculosis. As they soon learn, however, the best-planned vacations can go in unexpected directions -- toward romance, perhaps . . . and more alarmingly toward danger. The great American critic Van Wyck Brooks lauded Jack Tier for its describing "one of those fine, free, leisurely voyages around the world -- voyages that made men out of boys and abounded in shipwrecks and perilous adventures." Originally serialized as Rose Budd in the popular Graham's Magazine, the novel ranks among Cooper's finest tales of the sea.

37 review for Jack Tier by James Fenimore Cooper, Fiction, Historical, Classics, Sea Stories

  1. 4 out of 5

    Susan Blackmon

    2 stars because I had a terrible time getting into this book and I wanted to read it being interested in the Dry Tortugas. The entire book is VERY heavy in nautical terms which made it difficult at times for someone without much of that knowledge to understand what was happening. The second half of the book went much better as the story action unfolded, was this because I had started to understand the nautical or it didn't interfere as much with the story, I couldn't say. Cooper's writing style 2 stars because I had a terrible time getting into this book and I wanted to read it being interested in the Dry Tortugas. The entire book is VERY heavy in nautical terms which made it difficult at times for someone without much of that knowledge to understand what was happening. The second half of the book went much better as the story action unfolded, was this because I had started to understand the nautical or it didn't interfere as much with the story, I couldn't say. Cooper's writing style is very unique compared to contemporary books as he employs the narrator to keep the story moving.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Ali M.

    I know folks like to drag Cooper for not being as much of a prose stylist as his contemporaries, but I didn't mind this. Was it dry and overly technical at times? Yes. Repetitive? Absolutely. Overly reliant on gender stereotypes, even considering the time it was written? Uh huh—but then, wait, it subverts them by the end—but then reiterates them in the next heartbeat—but then subverts them again, working backwards, as soon as you step away from the novel. Interesting! The morally murky character I know folks like to drag Cooper for not being as much of a prose stylist as his contemporaries, but I didn't mind this. Was it dry and overly technical at times? Yes. Repetitive? Absolutely. Overly reliant on gender stereotypes, even considering the time it was written? Uh huh—but then, wait, it subverts them by the end—but then reiterates them in the next heartbeat—but then subverts them again, working backwards, as soon as you step away from the novel. Interesting! The morally murky characters here are given more weight and development than the upright ones, a fact that serves to undercut the occasionally preachy tone of Cooper's narrator. In the end, this is a fascinating bit of early adventure fiction—more than its trappings might suggest. I'm glad I read it.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Joshua Rigsby

    1 star is being charitable. Perhaps too charitable. Suffice it to say that this is not one of Cooper's gems. The story has plenty going for it. A ship is running away from an American revenue cutter. There are clandestine smuggling operations to treasonous enemy sympathizers. There is not one, not two, but at least three ship sinkings (I kept losing count). Marooning on deserted islands. And (view spoiler)[an elaborate multi-year transgender cross dressing act (hide spoiler)] . So, in theory anyw 1 star is being charitable. Perhaps too charitable. Suffice it to say that this is not one of Cooper's gems. The story has plenty going for it. A ship is running away from an American revenue cutter. There are clandestine smuggling operations to treasonous enemy sympathizers. There is not one, not two, but at least three ship sinkings (I kept losing count). Marooning on deserted islands. And (view spoiler)[an elaborate multi-year transgender cross dressing act (hide spoiler)] . So, in theory anyway, as a general fan of nautical fiction I should have been sold on this story from the beginning. But alas. First of all Cooper lets his pretentious desire to show off his robust nautical vocabulary get the best of him. He is constantly describing the benefits of this ship over another, complex tacking maneuvers, and likewise sailing terminology with nauseating detail. I enjoy a well-documented sea-story that uses proper terms, but this is not it. Second, Cooper bludgeons his reader with his view on the stupidity of females. I understand that this reflects his period. I also understand that it bogged down the story. He has a character explain to two women passengers that due to differing lines of longitude the hour in GMT is necessarily different than that in New York, which the women refuse to accept as plausible. This happens TWICE within the story, with no reason for the repetition. And on he goes with more nautical trivia which the women (as is their station as the weaker and more imbecilic sex) could not possibly comprehend. Third, there is no narrative arc. We are following one line of conflict, and then another. When finally in the end where the climax should have been there was a set of bewildering revelations and confusing transformations among the main characters. I am still not entirely sure what happened the last ten pages or so. All told, unless you are a glutton for punishment or particularly interested in Cooper, I wouldn't attempt this story. Like weevil-infested hard tack, it's just too difficult to swallow. http://joshuarigsby.com

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jack Kelleher

  5. 4 out of 5

    bob

  6. 5 out of 5

    Nina

  7. 4 out of 5

    Schuyler

  8. 5 out of 5

    Keith

  9. 5 out of 5

    Dixie Lini

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jonathan

  11. 5 out of 5

    Martha

  12. 4 out of 5

    Carolyn A Egan

  13. 5 out of 5

    darrolyn

  14. 5 out of 5

    Ben Dutton

  15. 5 out of 5

    Inithello

  16. 5 out of 5

    Dana

  17. 4 out of 5

    Ben

  18. 5 out of 5

    Sharice

  19. 5 out of 5

    Yinzadi

  20. 5 out of 5

    Rona Phillip

  21. 5 out of 5

    Xenia Theodóttir

  22. 4 out of 5

    Nadia

  23. 5 out of 5

    William Avery

  24. 4 out of 5

    Pat Winter

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jinx:The:Poet {the Literary Masochist, Ink Ninja & Word Roamer}

  26. 4 out of 5

    Dylann

  27. 4 out of 5

    The Celtic Rebel (Richard)

  28. 5 out of 5

    Caleb Elifrits

  29. 4 out of 5

    Seven Negen

  30. 5 out of 5

    Hannah Wilcox

  31. 4 out of 5

    Tom Haller

  32. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

  33. 4 out of 5

    La Vorasarn

  34. 4 out of 5

    Peter Finn

  35. 5 out of 5

    Martha

  36. 5 out of 5

    Pranab Mukherjee

  37. 4 out of 5

    ForestGardenGal

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