Meanwhile, his best friend, surgeon and scientist Stephen Maturin, is enjoying unprecedented success. In possession of papers that would make Napoleon blanch, Stephen supplements his espionage activities by delivering lectures at the French Institute on such rarities as the extinct avifauna of Rodriguez, and by spending time in the company of the fiery Diana Villiers.
Don't miss the rest of the Aubrey/Maturin series.
©1980 Patrick O'Brian; (P)2003 Recorded Books, LLC
"Splendid escape. Literate and amusing." (Kirkus)
"Vividly detailed 19th-century settings and dramatic tension punctuated with flashes of wry humor make O'Brian's nautical adventure a splendid treat." (Publishers Weekly)
Listening to Patrick Tull read is such a pleasure. This series is one of the best reasons for audio books.
I write for myself, for my own pleasure. And I want to be left alone to do it. - Salinger ^(;,;)^
"The pretext: dictatorships were absurdly sensitive to the public opinion they continually outraged; they always had to be in the right, to be morally impeccable; and that was one of the reasons why those who had been much mutilated in their interrogation were rarely allowed to live, whether they had given their information or not."
- Patrick O'Brian, The Surgeon's Mate
When I was first introduced to these novels and read the first couple, I couldn't believe how GOOD the were, but was skeptical that they could continue with the same level of near perfection the early novels evoked. Now, seven books in, I'm less amazed at the continuity of output. I figure it is something like building a cathedral. If you have a master-builder, it doesn't matter if the church is 10 feet high or 1000 feet. The scale matters, but a genius will produce genius work.
I am, however, a bit more accustomed to how O'Brian pulls this off without the books seeming to sink into the trap of most serial authors. Setting. If O'Brian only told his novels at sea, there might be some inevitable boredom and repetition, but O'Brian doesn't.
For example in this book, the setting goes something like this:
Halifax (Land) => HMS Diligence (Chased from Halifax to Home) => England (Land) / Paris (Land) => HMS Ariel (Baltic Sea/Bay of Biscay) => Paris (Prison) => HMS Oedipus (English Channel).
This one has a bit more setting changes than most, but O'Brian's change of settings and occasional diversions into spy-craft and/or spouse-craft allows enough shadows and depth into these novels to keep the reader from becoming sea-blind.
The entire Aubrey/Maturin series ranks as one of my favorite of all time. These books are detailed, fascinating, and charming. The characters, even the cantankerous ones, are compelling. I love them all.
I think Aubrey is probably my favorite, today. It could by Diana tomorrow, or Maturin. Aubrey is very funny, often without realizing it. He is truly a man's man, but with a gentle heart that can't resist the ladies. He is gallant, foolhardy, brilliant and all things engaging.
I like his females characters. I also appreciate his pauses that carry with them some unspoken detail, we the reader/listener can use to color in added meaning.
Yes, but i parcel it out so it lasts longer.
I am looking forward to my next long drive so I can permit myself to listen to the next one in the series.
The readers in this series are really very good. Anybody with a wish for the stories of romance, deep friendship, action, and adventure should read or listen to this series.
Excellent yarn. Totally absorbed in the entire series to date. Cannot seem to stop or take a break. Look forward to every opportunity to listen to the next chapter!
The Surgeon's Mate has great characters, high adventure, natural studies, history & romance. This is my second read of the series and it's just as good this time. It is so rich in detail that I catch things I didn't fully appreciate the first read. I'll regret when I finish all the books the second time. I highly recommend it.
The storytelling continues to impress. I especially appreciate the fact that it's not cluttered up with incessant cursing.
History nut w/soft heart
I've read the Aubrey-Maturin series and fell in love after the first page. Listening to them read aloud by Mr. Tull has only deepened my pleasure. He doesn't overdo his characterizations of the different characters and the droll British wit comes through as clear as a bell. Highly, highly recommended!
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.