Doctor Dogbody’s Leg is one of the most entertaining books I’ve had the pleasure of reading. It is a series of short, seafaring adventures written by none other than James Norman Hall, one-half of the duo who authored the Bounty Trilogy.
In this 272-page collection, Hall conjures the character of F. Dogbody, retired ship’s surgeon of Her majesty’s Royal Navy, whose left (larboard) leg was lost in action during the Napoleonic Wars.
As the good Doctor gathers with old friends and fellow seamen at The Cheerful Tortoise, he is repeatedly cajoled into recounting how he came to lose his leg, which he does with hilarious panache. The story changes with every telling, a series of “ludicrous but expertly executed fibs” that leave his listeners dumbfounded.
For those who enjoy nautical adventures, Doctor Dogbody’s Leg is a treasure of short, funny tales of the sea. I shall never relinquish my Heart of Oak’s Classic edition. 🙂
(Holt paperback; Reprint Edition, 1998)