[18], In the 1960s two of O'Brian's seafaring books for children, The Golden Ocean (1956) and The Unknown Shore (1959), caught the attention of a US publisher, J B Lippincott, who were seeking an author to follow in the footsteps of C S Forester, creator of the Hornblower series of novels. Harte ensures that Aubrey receives none of those things, though he cannot prevent Aubrey gaining a reputation within the Royal Navy as one of its great, young fighting captains. I know and understand the fictional people in these books better than most of the people in my life. Until it was. The naval action in the Mediterranean is closely based on the real-life exploits of Lord Cochrane, including a battle modelled after Cochrane's spectacular victory in the brig HMS Speedy over the vastly superior Spanish frigate El Gamo. [18], Following O'Brian's death in 2000, Kevin Myers recalled in The Daily Telegraph his first reading of this and the subsequent two novels in the series: "the most glorious literary mixture ever – Jane Austen meets Gray's Anatomy meets John Buchan meets Apothecaries' Gazetteer. Reviewed in the United States on June 30, 2020. Phenomenal. Please try your request again later. I prefer the Aubrey-Maturin series to all others, even Holmes-Watson. Submit your email address to receive Barnes & Noble offers & updates. I think this series is best read in the order the books were written. . The majority Catholic population was excluded from full participation in politics and the professions. It gives an interesting (and, as far as O'Brian could manage it) authentic view of life in the Royal Navy during the Napoleonic era. It's so beautifully written that you get the gist of the action without necessarily knowing what a cross jack yard is, or a quoin or orlop. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. This is one of the greatest collections of historical fiction written, and the most lovingly crafted, endearing, rich, and human collection of fictional characters I've ever encountered. Publication in the US ceased with Desolation Island in 1978. The inspiration for the major motion picture starring Russell Crowe.The war of 1812 continues, and Current price is $14.45, Original price is $15.95. You will definitely start drinking port and saying things like "Sir, the bottle stands before you" to get someone pouring their glass and passing it on. . [19], C S Forester having died just a few years earlier, some critics were left bewildered and disappointed by the complexity of O'Brian's creation after the predictability of the Hornblower series. I don't know of another work of historical fiction that combines such a wealth of historical detail with such lovable characters and seemingly endless plot lines. And the marvel is, it hardly says enough. I haven’t read novels [in the past ten years] except for all of the Patrick O’Brian series. I had already seen the movie with Russell Crowe and this book explained how they met. Dillon suffers a crisis of conscience when ordered to intercept an American ship thought to be harbouring Irish rebels, and he works to help them avoid capture. The novel opens in April 1800. "―Sir Francis Chichester. So far very entertaining. And being a man meant something different in 1801...as we see again and again in the cordial, sometimes sparky, relations between the brash and brawny Captain Jack Aubrey (described in one review as a natural sea captain but "a perfect ass ashore") and the cerebral, introverted (yet skilled with a sabre) Dr. Steven Maturin. Use features like bookmarks, note taking and highlighting while reading Master and Commander (Vol. They are fascinating to read, although I must admit I sift through the battles. The psychological depth of O'Brian's observation is always tempered by a wit that grows on the reader; the more familiar the reader becomes with the work, the more often they will find themselves smiling at the acuteness and insight of the writing. Refresh and try again. Details of life aboard a man-of-war are faultlessly rendered: the conversational idiom of the officers in the ward room and the men on the lower deck, the food, the floggings, the mysteries of the wind and the rigging, and the roar of broadsides as the great ships close in battle. Novelist Nicola Griffith had low expectations when she started reading Patrick O'Brian's Master and Commander. O'Brian himself said that his secret was focusing on the lives, interests and surroundings of his characters, without enslaving them to mechanical plot devices. O'Brian's biographer has placed the novel at the start of what he called the author's magnum opus, a series that has become perhaps the best-loved roman fleuve of the twentieth century. The writing is mostly plain and spare but with brilliant lyrical flashes, about the lay of the sea, the set of the wind, or the quality of light for example. After viewing product detail pages, look here to find an easy way to navigate back to pages you are interested in. I am halfway