The thirteenth installment of Patrick O'Brian's hugely successful Aubrey/Maturin series.
Don't miss the rest of the Aubrey/Maturin series.
©1989 Patrick O'Brian; (P)2003 Recorded Books, LLC
"The best historical novels ever written." (The New York Times Book Review)
It would be difficult to single out one Aubrey/Maturin series novel that shines above the rest, but _The Thirteen Gun Salute_ would definitely be a candidate. Perhaps it is because I have read or listened to all but one of the previous books in the series, and can therefore feel as though I know O'Brian's characters on a level of great familiarity, but I do not think so. This book represents O'Brian at the top of his game, with humor and wit at an all-time high. Patrick Tull, as always, delivers a great performance.
I am an avid eclectic reader.
Patrick Tull makes the story come alive. One feels as if they are part of the crew. When listening I could smell the sea and feel the movement of the ship. Love Stephens excitment over the wildlife and fauna of the land and sea. O'Brian's stories always take me off to read more about the time and story he is writing about. I disagree with some of the other reviewer that felt they could not distinguish between the characters in the story. I could hear the difference and he has kept the various ones consistent from book to book.
I've been listening to audio books for close on 25 years and Patrick Tull takes the art to perhaps its highest level. When I think of Jack Aubrey, I hear Tull's booming but subtle Hampshire tones. When I think of Stephen Maturin, I hear Tull's nuanced Dublin brogue. I lose myself entirely in his characterization. The performance is only to be surpassed by O'Brian's masterful, detailed, entirely believable world created by some of the best prose since Jane Austen. Tull's reading and O'Brian's prose are a powerful cocktail, capable of suspending anyone's disbelief. I drink it often and gladly.
I have listened with joy to every Aubrey/Maturin novel thus far and all read by Patrick Tull. The man continues his phenomenal performance in this 13th audio novel. I had the misfortune of listening to book four in the series read by an another narrator and it lost all the love I had for the characters and the series. So, then I found the book read by Mr. Tull and stuck with his narration ever since. Patrick Tull masterfully portrays each character and keeps them individual throughout the series. His Aubrey and Maturin are ideal to the image in my mind. Tull's Jack Aubrey makes Russell Crowe a pale shadow of the character.
I have read all the Aubrey/Maturin books, but prefer the audiobook format, but if, and only if, Patrick Tull is the narrator. I have heard other narrators of O'Brian's work. They are not the same. The author's work having been already done, the narrator is the most important part of the product. Kim Johnson
Brit in Exile
This continues to represent the finest example of historical fiction I have read. The characters have been formed over many volumes and they continue to develop and interest throughout.
Stephen Maturin has to be my favorite character, his quicky irish deference, addiction to tincture of laudanum and his faithful yet honest relationship with Jack Aubrey is a revelation.
All of Patrick Tull's readings of this series are excellent. I cannot for the life of my understand the criticisms of his narration. I see people writing that they cannot distinguish characters and don't enjoy his unique voice. For me, he is the voice of Master and Commander, almost speaking from the 19th century and I would not dream of listening to this series with anyone else - I have read every book so far and one of the things I look forward to most is the fascinating intonation and cadence of Patrick's voice. I particularly like the Irish Maturin diffidence and low cadence whenever he expresses disdain or disagreement with his friend Aubrey.
Its fine as it is
Great series - very consistent and hugely enjoyable.
Thirteen-Gun Salute is a marvelous book for travel or to keep you company while you do mindless work (like ironing) Patrick Tull is one of my favorite readers, and his ability to differentiate characters without using phony "voices" is brilliant. The Patrick O'Brian books are an entertaining education.
I like the way that Jack's essential integrity is rewarded.
I love Jack - big, bluff, and brave. He's a human-sized hero and so very believable.
I read all of Patrick O'brian's high seas series. They were so captivating that I hated to reach the end. Another good series was Hyperion.
This book has plenty to offer with political intrigue, Naturalist wonders and on-ship trials.
Stephen must deviously compete for the Malay Sultan's attention and good favour, against the already entrenched French envoy, in order to successfully negotiate a treaty between the Sultan and the English King. As these French envoys are Stephen's particular hated enemies, his need for success is both personal as well as professional. In this land, Stephen encounters scenic wonders, as well as plants and animals that truely amaze him; the orangutan being one. Shipboard, "The Diane" encounters shoals and foul weather.
This book would be a 5+ except for the poor narration by Patrick Tull. Patrick's own strong accent makes it difficult to impossible, for a lot of the book, to distinguish between narration and characters, and between one character and another. Stephen, Jack, and the many other characters in the book sound much the same, much of the time. This was perhaps the most annoying aspect of the narration, but also at times his narration trails off into barely audible muffled words; an example being when Stephen was apologizing to Jack at one point. In moderately noisy areas such as on a residential street it was impossible to hear him at times and on streets with traffic, I had to be adjusting volume up and down continously. I haven't had this problem with any of the other books in this series with other narrators. His pace also seems slow and rambling at times, which made some parts of the book 'a struggle'. At times I felt like abondoning this book, but the storyline kept me going.
I would recommend any other narrator, but in particular you won't go too far wrong with either Simon Vance, or Tim Piggott-Smith. Both are great narrators, and Tim, in particular, has a very wonderful range and consistency in his characters' voices. Mostly I've purchased books with Simon Vance as narrator, and have enjoyed them thoroughly.
All these books in the series are great fun but after having to listen to a couple of them read by Mr Tull I have to give up. I miss Simon Vance's reading. He brought Aubrey to life to such an extent that I would rather not hear as different performance as the one given by Patrick Tull.
Patrick Tull is a great narrator but his Irish shows far to often and his frequent dramatic pauses do not, in my mind, do Maturin or Aubrey justice. I will happily by other books performed by Tull but for me this series demands the booming voice of Vance. I love the books but will finish it in paper or find a source of Vance performances for the rest.
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