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H.M.S. Surprise Audiobook

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

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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 (1130 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Gage J. Slusser Jr. Randolph, UT USA 12-22-15
    Gage J. Slusser Jr. Randolph, UT USA 12-22-15 Member Since 2012

    Mostly harmless.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    4
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    "Used to Simon Vance"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Having caught up with all the Connoly, Grisham, Sandford, Burke, Butcher, Crais, etc. books on offer - I decided to branch out. This is a great series. Good action and new vocabulary.


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

    When Dr. Maturin was dumped by the woman of his dreams (or nightmares - opinions vary).


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Dr. Maturin come to call on an elephant.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Not really. It's longish for a single go.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Henry Meers III 08-12-15 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I worried most that the narrator might not make it."

    The narrator was so melodramatic in this reading that I was concerned that he might not make it. There is an alternative set of these books narrated by Simon Vance. I would recommend those instead of this series of recordings.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Todd 10-02-11
    Todd 10-02-11 Member Since 2011

    tpaddack

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "very enjoyable"

    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!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ral Stockton, CA, USA 07-28-07
    Ral Stockton, CA, USA 07-28-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great book!"

    Excellent. Great writing, great narrator.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christopher 03-26-05
    Christopher 03-26-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    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 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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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
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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
  •  
    William Hagood 12-23-03 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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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
  •  
    Amazon Customer 06-13-16 Member Since 2015
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    "Awful narrator - just awful."

    The narrator is awful. He splits the statement from identifier of the person speaking, so following a conversation is incredibly difficult. There's no real attempt to voice the characters differently and this combined with the first issue means you can never really tell who the heck is talking, except from the context of the conversation - which means you can't sit back and enjoy the story, because you're too busy trying to figure out who is saying what to who. Flaws I class as merely annoying: the narrator randomly draws out the final syllable of a random passage like a snake; inserting just random pauses; and finally he randomly emphasizes syllables.

    It's hard to say if I enjoyed the story much, the narrator was so incredibly distracting. I merely wanted it to be over. I've already bought book 4 and will try it - but if this continues, I'll will simply wait until a new narrator is available. This version is excrutiating to listen to - avoid.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    L 04-19-16
    L 04-19-16
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    2
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    Story
    "Excellent!"

    Great story, and the narration was captivating . A most excellent listening experience! Good show!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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