I can't say how much I have enjoyed this book. O'Brien keeps the excitement going. There are peaks and troughs, fast paced action and slow times, but always entertaining. Anyone who has ever sailed in the trade winds, or even dreams about such a trip, will know that O'Brien captures it masterfully. I felt like I was back at sea and was nearly pulling my hair out to figure out how to get back out there!
Reading the O'Brian series is as good a time as I've had with any author, and better than most. And to hear Tull read them; why it does not get any better! Read them twice, listened to them 4 x!
The movie - well, it was a fine movie in itself, but did not do justice to O'brian's series.
HMS Surprise is my favourite, it has a bit of everything human, bittersweet and funny and dramatic and bright and black and tense and as relaxing as the breezes off the home of Testudo Aubreii.
I felt a real pang when book 21 abruptly ended; my first thought was that I'd better start writing to finish it up! Presumptious? Yes, but what better compliment for an author than to have someone else want to continue the journey. I daresay it will be viewed as close to heresy, however.
Read & listen to each & every one! Right now! I'm hooked well and good.
A truly wonderful story, populated with rich, characterizations and terrific background. I've listened to the first two in this series and in my estimation, this is the best. Great sea yarn along with some of the most interesting characters in fiction. I have heard that the quality of the stories drops off in the later books, but the first three will knock your socks off. HIGHLY and FIRMLY RECOMMENDED.
like all charming tarts, she's the source of many problems. the narration is excellent, as always. if you liked the first 2 books, you'll like this one, as others have noted. and, i finally caved in and looked up a diagram of the sails, and other parts of a ship so i would know what the heck they were always yelling about during a battle.
I have not listened to this book, but I have read the entire series. If you enjoyed the Hornblower books, you will love Aubry. The characters are excelent, the plots realistic and historicly accurate, and the whole series reaks ofthe sea. Master and Commander is one of the series, and I expect they all will eventually get the Hollywood treatment.
I write for myself, for my own pleasure. And I want to be left alone to do it. - Salinger ^(;,;)^
“Surely man in general is born to be oppressed or solitary, if he is to be fully human...”
― Patrick O'Brian, HMS Surprise
So, I am now three books into the Aubrey/Maturin series and the books are only getting better. Master and Commander and Post Captain were 459 to 527 pages respectively, and I wouldn't fault a page. However, now it seems O'Brian has trimmed and edited these books down to the sub-400 page range and they seem to spirit along nicely.
In its way, this beginning of this series reminds me a bit of the beginning of Alan Furst's Night Soldiers series. The first two are bulkier than the rest, but then the authors settle down and find their groove. Both Furst and O'Brian, by book three in their series, have worked out that they can write thousands of more pages with the setting, characters, and action they have in their heads and by book three they both have their pace.
Major concern going forward: I think the relationship between Captain Aubrey and Dr. Maturin is amazing, and one of the graces of the English language. I'm not sure, however, how long my attention can be plucked by expansion of the duet to include Diana and Sophie. They will either kill me, thrill me, or bore me eventually. But how do I love these men and their affection for women, science, music, people, nature, etc. It really is a giant love note to that Napoleonic age. I'm also not sure how much of the nautical lingo will eventually seep into my brain. Perhaps, by the time I'm finishing up book 20, I will understand most of what is happening during a naval engagement. Like a teenager just finishing Spanish 1, I can understand bits and pieces. Just enough of this language is uncovered to make me dangerous and hesitant to even describe what just happened. But I am hooked.
Todd W. Brown
So far, this is my least favorite offering. The first two have me invested enough to continue, but this just seemed to plod. A bit heavy on Stephen's journal entries and ruminations. Yes, there are some interesting moments, but for a book with such a good beginning simply faded for me and the middle had me almost putting the book down for good and actually skipping on to book 4 in hopes that it is better. Let's hope that it is.
Also, apparently Simon Vance's full length versions are gone. Switching to Mr. Tull is proving tedious for me. I will give it one more go, but I may abandon the series.
I started the series with Simon Vance and I found his narrative style excellent. So when Audible dropped his versions I was forced try Patrick Tulls. Patrick Tull is a narrator that does not understand the pacing of normal human conversation. His style of narration is slow and he take many long akward pauses. In support of my opinion I point to the length of the two versions. Patrick Tull managed to take an extra four hours to narrate the same unabridged story over Simon Vance. Also, Patrick Tull is incapable of providing distinctive voices for the characters. In a conversation between Steven and Sophie, I couldn't tell who was talking and what was internal thought. I will be only listening to Simon Vance from here on. That being said I found the story most enjoyable after I rented a Simon vance version from the library.
I read nothing that is popular.
Patrick Tull is more long winded when reading "H.M.S. Surprise". I need to take a break from the series, but the third book Aubrey and Maturin series seems to took me a bit to finish. I didn't wanted to speed up my player because I really liked the story and Tull's performance was excellent even though the continuous pauses. I was planning to finish this epic series within six months, but I really need to pace myself from being burnt out.
As for "H.M.S. Surprise", I couldn't asked for more from the long voyage.