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H.M.S. Surprise: Aubrey/Maturin Series, Book 3 | [Patrick O'Brian]

H.M.S. Surprise: Aubrey/Maturin Series, Book 3

At the opening of his third novel in an ongoing adventure series by Patrick O'Brian, Jack Aubrey is cruising off Cape Sicie when his friend Stephen Maturin (more serenely situated in Sussex) is informed of the Board's decision regarding Aubrey's prize money, taken after victorious engagement with a Spanish squadron at Cape Santa Maria. The money, five million pieces of eight, is not, as is the custom of war, to be divided among the crews of the four victorious vessels.
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Publisher's Summary

At the opening of his third novel in an ongoing adventure series by Patrick O'Brian, Jack Aubrey is cruising off Cape Sicie when his friend Stephen Maturin (more serenely situated in Sussex) is informed of the Board's decision regarding Aubrey's prize money, taken after victorious engagement with a Spanish squadron at Cape Santa Maria. The money, five million pieces of eight, is not, as is the custom of war, to be divided among the crews of the four victorious vessels, but is to be treated as droits of the Crown of England. Five million pounds is, after all, five million pounds.

It will be a hard rub for Aubrey, who had counted on that money to clear his debts and make himself a suitable match, but no more hard than for Maturin who spends much of his free time at Mapes Court in the company of the lovely Sophia Williams, Aubrey's betrothed. How could Stephen deliver the news that would break Sophia's heart?

When Jack docks at Portsmouth, he is clapped in irons forthwith, and carried off to a sponging house for debtors. Jack knows a prisoner can rot in jail, so when Sir Joseph graciously offers him escape aboard the H.M.S. Surprise, bound for the East Indies, he makes for the only place where his unsteady virtue remains intact: the sea.

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

©1973 Patrick O'Brian; (P)2003 Recorded Books, LLC

What the Critics Say

"O'Brian knows his history and sailing, as is evident in the rich particulars....Stretching its genre but never escaping it, the novel will impress those who enjoy swashbucklers." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.6 (686 )
5 star
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4.6 (323 )
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Story
4.7 (319 )
5 star
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 (48)
3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Ral Stockton, CA, USA 07-28-07
    Ral Stockton, CA, USA 07-28-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    1
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    "Great book!"

    Excellent. Great writing, great narrator.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christopher Beaverton, OR, United States 03-26-05
    Christopher Beaverton, OR, United States 03-26-05 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
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    6
    4
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    "O'Brian-Aubry-Maturin-Tull - what a quartet!"

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jack Reynolds Springfield, IL United States 03-15-05
    Jack Reynolds Springfield, IL United States 03-15-05 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
    25
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    7
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    "A Masterpiece"

    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.

    Jack

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul Tyler, TX, USA 01-25-05
    Paul Tyler, TX, USA 01-25-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    6
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    "diana villers is easy"

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    STRAYCAT 12-23-03
    STRAYCAT 12-23-03 Member Since 2001
    HELPFUL VOTES
    19
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    6
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    "Better than Hornblower!"

    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.

    17 of 26 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeffrey Redondo Beach, CA, USA 06-25-10
    Jeffrey Redondo Beach, CA, USA 06-25-10 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    9
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    "I prefer Vance's narration"

    Having listened to Simon Vance read the first two installments I thought I'd give Patrick Tull a try, particularly since I'd listened to the ENTIRE "Brother Cadfael" series read by him. But what works SO well for one doesn't seem to work for the other. Granted, I have only listened to Tull for about 20 minutes but I already just now bought the Vance version of this title to continue -- Tull's voice seems too old and slow to portray these lively young characters and situations; he's great and more appropriate for the good Brother, but he makes poor S.Maturin sound ready for the old folks home.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul Grand Rapids, MN, United States 03-23-14
    Paul Grand Rapids, MN, United States 03-23-14 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "They say he was the greatest living writer !"

    Believe me when I say you'll enjoy every thing in this book and in this series. And Patrick Tull is such a great reader , they don't get any better than this reader writer combo....you'll not believe the research that went into these books history , geography,
    Medicine, politics, what ever he writes about is excellent,,,,Paul T.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Melissa Ames, IA USA 02-06-13
    Melissa Ames, IA USA 02-06-13 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    13
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    "A story of deep friendship"

    I am so thrilled to have found this series by chance. It is far from my normal reading habits. This third book takes you on an exciting journey around the world. It was clear in previous books that Aubrey and Maturin were good friends, but this book develops that friendship and shows how incredibly deep it has become. I thought by now that the ship fights would get old, but O'Brian manages to keep them fresh. Surprisingly, I find I actually look forward to them. Tull does another amazing job reading this book. With the various accents and the way he takes his time, pausing in all the right places, this book was a joy to listen to!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tim Fairport, NY, United States 01-02-13
    Tim Fairport, NY, United States 01-02-13 Member Since 2008
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    5
    3
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    "Great Stories"
    Would you listen to H.M.S. Surprise again? Why?

    I have before and will likely listen to the series again some day.


    What other book might you compare H.M.S. Surprise to and why?

    The entire series.


    Have you listened to any of Patrick Tull’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    He does a fine job.


    Who was the most memorable character of H.M.S. Surprise and why?

    Spotted Dick, not seriously. Jack and Stephen share the light.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    william francis KLAMATH FALLS, OR, United States 07-30-12
    william francis KLAMATH FALLS, OR, United States 07-30-12

    im 68years old and i grew up with a smallboat for escape from an alcoholic home ,ive . loved books about sailing and adventure eversince.

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    25
    2
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    Performance
    Story
    "TULL IS COOL"
    Would you consider the audio edition of H.M.S. Surprise to be better than the print version?

    IT IS SO COOL TO BE ABLE TO LAY BACK AND BE IN THE PLACE AND LET THE READER DO THE WORK


    What was one of the most memorable moments of H.M.S. Surprise?

    DR MATERIN THE BRAINS OF THE BOOK


    Which character – as performed by Patrick Tull – was your favorite?

    TULLS ACCENT IS SO RIGHT FOR THE BOOKS HE BECOMES THE PERSON SO I CAN REST AND BE READ TO.


    If you could take any character from H.M.S. Surprise out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    MATURIN HE IS SO LIKE SHERLOCK HOLMES


    Any additional comments?

    THE WHOLE SERIES IS JUST PLAIN REMARKABLE,PATRICK OBRIEN IS A MASTER STORY TELLER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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