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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

4.7 (1309 )
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4.7 (888 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Tim United States 11-27-16
    Tim United States 11-27-16 Member Since 2011

    I read nothing that is popular.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Continuous Pauses"

    Patrick Tull is more long winded when reading "H.M.S. Surprise". I need to take a break from the series, but the third book Aubrey and Maturin series seems to took me a bit to finish. I didn't wanted to speed up my player because I really liked the story and Tull's performance was excellent even though the continuous pauses. I was planning to finish this epic series within six months, but I really need to pace myself from being burnt out.

    As for "H.M.S. Surprise", I couldn't asked for more from the long voyage.

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

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

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ricardo from Baltimore Towson, MD, United States 03-15-16
    Ricardo from Baltimore Towson, MD, United States 03-15-16 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Couldn't finish due to the reader"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    The first two books, read by Simon Vance, were terrific. I swaggered around the house shouting things like "Jib up the main top stunsail mast o'er the larboard beam reach and hoist the flagons, look lively!!!!" (which means absolutely nothing but so much fun!). This one, Book 3, by this reader, Patrick Tull--I just can't get through it. I've been trying for many months. The reader is quite strange--too hissy, melodramatic, stylized, and slow. Ugh. I think I'll have to skip this (or finish in hard copy, heaven forbid!) and move on to Book 4--back to Simon Vance :)


    Would you be willing to try another book from Patrick O'Brian? Why or why not?

    Yes! A terrific series.


    How could the performance have been better?

    Couldn't take the reader.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Aseehorn228 08-24-15
    Aseehorn228 08-24-15 Member Since 2016
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    "Excellent story. narrator is awesome."

    Patrick Tull is a treasure. His voices for Aubrey and Maturin are perfect. The story is phenomenal. Read/listened to it 5 times, and will Def do so again in future.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    D. Adams Macon, GA USA 07-29-15
    D. Adams Macon, GA USA 07-29-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Great book!"
    What three words best describe Patrick Tull’s performance?

    Far. Too. Slow.


    Any additional comments?

    I absolutely love the Aubrey/Maturin novels, and am in the process of re-"reading" them via Audible during my commute. It's been 5+ years since I originally read the series, and I have really enjoyed reliving these stories. I listened to the first 2 books via Simon Vance's narration, and I have to say Mr. Tull's snail-like pace was a bit annoying. I found myself speeding things up to 1.25x just to keep it bearable, but his reading style of long pauses between bursts of dialogue made it difficult to understand.

    After making it about halfway thru the book I began to adjust to his style somewhat. However, I will be going back to Mr. Vance for book 4. I know many seem to prefer Tull, but I really don't care for slow paced narration in general. Too many long and inappropriate pauses between phrases, etc. Mr. Vance's more efficient reading was much more to my liking.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    H.H. Hebbronville, TX, United States 07-21-15
    H.H. Hebbronville, TX, United States 07-21-15 Member Since 2011
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    "The best of the series!"

    I have listened to all of the series and heard both narrators over 3 times through. I enjoyed this one the most. Such highs and lows, action and friendship, sea and land. I also liked Patrick Tull far more than the other. It felt like a performance rather than a narration.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Philip D Harrison 06-11-15 Member Since 2015
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    "O'Brian's nautical saga is sublime"

    I listen to these books over and over while driving, I haven't turned the radio on for years.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wes Guinn Manama, Bahrain 05-23-15
    Wes Guinn Manama, Bahrain 05-23-15 Member Since 2007
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    "Excellent stories, Capitally performed!"

    In the third of the series, O'Brian extends his his reach both literarily and geographically as he greatly deepens his characters and sends Aubrey, Maturin, and the SURPRISE further from previous voyages. Intrigue, romance, epic battles with enemies and the sea itself are all part of he loadout in this excellent work. There's not a moment to lose!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Per 05-19-15
    Per 05-19-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Have fallen in love with this series"

    The story is good, the reading is excellent and the characters feel truly alive. The descriptions and dialogue makes the story an epic adventure of day to day life and the events that stand out.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Angus McGreedy 05-12-15

    Angus McGreedy

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    "Not my favorite..."

    Great performance, but I thought the story was a little flat. Not O'Brian's best. Still good, but not his best.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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