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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 (850 )
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4.6 (464 )
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4.7 (459 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Angus McGreedy 05-12-15

    Angus McGreedy

    ratings
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    8
    4
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    Story
    "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
  •  
    Bart WICHITA, KANSAS, United States 03-30-15
    Bart WICHITA, KANSAS, United States 03-30-15 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
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    9
    9
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    "Transported back in time and sea"

    The story and performance puts me in the poop deck. A love the slight of hand humor, the explosive action and the psychological study of the characters...all of them!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Randy 02-15-15
    Randy 02-15-15 Member Since 2011
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    82
    1
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    "Tull is wonderful!"

    Tull is the best! A classic must listen. Just finished the 6th time. Long live Jack and Stephen. On to Jack's first squadren command!

    0 of 0 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 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    30
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    95
    43
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    6
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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 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    14
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    25
    19
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    3
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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
  •  
    Timothy R McConnell 01-02-13 Member Since 2011
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    11
    3
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    Story
    "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 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
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    25
    2
    Overall
    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
  •  
    Patrick J. Shea Jacksonville, FL USA 07-20-12
    Patrick J. Shea Jacksonville, FL USA 07-20-12 Member Since 2015
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    18
    3
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    Story
    "Jack, you have debauched my sloth!"

    As a long time fan of the Aubrey/Maturin novels, it was a pleasure to find an audio rendering that fills the sails with such precision. Mr. Tull brings each character to life just so with wonderful accents and a twinkle in his eye. This selection is one of the best of the series!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Quinn Carmichael Minneapolis, MN United States 06-05-12
    Quinn Carmichael Minneapolis, MN United States 06-05-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    "Patrick Tull is a Master and in command!"

    His narration of this series is unparralleled. I dont think I have heard another audiobook for which the choice of narrator, and execution is so perfect.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    joe Red River, NM, United States 03-12-12
    joe Red River, NM, United States 03-12-12 Member Since 2013

    Interested Observer

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    2
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    Performance
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    "Perhaps O'Brians best."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Anyone who has not had a chance to listen to Patrick Tull's narration of what are, arguably, the best books ever written in this genre, should do so immediately.


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

    They are better than Bernard Cornwell's Sharpe series, my second favorite series, but only just. O'Brians knowledge of the sea and his description of the various ship actions and other aspects of life in the British Navy are incomparable.


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

    Dr. Maturin stands out, but Tull does a great job with everyone.


    If you could rename H.M.S. Surprise, what would you call it?

    Are you kidding? Why?


    Any additional comments?

    I have listened to these books numerous times and continue to laugh at the interaction of characters, marvel at the degree of information about the sea and sailing they impart, and wish that Patrick O' Brian could have gone on writing forever.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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