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Master and Commander Audiobook

Master and Commander: Aubrey/Maturin Series, Book 1

This, the first in the splendid series of Jack Aubrey novels, establishes the friendship between Captain Aubrey, Royal Navy, 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 road of broadsides as the great ships close in battle.
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Audible Editor Reviews

Why we think it's Essential: Let more academic folk reach for Moby Dick; I'll take the Aubrey / Maturin series every time. The first of what has been called "the best [series of] historical novels ever written", Master and Commander has everything a good adventure story needs: well-drawn characters, a unique backdrop, and rousing action. And in Patrick Tull, it has the perfect narrator - the voice of an old sea dog who enjoys nothing more than sharing a well-told tale. —Ed Walloga

Publisher's Summary

This, the first in the splendid series of Jack Aubrey novels, establishes the friendship between Captain Aubrey, Royal Navy, 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 road of broadsides as the great ships close in battle.

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

©1984 Patrick O'Brian; (P)2003 Recorded Books, LLC.

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 (2638 )
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Story
4.3 (1492 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Luv2Read 10-05-04
    Luv2Read 10-05-04 Member Since 2015

    luv2read

    HELPFUL VOTES
    212
    ratings
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    48
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    Overall
    "outstanding historical acuracy and excitement"

    The setup is a little slow because of the historical accuracy, but once set up you will never be bored. The reading is very good.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James USA 10-04-04
    James USA 10-04-04
    HELPFUL VOTES
    257
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    44
    10
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    Overall
    "Ripping entertainment"

    This is a very richly informed work of fiction. The sheer scale and sweep of the story is sometimes overwhelming and you find yourself rewinding. This is like a piece of extraordinarily dense cheesecake with a very sweet topping. You take it in small bites, then ever larger ones once you have accustomed yourself to its richness. Having adjusted your palette, you wolf down the remaining portion and look round for more. Yes, it really is that kind of book. If you will listen to the sample here, you get an excellent feel for the language. If you can handle hour upon hour of this kind of richness, this is your audiobook. I found the narration a bit overly dramatic in places. Because of the baroque writing style, I think a more sedate tone should have been applied, more relaxed and intellectual. But the British accent is just what the book requires and the reader is quite good in spite of my nitpicking.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Maple Grove, MN, USA 10-01-04
    Robert Maple Grove, MN, USA 10-01-04 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    47
    ratings
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    19
    15
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    "I couldn't stop listening to it"

    I decided to give this book a try after seeing the other great reviews. I never thought I'd be listening to historical fiction! If the rest of the series is this great, I'll be listening to them all. An absolutely engaging book, with a first class narrator.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sarah Millbrae, CA, United States 08-22-04
    Sarah Millbrae, CA, United States 08-22-04
    HELPFUL VOTES
    14
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    192
    21
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    "Wonderful interpretation of much loved novels"

    O'Brien's stories are based on fact. steeped in their time, and totally fascinating. The series is wonderfully read by Patrick Tully who rounds out the characters with his convincing voices, and brings out the dry humour between the dramatis personae. His timing is perfect. It was a whole new dimension to hear him read these books that I have already read and love.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    S Andover, MA, USA 06-09-04
    S Andover, MA, USA 06-09-04 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
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    31
    3
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    "Well done!"

    A lively vivid picture of the British navy of 1800. The reader was outstanding. A nice companion piece to Jane Austen, both a portrait of the same time period.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Helen Olmsted San Diego, CA, US 03-27-04
    Helen Olmsted San Diego, CA, US 03-27-04
    HELPFUL VOTES
    48
    ratings
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    114
    11
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    Overall
    "Great story"

    You don't need to be a historical novel fan or a fan of military or maritime themes to enjoy this book. The story was quite engaging and also well read. I was interested enough to come away wanting to listen to/read the other books in the series at some point.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. Garza Berkeley, CA 03-23-04
    J. Garza Berkeley, CA 03-23-04 Member Since 2001
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
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    "Choose the Vance reading instead"

    Not to disparage Mr. Tull's reading, but since a choice is available it did seem immediately apparent that Simon Vance's more dynamic, and at the risk of seeming ageist, more youthful reading did lend itself better to this action adventure tale. You get the tale 3 hours faster, and that can only be a good thing.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard Smiley Sacramento, CA United States 03-23-04
    Richard Smiley Sacramento, CA United States 03-23-04 Member Since 2007
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    3
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    "I love the detail."

    I really appreciated the detail in this selection. The character of Maturin is a terrific tool for aquainting the "lubber" with life aboard ship. Through his eyes we learn the ship and the jargon of the Navy. Sharing his first experiences allows O'Brien to give a lot of description without departing from the story. Cleverly done. Certainly not a light book. It demanded a fair amount of concentration.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Spencer Mooresville, NC, USA 03-31-04
    Spencer Mooresville, NC, USA 03-31-04
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    18
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    "I would have to pass on further novels like this"

    I was excited to be reading this novel. The movie received so much hype that I wanted to listen to this before actually seeing the movie. After listening fretfully for 3 hours, I must say that I can no longer sustain it. It moves at a very slow pace and seems to go nowhere. I was looking for an action and adventure type of story and received way too much detail. For me personally, I will invest in the 3 hour movie and leave the 16+ hour narrative behind.

    This is the first Audible book (I have both the book and periodical subscription) in a year that I have not enjoyed thoroughly. I listen to 1 or more books per month and the daily WSJ subscription. All have been very well done. This rendition was first difficult to follow at first with the British accent (Narrated by Patrick Tull - although it did add more authenticity). I kept up with it thinking I would eventually get into the story, but alas, I never could. I can not recommend this to a casual reader looking for fun and adventure.

    3 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christopher Play del Rey, CA, USA 03-30-04
    Christopher Play del Rey, CA, USA 03-30-04
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
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    2
    1
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    0
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    Overall
    "Couldn't force myself to pay attention"

    I listen to 7 or 8 audiobooks per month, and of over 50 titles I've gotten from Audible, this is the first one I couldn't finish. I've listened to the first 20 minutes 3 times, but can't get past that point. In truth, my mind starts wandering pretty much as soon as the prologue is done.

    7 of 16 people found this review helpful

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