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Desolation Island: Aubrey/Maturin Series, Book 5 | [Patrick O'Brian]

Desolation Island: Aubrey/Maturin Series, Book 5

Jack's prize money has set the household accounts aright, but if he continues frittering it on naive extravagances, it will be gone in a fortnight. Fortunately he gets a commission aboard the Leopard, bound for Australia to rescue the hated and captive Captain Bligh.
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Publisher's Summary

Jack's prize money has set the household accounts aright, but if he continues frittering it on naive extravagances, it will be gone in a fortnight. Fortunately he gets a commission aboard the Leopard, bound for Australia to rescue the hated and captive Captain Bligh.

Don't miss the rest of the Aubrey/Maturin series.

©1978 Patrick O'Brian; (P)2003 Recorded Books, LLC.

What the Critics Say

"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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.6 (477 )
5 star
 (346)
4 star
 (102)
3 star
 (20)
2 star
 (7)
1 star
 (2)
Overall
4.7 (217 )
5 star
 (169)
4 star
 (35)
3 star
 (11)
2 star
 (1)
1 star
 (1)
Story
4.8 (216 )
5 star
 (183)
4 star
 (27)
3 star
 (2)
2 star
 (2)
1 star
 (2)
Performance
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  •  
    Gene Oak Park, CA, United States 01-13-04
    Gene Oak Park, CA, United States 01-13-04 Member Since 2000
    HELPFUL VOTES
    23
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    14
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
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    Overall
    "Most moving chase sequence in the whole series"

    Not only does this volume contain the most moving naval chase sequence in the entire Aubrey/Maturin series (against the Dutch 74-gun Waakzaamheid), but it is the beginning of an international intrigue of Steven's that eventually leads (in Fortune of War) to his getting back together with Diana Villiers. These two together comprise the most coherent story telling of the series. Kudos to Audible for bringing aboard the original unabridged recordings. Keep them coming!

    12 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Holly, MI, USA 02-18-05
    Robert Holly, MI, USA 02-18-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
    38
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    8
    8
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "I loved it..."

    Consider the intrigue between the Doctor and the Lady Spy. Consider the friction between Jack and the ?I?d do it this way? Grant. Consider the parallelism between the Doctor and Herrapath [SIC], the bad luck with women, the opium problem, etc.

    I thought it as the second best of the first 5, with only the first book being better. Well written.

    And the sea chase between The Leopard and the Dutchman were outstanding.

    Can?t wait for the next one.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    EJH Henderson, NV 08-09-04
    EJH Henderson, NV 08-09-04 Member Since 2001
    HELPFUL VOTES
    119
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    187
    16
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    Overall
    "A joy to listen to."

    This book, as well as the others in the series, are a joy to either listen to or read--especially after the first or second volumes when you have your "sea legs" and can understand the jargon.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    connie United States 03-11-13
    connie United States 03-11-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
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    0
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Listen Forward"

    A day isn't complete without Patrick Tull to listen to! Desolation Island continues the life story of Cap't. Jack Aubrey & Dr. Stephen Maturin whom I happily follow from one end of the ocean to another, as long as they keep sailing together. They are such great companions &, as our eyes & ears into the history of the early 19th century British Navy, they are great foils for one another. Maturin's interest in nature & Jack's in sailing give us a whole picture that is lovingly rendered. The high seas adventures continue & I would have it no other way than as read by Patrick Tull, narrating the various accents with ease & allowing the drama to carry itself, which it does effortlessly.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Edward C. Charbonnet Memphis, TN 04-10-11
    Edward C. Charbonnet Memphis, TN 04-10-11 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    63
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    132
    46
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    0
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    "Battling an Iceberg in 1811"

    I thoroughly enjoyed the story and the writing. This book includes problems with convicts headed for Australia – including female convicts – problems with serious illness during a long becalmed period, out maneuvering a Dutch man-of-war, crashing with an iceberg that almost sinks them and destroys their rudder and then encountering an American whaling vessel that hates the British. It was very exciting.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Zachariah Pahrump, NV, United States 08-15-10
    Zachariah Pahrump, NV, United States 08-15-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    41
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    45
    8
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    2
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    Overall
    "Very Well Written"

    There are a few negative reviews of this book.
    I would disagree.
    I found this story to be very entertaining and very well written.
    It's not all swashbuckling, but still a very good story.
    Besides, if you don't listen to this story, you won't understand the beginning of the next story.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    G. Gordon Olympia, WA USA 12-21-08
    G. Gordon Olympia, WA USA 12-21-08 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    11
    2
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    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Overall
    "Don't Miss"

    While this book is not one of the best of the Aubrey/Maturin series, you should not miss it. It has one of the most memorable chase scenes in any of the books, that between the Leopard and the Dutch 74 gun Waakzaamheid. The book also establishes the vast difference between Jack Aubrey ashore (a dolt) and Jack Aubrey afloat (a genius). If you skip this book, you will have missed a great listen.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Debali Chicago, Israel 03-23-07
    Debali Chicago, Israel 03-23-07 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    11
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    111
    7
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    0
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    Overall
    "One of the Best"

    The dialogue in this one is brilliant even flashing at times. The swearing of oaths is particularly choice in this one. More than once I burst out laughing aloud (embaressing when other people are around). Both Aubrey's and Maturin's character develop and deepen considerably in this one too. In the case of the doctor, the calling of science in a man of the enlightenment like Dr. Maturin is far more deeply explored, particularly with the outbreak of jail fever. Aubrey's stature as a commander too grows considerably in the face of this great trial, being captain of an unlucky ship. Altogether superb.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul houston, TX, USA 02-27-06
    Paul houston, TX, USA 02-27-06 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    50
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    83
    23
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    2
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    Overall
    "Why so many bad reviews?"

    Was hesitant to get this title because of so many poor reviews. Only did it to have read them all. Now I'm very pleased I did. Why so much fuss over such a great listen. Lots of different aspects of A&M life looked into. Very satisfing. I can only guess that the minimal "ship to ship" fighting, and the linear story, didn't apeal to everyone. Plus really got under my skin that Jack is such an oblivion on land. Great suspence with the chase and the spying.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul Tyler, TX, USA 02-28-05
    Paul Tyler, TX, USA 02-28-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    6
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    0
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    Overall
    "desolation"

    actually, i could probably listen to tull narrate a 14-hour ping-pong match between aubrey and maturin and enjoy myself. however, this wasn't quite as good as the others. a little too much time spent brooding. still, it ain't bad.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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