Don't miss the rest of the Aubrey/Maturin series.
©1978 Patrick O'Brian; (P)2003 Recorded Books, LLC.
"O'Brian is not that hard a taste to acquire, but he is very tough to shake...[the Aubrey/Maturin series] is a great work." (Boston Globe)
The next chapter in the spectacular Aubrey/Maturin series. I love these books and I could probably just line all of my superlatives up and be done with it. I don't quite know why I love them so much. I think it's a combination of the attention to detail in the sea-going portions of the books (plus the piquing of interest from the references and allusions to actual historical events) and, since I'm listening to the series rather than visually ingesting it, the marvelous reading that Patrick Tull performs.
Many a better reviewer has reviewed this series and its component parts so I'll just mention the bits that I loved and be done with it.
Desolation Island has a few passing allusions to Australia since the penal colony at Botany Bay is the ultimate destination of the voyage that this book describes. This leads to references such as "Think of the opportunities, Stephen - thousands of miles of almost unknown sea and coastline - wombats on shore for those that like them...". My Australian heritage and subsequent prolonged absence therefrom make me a sucker for anything Aussie and it was fun to hear ye olde Australia referenced like that.
The chase scene in this story is also fantastic. I don't want to mention any specifics but the description of the participants (including the weather), the general drama leading up to the final conclusion really was top notch.
Stephen's intelligence work plays a reasonably central part in this story and his machinations are interestingly examined and explained as the story progresses.
Finally, as previously mentioned, the minutiae of historical shipboard life, the details of the convict transportation, the food, the medical treatments of the time, it's an awesome (in both the old and new senses of the word) reminder of what people used to take for granted and of how lucky we are today.
In conclusion, go read it now, great fun!
Just one battle; I like three or four! The focus is on Stephen, his struggle with laudanum and his intrigues. If, like me, you have come to care about Aubrey and Maturin as if they were real friends, then you read it with enjoyment anyway, and on to,the next!
Truly, this reader is quite terrible. Several times, I am wondering if he will finish the sentence before passing away into the next realm. Instead, go buy the Simon Vance version, he has read the books terribly well and you will not be disappointed.
I do enjoy these books but this one falls short. Somewhat of an amateurish job by other wise very good writer in terms of having his plots and themes flow together towards a destination.
The plot is all over the place, is the book about are transferring convicts? deciding Blighs fate, fighting the Dutch, surviving near shipwreck and mutiny, Maturin's inner conflict over Dianna and drugs (again), or playing a spy game?
The answer all of the above at different times, but only some of the above and the less interesting ones by the end. The Maturin spy theme is too abstract to really carry the day for the final climax of the book. So while the journey is entertaining at times the final destination is boring.
If you are a fan of the series by all means read so you can get to the next chapter, its not painful, but its worst of the series so far, and a very poor follow up to the Maturius Command.
Jack, he is such a larger than life character but with plenty of weaknesses.
Patrick Tull was the finest British narrator EVER!
This series is superb and Patrick Tull's narration is sublime. This might be my favorite of all! The high drama, the incredible story line and the meticulous characterizations combine to provide perfect satisfaction.
The depictions are so carefully detailed with sight, sound and smell that the experience could hardly be more real if one experienced it.
You can instantly tell who is speaking. Not only are the voices perfectly rendered the phrasing is a golden globe performance.
I would cheer Jack with bumpers three times three.
The best series and narration. period.
Not the best of the series but still full of the details of "Lucky Captain Jack's" adventures.
Absolutely. I love the details about the sailing ships of the time.
Not at first but found my self sitting in the drive way listening to just a bit more when I could afford the time.
I look at this book more as O'Brian's foundation to introduce plotlines in lager books than anything else, but there are still some interesting plots in this book. There is really only 1 major naval combat in this book, but it has a decent amount of action and suspense. A large section of the book, as the title hints at, deals with Aubrey's ship being marooned a while on an Island. It's not some sort of Robinson Crusoe/Swiss Family Robinson tale that I thought it would be, most of the focus is on the seamanship used to nurse a damaged ship to safety. If you are reading this series mostly to read about ship-to-ship action this book will be a bit slower for you, but there are a lot of of plot threads that will be picked-up again in later books, especially English and American tensions prior to the war of 1812.
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