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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 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

4.0 (2091 )
5 star
 (1007)
4 star
 (511)
3 star
 (301)
2 star
 (156)
1 star
 (116)
Overall
4.2 (979 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
 (36)
Story
4.2 (987 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
 (109)
2 star
 (64)
1 star
 (41)
Performance
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  •  
    Joel Dallas 03-06-04
    Joel Dallas 03-06-04 Member Since 2002

    I have listened to over 250 books in the last 10 years. I tend to listen to certain authors and try to read all their books. I listen while exercising and driving which makes the time past enjoyable.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    4
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    "jbs"

    This is the first book of the series that I have read and I was very dissappointed. I listen to 2 books per month for the last couple of years and this is the most difficult and "boring" to get through. First the story moves very slowly without an overt plot. Second you need to know alot about the naval terms and condition of the time to understand a good portion of the story. Probably , if you read the book it is easier to understand. I have not seen the movie, but in its previews it picture alot more action than this audiobook invisions to the reader.

    2 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joseph T. Busfield Philadelphia, PA 02-11-04
    Joseph T. Busfield Philadelphia, PA 02-11-04 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    12
    8
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    Overall
    "Longwinded and at times, vulgar"

    One of the few Audible selections not completed. Found myself dozing as I drove listening to this long-winded, disconnected tale. Not a movie buff, but must suspect the movie had to do better to be so popular.

    5 of 18 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer Louisville, KY, USA 03-20-10
    Jennifer Louisville, KY, USA 03-20-10 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
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    98
    5
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    "How did this book get such high ratings?"

    I couldn't finish this book. The constant smacking, mouth sounds from the reader drove me crazy! The story was boring and full of nautical jargon that meant nothing to a landlubber. Maybe I could have gotten into it if it weren't for the reader, I'll never know and I'll never go back and finish this book.

    1 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Keith Lake Elsinore, CA, USA 08-11-04
    Keith Lake Elsinore, CA, USA 08-11-04 Member Since 2001
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
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    3
    1
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    "Insomniacs should listen..."

    The one star rating is a gift by virtue that the review process here does not allow zero stars. This audio title should come with the following warning: "Do not listen to this book while driving or operating heavy machinery" and "Will cause drowsiness".

    The descriptive nature of this novel was very good, however, I found it a real snoozer. It seemed that the main characters spent more time on deck drinking tea and watching the slow progress of the ship(s) chasing them than actually doing battle. The Proper British manner oozes from every word in this novel, yawn. Time for a nap.

    6 of 25 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matthew Decatur, TX, United States 11-30-11
    Matthew Decatur, TX, United States 11-30-11
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    Performance
    Story
    "Curses like a sailor"

    I'll give it credit for historical accuracy, but little else. I listened to the first three hours before giving up on it. The book is tedious and technical in descriptions of nautical topics. There is a lot of vulgarity, and I mean a lot. I quit after the second "F-bomb". It also references such things as "sodomy with a goat". I was hoping for a naval adventure and was sorely disappointed.

    A word on the recording: it is from 1991 and sounds like it was on a cassette tape. The narrator isn't bad, but it is difficult to keep up with the many different characters and their accents.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Riverview, FL, USA 05-14-06
    Michael Riverview, FL, USA 05-14-06
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    "Fun but tough listening"

    For any naval enthusiest, this is an excellent story. The realism of the language used in the day and the Britsh nature of the text, made some of the nautical terms difficult to understand. However, this story makes you want lean more about Captain Jack and his adventures. The humor is typical dry for the English and the exchanges between Captain Jack and the doctor are much like the movie hit.

    0 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nils heber, UT, United States 02-22-10
    Nils heber, UT, United States 02-22-10 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Gave up after 2 hours"

    Lots of pomp and circumstance, very short on plot and action. Long winded and dull.

    0 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Roberta Eagle, ID, USA 04-05-04
    Roberta Eagle, ID, USA 04-05-04 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    "Great reading, but too much sailing jargon"

    Even after careful attention and some research on the web, I got bogged down in the jargon. The story is engaging, but the characters seemed lightly drawn especially considering the careful attention paid to the technical information. The reader was delightful, adding some character to otherwise dry information.

    0 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Holly, MI, USA 05-25-05
    Robert Holly, MI, USA 05-25-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I thought the movie was better...."

    Which is rare for a movie to be better than the book. But this one is. HMS Surprise pursues an American warship bent on taking the conflict to the Pacific Ocean. Jack is enjoying his cruise in Surprise, while the Doctor is doing his usual antics.
    What?s missing is the action. The movie has some great action sequences, along with the chase of Surprise by the enemy until Jack turns the tables. Well, that was actually out of a previous book. Readers will note many of the movie lines and some plot come from other books in the series.
    The best line in the book?.
    Jack and the Doctor have been captured by cannibalistic women. They?re on-board some native craft, and the crew is breaking out their ceremonial knives, talismans and the like. Jack?s comment??Looks like their going to rig for church.?
    Of course they escape, after all, it?s book 10 of 20?

    0 of 8 people found this review helpful
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