Hilarie
Character MattersWhat makes a great read? Here at Never Not Reading, we think it ultimately depends on great characters. Whether you find yourself loving them, laughing with them (or at them), or even loathing them, a great character can draw you into the story and keep you reading. To celebrate our love of great characters, we are starting a new weekly feature called Character Matters. Each week we will highlight a character that has literally jumped out at us from the pages! If you would like, please join in the fun. Feel free to link to your own character matters in the comments below if there is a character that you simply have to share with us!

A few ground rules:

  1. Who: List the name of the character
  2. Where: List the book(s), and the author
  3. Description: Please keep your descriptions as spoiler free as possible. Ruining the ending of the book might not be the best way to inspire potential readers.
  4. Why: How does this character inspire you?

Who: Dr. Stephen Maturin

Where: Jack Aubrey Series by Patrick O'Brian, beginning with Master and Commander

Description: Short, and slight, with dark skin and close cropped hair, he is the product of a liaison between an Irish military officer and a Spanish lady. He is usually rather shabbily dressed, despite ever increasing wealth, as he has little interest in fashion. He is a brilliant physician, passionate naturalist, and a competent spy when the need arises. He can speak more than a few languages, and can comprehend even more. He
is the close and devoted friend of Jack Aubrey.

Why: In my view, Stephen Maturin is the scene stealer in O'Brian's novels. His deft handling of all things medical, while at the same time working behind the scenes as a master spy, make him a character to watch. I really like Jack Aubrey, but it is Dr. Maturin who keeps me coming back for more.

Additional appearances: Dr. Maturin was portrayed by Paul Bettany in the film version of Master and Commander. Although I think Bettany is a fabulous actor, I was a little disappointed that he did not more closely resemble O'Brian's physical description.


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