I have just finished this series and the only bad thing that I have to say about it is that I have just finished this series. Oh, I wish it weren't over!
First a comment about narrators: Unabridged versions of this book are available from Blackstone Audio with Simon Vance narrating and from Recorded Books with Patrick Tull narrating. As of this writing, Recorded Books has released the entire series whereas Blackstone Audio has only released 12 of the books. However, they are planning on releasing a new book approximately every other month, so it shouldn’t be that long before they will also have the entire series available. Patrick Tull has a strong following and having listened to many of his books, I can see why. However, I have also enjoyed Simon Vance’s readings immensely. I personally prefer Vance’s readings over Tull’s as I think more of the dry humor comes through. I strongly encourage you to listen to samples of both from several of the books in the series and go with the one that suits you best.
Plenty has been written about the characters, plots, etc., so I just want to say that I’m a “chick” and I loved this series, and I also want to add comments from a parent’s perspective.
I finally got around to seeing the movie about a year and a half ago and felt that the movie was suitable for my elementary-aged children (with supervision). Unfortunately for my children, while the adult themes in the movie will go over their heads and I will let them watch it, the adult themes in the books will not. There is strong profanity, extreme drunkenness, prostitution, adultery, homosexuality, bestiality, and rather straightforward talk about sex. None of it is gratuitous or unnecessarily graphic, but it is too much for children. I’m guessing 16 is probably the youngest at which I would be comfortable with them reading this series, but that is only a guess as my children have a way to go before then.
I personally have enjoyed Simon Vance's narration of the Aubrey/Maturin series a great deal; I think he capture's the books tone beautifully! I listened to another sample of Tull's narration and it just sounds all _wrong_ to me. Nothing against Tull, I think it's just personal preference. If you haven't heard either, than I strongly recommend that you listen to samples from both before making a decision.
I have to agree that it is a matter of preference between the two narrators. Based on the two other reviews, I listened to some samples of Patrick Tull reading Patrick O'Brian's books. To me, he sounded good, but not "right", probably because I had already listened to Master and Commander read by Simon Vance (Blackstone Audiobooks). If you haven't heard a whole book by either one, you might want to listen to several samples by both and see which one you prefer.
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