Don't miss the rest of the Aubrey/Maturin series.
©1983 Patrick O'Brian; (P)2005 Blackstone Audiobooks
"Certainly the greatest series about the British Navy ever written." (Publishers Weekly)
The books in this series are clearly exceptional.
It's also clear in reading other reviews of the Aubrey/Maturin series, you're either a Tull fan or a Vance fan. Well, I'm a Vance fan. In fact, I came to these books not from seeing the "Master and Commander" movie or reading/hearing other books in the series, but from listening to other readings by Simon Vance. His readings of "Shakespeare" and "Howard Pyle's Book of Pirates" are absolutely wonderful.
I've listened to samples of Tull, and his reading seems to drag badly. Looking at the length of the unabridged versions by each reader, there is clearly a difference in pace.
The fair thing to say is that once you've heard a character's voice by one reader, it's hard to switch. I believe that if I had heard Tull first, I'd be a Tull-ard. However, I've been Simon-ized.
Either reader you start with, you won't be able to stop--O'Brian carries the day.
I have played both Tull and Vance versions of this excellent series, and upon my sacred honor, cannot figure out how Patrick Tull has managed such positive reviews. Simon Vance is the clear winner in my opinion. He has excellent command of the voices and accents and fully develops each character in his reading. I almost fell asleep at the wheel while trying to make sense of Tull's slow, monotonous over exaggerated snorting.
I have listened to 10 of these books now. Nine by Simon and one by someone else. Simon Vance makes these books come alive! His vocal interpretations allow you to keep all the characters in place...really excellent.
Simon Vance is once again excellent in delivering a very engaging and entertaining narration of the Patrick O'Brian series. His characterizations are true to life and consistent. While I personally enjoy Jim Lee's work on the Aubrey/Maturin series, Simon Vance is almost his equal. My only fault with the recording is the quality of the audio. Although Audible states that the format is 4 and the highest quality, it is obvious from the file size of only 76Mb per part (2 parts) that the audio cannot hope to equal the same quality as the CD version purchased through W.W. Norton that is usually 760Mb per disc and 5 to 10 discs long. In fairness, the reduced price of the Audible book delivers a good value although the audio is "tinny" and lacks overall depth. I will continue to purchase the Simon Vance versions of the series, but wish that Audible offered a larger file format with better audio quality.
This series is addictive, it's beautifully paced and the plot develops seamlessly over time
Dr. Stephen Maturin is a complex being, in this book especially we see many sides to his personality
I love the narration of Simon Vance, I'm sure the other guy is good too, but when I tried to listen to him he was way to breathy, it sounded like his last gasp in every line, whereas Simon Vance is crisp and clean with clearly identifiable voices for each character.
I'm now on book thirteen and this truly is a series that you can't put down!
Save your money and your ears - get the Patrick Tull narrated versions of the Aubrey and Maturin series by Patrick O'Brian! Mr. Tull understands the characters and brings them to life - they are remarkable listens.
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