I am on my second time through the series and enjoying it almost as much as my first time throguh. I did not have an interest in nautical life/history when I started this book. That made for a bit of a learning curve to come to grips with the vocabulary, but it was well worth it. The combination of wonderfully deep characters, exciting naval actions, masterfully written relationships (of all sorts) gives this book a substance that goes far beyond "story-telling." You do not have to be a history buff or have an interest in sailing to love this book and series. As the author said, beyond the story and the history, the series is the study of human relationships and interaction (paraphrased from the interview with Patrick O'Brian at the end of The Wine Dark Sea).
Every adventure story you ever read as a child not only becomes alive again, but also challenges you on the intellectual level as an adult. The erudition, the accurate attention to the smallest detail across a very wide palette, history, seamanship, the conduct of war, medicine, politics, espionage, commerce, human nature, command and management concepts and plain old human foibles, conceits, and magnanimity across the ages are not found elsewhere, I believe, in all of literature. Just as the opening of Wagner's "The Flying Dutchman" does in music, Patrick O'Brian does with words: You literally feel the salt spray in your face. You are at sea.
Engaging witty reparte
The character development. Patrick O'Brian does a great job with the detail for all of the essential characters to make you love them or hate them. The writing is so detailed and uses so many terms and jargon from a by-gone era that I felt the need to buy an encyclopedic dictionary of sorts written just for these stories. Not that one couldn't enjoy the books without, but I like learning new things and now know the difference between a xebec-frigate and a snow... Great writing and well performed. This is the main book behind the movie and the book that launched a publishing goliath. One is transported to another era in such detail that it's easy (for me) to close my eyes, listen along, and feel that I'm really a part of the story, a bystander along for the voyage.
Patrick Tull gives the book additional flair through his use of British, Irish and French accents, with a little Spanish thrown in as well. Much more aural detail than my mind could produce, and I have a well-developed imagination. Loved the performance and would love to hear more from Mr. Tull.
Friendship with a heart of oak forged by iron shot.
The production of this book suffers from the unclear delineation between segments of the story. The chapter of section breaks might have had a longer pause. I often found myself listening to a conversation, the plot shifted ahead hours or weeks, but I did not perceive the previous conversation has concluded.
The reader does not greatly distinguish the voices other than by class (education level) to it is sometimes difficult to know who is speaking. Adding to this the authentic, but arcane nautical dialect of the speakers and much of the plot is confused.
O'Brian does an excellent job of researching and presenting the daily lives of the characters and one does feel a better understanding of the difficult lives and brutish attitudes that built the British Empire. I don't think I will bother to read any of the sequels.
I was able to 'see' the action for not having to 'read' it as well...oh my! I love this series read by Patrick Tull....!!!
I love Jack Aubrey...he is like all of us...Everyman! He is not above a few shenanigans, but he knows where his line is drawn...
I think the Doctor...he is endearing for his inability to actually see that he has 'issues' I mean that in a very liking way...he is addicted to drugs and has no idea...being a doctor, seems like he might get a clue...but no...:)
When they became friends..right up front...the stiffness, the judgement, without knowing the other was a same gender soul mate..then the realization they were a good pair...
I have read this series 2 times through...and adore it, but when I listened to it, I found whole parts I could enjoy for the pure moving pictures in my head....Patrick Tull's narration bothered me in the beginning, But now,
Character development. Historical research and basis. Transported back 200 Years
Chance meeting of Aubrey and Maturin at the beginning of the novel. Unique method to start such a magnificiant friendship and continuing adventure.
Which everone Tull was perfoming at the time. Tull and O'Brian are Bookends to a wonderful adventure.
An Adventure that you will wish would never end.
Entertainment at it best. Spellbinding and actually educational. I have listened to this entire series twice and hope to complete once more before I venture to meet Aubrey, Maturin, O'bian and Tull in the here after.
A favorite series of mine for years, now every time I read one of the books I will hear the characters in my head as voiced so perfectly by Patrick Tull.
The quality of the reading brought the story to life. I don't think it would have been the same if I had read the print copy alone.
I have not comparable book to recommend.
No, this is the first
A rollicking good tale of the sea and friendship.
Right at the top.Very interesting and very well presented
The narration of this exciting story is top rate..he even makes casual conversation interesting,and brings the story to life.This is a very good book and I recommmend it to anyone that likes a good adventure
Yes, 100%. Master and Commander begins a great adventure that takes most people years to complete -- what joy!
Maturin, but he does all so well it's hard to choose. I've read this whole series in print numerous times, and I'm finding them a wonderful new adventure because of Tull's perfect interpretation.
Aubrey and Maturin. Their personalities are so well developed and portrayed -- sets up the rest of the series exceptionally well. Bet you can't read just one. . .