through the series, book ten. If there were seventeen more novels, I'd start today. The friendship and adventure in this historical fiction series is Shakespearean in the sense that the enjoyment of language bursts free from every line. There are parts of the book that are light-hearted and hopeful, and parts that are very dark. I beseech you to start now. [14] Like Aubrey in the book, however, Cochrane did not receive from the Admiralty the promotion and prize money he might have expected from so spectacular a victory. Shame on you for your sloppy work. It is April 18, 1800, in Port Mahon, Minorca, at that time a base of the Royal Navy. I am now a huge fan of Tall Ships and Sailing Ships, and recently went on a sail, more fully appreciating the life of a sailor. All this is true. The press gangings, the squalor are all here....The battle scenes are tremendous...This is not secondhand Forester, but a really fine piece of writing",[29] while Benedict Nightingale writing in The Observer called the book "Dashing, well-timbered, pickled in the period, and with strong human tensions and cross-currents". One of our greatest contemporary novelists. "—Sir Francis Chichester. I read these whenever I want to totally lose myself in a book. Although as a physician Maturin's expertise goes far beyond that normally expected of a naval surgeon, he agrees. In 1990, the US publisher W W Norton re-issued the book and its sequels; this was an almost immediate success and drew O'Brian a new, large readership. Th. Book 10) (Aubrey/Maturin Novels), The Complete Aubrey/Maturin Novels (Vol. You’re seeing this ad based on the product’s relevance to your search query. Could not put them down and was moved to chills/laughter/tears at several intervals througho. He considers that "authenticity is a jewel", and that "the admirable men of these times ... are best celebrated in their own splendid actions rather than in imaginary contests". Forester had died in 1966 and a year later, at the age of 53, O'Brian started work on Master and Commander. This pair make Hornblower look like a pansy! The Sunday Mirror said "Nothing is glamourised. Picked up the first of these from a side table at a Marrshfield, Mass. The book proved to be the start of the 20-novel Aubrey–Maturin series, set largely in the era of the Napoleonic Wars, that O'Brian continued working on up until his death in 2000. Phenomenal and life affirming. B&B and never put them down, through 20 volumes. Master and Commander met with mixed early reviews on its first publication. —Times Literary SupplementCaptain Jack Aubrey, R. N., arrives in the Dutch East Indies to find himself appointed to the ... “Jack’s Life feels true. Something went wrong. There are parts of the book that are light-hearted and hopeful, and parts that are very dark. ', These books were my absolute favorites of all time (so far!). By the time I was through the fifth or sixth book I was beginning to understand the more technical shipping terms of the day, I was really appreciating the ethics of the people of that era, and thoroughly enjoying O'Brien's writing style, which is superb. Master and Commander is the first of Patrick O’Brian’s now famous Aubrey-Maturin novels, regarded by many as the greatest series of historical novels ever written. Wish there were twenty more. —Jonathan ... Fine stuff...[The Letter of Marque] leaves the devotee of naval fiction eager for sequels. I am halfway through the series, book ten. I love the maritime aspects, but accessible to anyone with an interest in historical fiction. I almost skipped this first story and would have started on Post Captain, which is the second of these acclaimed stories of the Royal Navy during the time of Nelson etc. [O’Brian’s] Aubrey-Maturin series, 20 novels of the Royal Navy in the Napoleonic Wars, is a masterpiece. Awesome! Your recently viewed items and featured recommendations, Select the department you want to search in, + No Import Fees Deposit & $30.98 Shipping to Vietnam. Fascinating.”—Entertainment Weekly Jack Nicholson has lived large on Not being expert on this myself and not aspiring to be, I found it helped to think of it as analogous to technobabble in Star Trek Next Generation. Taken as a whole, the Aubrey-Maturin novels are by a long shot the best things of their kind... they are uniquely excellent. Details of a life aboard a man-of-war in Nelson's navy are faultlessly rendered: the conversational idiom of the officers in the ward room and the men on the lower deck, the food, the floggings, the mysteries of the wind and the rigging, and the roar of broadsides as the great ships close in battle. Start with Master and Commander, which should be available in paperback from your nearest bookseller. Also, there's a lexicon someone produced containing many of the time- and place-specific terms that is invaluable. . But the women characters, few though they be, stand in well-drawn relief to the dominant maleness.

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