Two pages into Lieutenant Hornblower (ancient Pan copy, price 35p) and it's obvious that O'Brian is the better writer, 'mud and stars differential' type. Id est, two pages of tell don't show and appalling run-on sentences. He thought this but then he thought this but then a smile from those frank brown eyes made him think this. Cover blurb: What a tremendously good writer he is! Err- no.
There's often a reason why second hand books are second hand.