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The Letter of Marque: Aubrey/Maturin Series, Book 12 | [Patrick O'Brian]

The Letter of Marque: Aubrey/Maturin Series, Book 12

In The Letter of Marque, Jack is once again aboard his beloved Surprise but stripped of his post captaincy for a crime he did not commit. Bought by Stephen, the Surprise has become a privateer. Sailing into French waters, the two concoct a desperate mission which, if successful, may redeem Aubrey from his state of disgrace.
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Publisher's Summary

In The Letter of Marque, Jack is once again aboard his beloved Surprise but stripped of his post captaincy for a crime he did not commit. Bought by Stephen, the Surprise has become a privateer. Sailing into French waters, the two concoct a desperate mission which, if successful, may redeem Aubrey from his state of disgrace. A nighttime battle with an unusual climax, a jewel of great value and Stephen's fondness for opium make this segment of O'Brian's masterful series both original and profoundly exciting.

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

©1988 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

4.7 (398 )
5 star
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4.8 (175 )
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4.8 (178 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Farlow BALTIMORE , MD, USA 02-12-04
    Farlow BALTIMORE , MD, USA 02-12-04 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    25
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    "Two Patricks"

    I have listened to all the Aubrey/Maturin books,each narrated by Patrick Tull,unabridged, and will start at the beginning to savor them all again.I tuned into CSPAN on the car radio one night and heard P. O'Brian being interviewed by Walter Cronkite.I was so taken by his intelligence ,wit and charm that I read the first novel.It was great but hearing Patrick Tull read the second one was what blew me away.I was hooked! And I never liked naval lore or historical novels before.These two Patricks collaborated to deliver hours of pleasure...seventeen books making up one huge novel.I can't imagine any narrator doing a better job of bringing the books to life.

    25 of 28 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul houston, TX, USA 07-03-06
    Paul houston, TX, USA 07-03-06 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    51
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    83
    23
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    2
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    "New Life"

    I don't know why, but Tull has gone to town w/ the voices on this one. The story is great, one of the best so far, but after listening to the series thus far it was refreshing to here the improved voices.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Aidan Gilbert, AZ, USA 01-30-06
    Aidan Gilbert, AZ, USA 01-30-06 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    23
    ratings
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    22
    8
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    "Refreshing"

    I have listened to all of the Aubrey/Maturin series and this one was one of the very best. Jack being released from the RN seems to have been a great release for O'Brien also. He takes the liberty of straying a little from the confines of the Royal Navy's diabolical treatment of one of their best commanders and tells a thumping good story. Tull, also appears to 'enjoy' reading this one a bit more as his performance is reverting. I loved this one and i am sure you will too.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elizabeth M. Nash Saskatoon 04-15-12
    Elizabeth M. Nash Saskatoon 04-15-12 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    "I much prefer the Simon Vance"
    If you could sum up The Letter of Marque in three words, what would they be?

    Brilliant books, I've listened to them through at least 4 times. I got the first one, because of the movie, but it and the next 12 were read by Simon Vance. I dislike the other readers, as I'd gotten to "know" the characters in a different voice, and their character seemed to change with Patrick Tull and Tim Pigott Smith, to almost cartoonish. The Vance interpretation is more dignified, whereas the other readers make Stephen too "Irish" which is incongruous with his education, his travel, the fact that he speaks as many languages as he does, and with the fact that at dinners etc., strangers will comment on the Irish in a way that they would not if they knew he was Irish, which they would if he had such a thick accent. As well, he speaks so many languages, and is such a cool, shrewd spy, he should not be made to sound like such a buffoon as Tull makes him sound. He should sound as cool and suave, as Vance makes him sound. As well, Vance is such a master at all the different voices, accents, dialects, even languages, it is effortless to know who is talking, indeed you forget that the story is being read by one man. He even reads the female and child parts convincingly. Even though I have books 13-16 by Tull and Pigott Smith, when they come available by Vance, I will buy them again, and listen to them again. Vance makes Stephen and Jack each cool and sexy in their own way, while the other readers turn them into cartoon characters.


    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jonathan Madison, WI, United States 11-20-10
    Jonathan Madison, WI, United States 11-20-10 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Patrick Tull is a master"

    I love the entire series as books. I didn't really get how wonderful audiobooks can be, though, until I heard these readings by Patrick Tull. They are superb -- the variety of voices and accents -- and he captures Jack Aubrey and especially Stephen Maturin to perfection. If you love the series, do yourself a favor and get the version read by Patrick Tull. I tried the Simon Vance version, and in my opinion it doesn't compare.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dorn Novi, MI, USA 09-28-05
    Dorn Novi, MI, USA 09-28-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Very Good"

    This was a good story, nicely told. Interesting, adventurous, suspenseful, and well-written.

    That I came away disinclined to read the rest is probably only my disinterest in the genre.

    I would recommend it.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dennis FORT PIERCE, FL, United States 02-13-13
    Dennis FORT PIERCE, FL, United States 02-13-13 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Change For Jack and Steven interesting"
    Where does The Letter of Marque rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I liked this book and all of them so far can't wait to read the next one


    What other book might you compare The Letter of Marque to and why?

    One of a kind story with great characters and enjoyed it and look forward to more


    Which scene was your favorite?

    There were a few that were both action and emotion, liked all of it


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    If it were possible yes


    Any additional comments?

    Getting close to the end of the series but the stories just keep me interested

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Troy Austin, TX, United States 01-07-13
    Troy Austin, TX, United States 01-07-13 Member Since 2011
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    "My favorite so far"
    If you could sum up The Letter of Marque in three words, what would they be?

    Great followup to "Reverse of the Medal". My favorite so far of the Patrick O'Brian novels.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Maturin


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

    Maturin


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Edward C. Charbonnet Memphis, TN 12-27-12
    Edward C. Charbonnet Memphis, TN 12-27-12 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Captain Aubry is now a Privateer"

    Having been unjustly stripped of his Navy commission, Jack was now doomed to be ship-less until his good friend Dr. Matchurin buys Jack's beloved schooner Surprise at a Naval auction and makes Jack the skipper. They have some most extraordinary and profitable adventures ridding Jack of his huge debts and making him a public hero because of the enemy chips he captures in a very daring night raid. For me, this is one of the best books of the series and I particularly enjoyed seeing the navy now from the privateer perspective.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ashley Thunder Bay, ON, Canada 10-26-12
    Ashley Thunder Bay, ON, Canada 10-26-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Don't buy this narrator"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    The book yes, this version of the narration, NO


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Patrick Tull?

    Simon Vance PLEASE!!


    Any additional comments?

    Narrator is unbearable to listen to as his odd pauses and total lack of voice changes between characters force him to ad the "he said" and "she said" at the end of every spoken word.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 10 results
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  • Jon
    Beverley, East Yorkshire, United Kingdom
    9/21/06
    Overall
    "Letter of Marque"

    A gripping yarn read by a master of the art - O'Brian's further adventures of Captain Aubrey and Stephen Maturin are brought to life by a master of story telling - Patrick Tull... Brilliant. It's just a shame that the other unabridged O'Brian books read by Tull aren't in the Audible collection.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • A User
    4/6/06
    Overall
    "How to lose yourself in history"

    As an O'Brian fan, it would have to be something really dull to stop me from marking it high, but this was really top notch - the way in which the story was read helped transport me back into the times of the French wars and ripping yarns - Brilliant.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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