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Master and Commander: Aubrey/Maturin Series, Book 1 | [Patrick O'Brian]

Master and Commander: Aubrey/Maturin Series, Book 1

This, the first in the series of Jack Aubrey novels, establishes the friendship between Captain Aubrey, R.N., and Stephen Maturin, ship's surgeon and intelligence agent, against the thrilling backdrop of the Napoleonic wars. Details of life aboard a man-of-war in Nelson's navy are faultlessly rendered: the conversational idiom of the officers in the ward room and the men on the lower deck, the food, the floggings, the mysteries of the wind and the rigging.
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Publisher's Summary

This, the first in the splendid series of Jack Aubrey novels, establishes the friendship between Captain Aubrey, R.N., and Stephen Maturin, ship's surgeon and intelligence agent, against the thrilling backdrop of the Napoleonic wars. Details of life aboard a man-of-war in Nelson's navy are faultlessly rendered: the conversational idiom of the officers in the ward room and the men on the lower deck, the food, the floggings, the mysteries of the wind and the rigging, and the roar of broadsides as the great ships close in battle.

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

©1970 Patrick O'Brian; (P)2003 Blackstone Audiobooks

What the Critics Say

"The best historical novels ever written." (The New York Times Book Review)
"No writer alive can move one as O'Brian can; no one can make you laugh so loud with hilarity, whiten your knuckles with unbearable tension or choke with emotion. He is the master." (Irish Times)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (739 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Richard Spencer Towson, MD, United States 06-07-14
    Richard Spencer Towson, MD, United States 06-07-14 Member Since 2011
    ratings
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    "Truly memorable, and what a narrator--Simon Vance!"
    Would you listen to Master and Commander again? Why?

    I suspect that most readers of this review already know that they want to try this series--I've read the first two, and join the chorus of praise. But I wanted to specifically mention the narrator, Simon Vance. Unbelievable. One of those rare readers who bring out personalities, interactions, just everything, far beyond what I would discern from my own hard-copy reading. His reading turns these great books into something still more, a truly unforgettable experience. The personalities of Jack A. and Stephen M. are beautifully rendered. After deciding to write, but not yet having written, this review, I looked him (S.V.) up as an afterthought--OK, I should have figured. Multiple awards, multiple accolades, multiple articles about him--all richly deserved. One of the greats. No need for my review--his excellence is already well-recognized.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cynthia SUMMIT POINT, WV, United States 02-22-14
    Cynthia SUMMIT POINT, WV, United States 02-22-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Wonderful!"
    What made the experience of listening to Master and Commander the most enjoyable?

    The character development and the blend of humor,action,and fascination with life at sea in the early 18th century


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Hope 11-17-13
    Hope 11-17-13 Member Since 2011

    itsallingoodfaith

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A series for both sexes"
    What did you love best about Master and Commander?

    Incredible adventures, seat of the pants exploits interspersed with amazing descriptions of the times and places, as well excellent characters. It's hard to think of how this whole series could be improved, except by more books in the series.


    What does Simon Vance bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I love his version of Jack Aubrey; Simon Vance nails his brashness and his insecurities equally well. His Stephen Maturin sounds as erudite as he is, and he also gets his occasional peevishnish right on target; really well done. I so much prefer Simon Vance's versions of these characters to Patrick Tull's.
    Sorry Tull fans...


    If you could take any character from Master and Commander out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    Stephen Maturin; he is endlessly curious, had so many secrets and has a truly lovely heart.


    Any additional comments?

    This is truly the start of a series that I think women will love as much as men do. I have read extensively my whole life; I have found in the last years that I tend to read more books by women authors than by men; I read for characters as much as for action. I cannot read books about continual and endless battles (I hated the Game of Thrones which I read the first 3 1/2 books of years ago before I gave up in disgust at the endless bloodshed with no apparent possibility for any good; I get enough of that in every day life.) This is a series I will go back to again and again.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steven ALBUQUERQUE, NM, United States 08-01-13
    Steven ALBUQUERQUE, NM, United States 08-01-13 Member Since 2014

    Lover of sci-fi, fantasy, horror, mystery, and westerns in all media, including old-time radio dramatizations.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Exceptional in every way!!!"

    I've found a new favorite series. From character development to action, you'll find it well done here. Get ready to deal with a lot of nautical terminology, but it's necessary to the realism.

    I've read the debate over the narrators of this series. The books are available read by both Patrick Tull and Simon Vance. I started the series with Vance and will stay with him. I've sampled Tull's work on the series, and found it to be equally good. I agree with those who say that it is a matter of personal preference. You should sample both before starting.

    Enjoy!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer WICHITA, KS, United States 02-04-13
    Amazon Customer WICHITA, KS, United States 02-04-13 Member Since 2014
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    "Life in Medertrainian"
    What made the experience of listening to Master and Commander the most enjoyable?

    Simon Vance brought Jack to life in this somewhat discouraging tale of Captain Aubrey's early career. Seemed like he was getting the short end of the stick but kept his positive outlook.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nelson Mostow Cleveland ohio 12-20-09
    Nelson Mostow Cleveland ohio 12-20-09 Member Since 2011
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    "good if you like old time naval battles"

    I got this book because it was highly rated on the Brother's Judd reviews. It concerns a sea captain of a British naval captain during a time when Britain was fighting France and Spain. There is a lot of detail about the workings of the ship and a few battles, although the battles are not very excitingly written. If you are interested in this kind of thing it is good. If not, I wouldn't recommend it

    3 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Pittsburgh 08-29-04
    Amazon Customer Pittsburgh 08-29-04 Member Since 2011

    Operations researcher

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great series, wrong reader"

    Since Patrick Tull's reading of the entire 20 book series is available, that edition is, in my view, a much better choice. A matter of taste, of course, but Tull adds depth that I find missing with this reader.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amy Flagstaff, AZ, USA 02-07-09
    Amy Flagstaff, AZ, USA 02-07-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I'm so bored!"

    I am not hard to please when it comes to fiction...I like almost everything. But I am almost 4 hours into this book and find it so dull. There is so much detail about the boat, and not much plot. I keep waiting for something interesting to happen...I hope it does soon or I won't be able to finish it. I like to listen to books while I'm doing chores, but this one has BECOME a chore.

    5 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kaye E Steeno New Braunfels, TX, US 12-26-09
    Kaye E Steeno New Braunfels, TX, US 12-26-09 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "boring"

    I never got into it.

    1 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeff Middleburg, FL, United States 04-12-09
    Jeff Middleburg, FL, United States 04-12-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Boring"

    This was one of the worst audio books I've listened to in five years. Mostly pointless dialogue with almost no plot.

    1 of 21 people found this review helpful
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