We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access .
 >   > 
H.M.S. Surprise Audiobook

H.M.S. Surprise: Aubrey/Maturin Series, Book 3

Regular Price:$34.97
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Publisher's Summary

At the opening of his third novel in an ongoing adventure series by Patrick O'Brian, Jack Aubrey is cruising off Cape Sicie when his friend Stephen Maturin (more serenely situated in Sussex) is informed of the Board's decision regarding Aubrey's prize money, taken after victorious engagement with a Spanish squadron at Cape Santa Maria. The money, five million pieces of eight, is not, as is the custom of war, to be divided among the crews of the four victorious vessels, but is to be treated as droits of the Crown of England. Five million pounds is, after all, five million pounds.

It will be a hard rub for Aubrey, who had counted on that money to clear his debts and make himself a suitable match, but no more hard than for Maturin who spends much of his free time at Mapes Court in the company of the lovely Sophia Williams, Aubrey's betrothed. How could Stephen deliver the news that would break Sophia's heart?

When Jack docks at Portsmouth, he is clapped in irons forthwith, and carried off to a sponging house for debtors. Jack knows a prisoner can rot in jail, so when Sir Joseph graciously offers him escape aboard the H.M.S. Surprise, bound for the East Indies, he makes for the only place where his unsteady virtue remains intact: the sea.

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

©1973 Patrick O'Brian; (P)2003 Recorded Books, LLC

What the Critics Say

"O'Brian knows his history and sailing, as is evident in the rich particulars....Stretching its genre but never escaping it, the novel will impress those who enjoy swashbucklers." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.7 (1427 )
5 star
 (1069)
4 star
 (269)
3 star
 (66)
2 star
 (12)
1 star
 (11)
Overall
4.7 (998 )
5 star
 (767)
4 star
 (182)
3 star
 (36)
2 star
 (6)
1 star
 (7)
Story
4.7 (997 )
5 star
 (815)
4 star
 (130)
3 star
 (28)
2 star
 (10)
1 star
 (14)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Justin Arlington, TX United States 06-13-17
    Justin Arlington, TX United States 06-13-17 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    15
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Can't do this narrator"

    There's a version of these books narrated by Simon Vance, and the quality is night and day. I couldn't make it through more than two chapters of Patrick Tull's performance.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matthew Eddy 05-13-17 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "love this series"

    I love the series, well-written, great story, good characters, really takes you back in time

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alexander 05-09-17
    Alexander 05-09-17 Member Since 2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    10
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Yet another wonderful book!"

    Awesome story and great reading. loved every minute. Full of excitement, wild life and riches

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Washington, DC 01-21-17
    Amazon Customer Washington, DC 01-21-17 Member Since 2015

    Insighter

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "fabulous story, magnificently read by Patrick Tull"

    this was my second time through this book and it was as fascinating as the original reading. I have read all 20 books at least once and some sections many times

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Reviewer 12-18-16
    Reviewer 12-18-16 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    56
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The story was fine But Patrick Tull is terrible. "

    I started the series with Simon Vance and I found his narrative style excellent. So when Audible dropped his versions I was forced try Patrick Tulls. Patrick Tull is a narrator that does not understand the pacing of normal human conversation. His style of narration is slow and he take many long akward pauses. In support of my opinion I point to the length of the two versions. Patrick Tull managed to take an extra four hours to narrate the same unabridged story over Simon Vance. Also, Patrick Tull is incapable of providing distinctive voices for the characters. In a conversation between Steven and Sophie, I couldn't tell who was talking and what was internal thought. I will be only listening to Simon Vance from here on. That being said I found the story most enjoyable after I rented a Simon vance version from the library.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tim United States 11-27-16
    Tim United States 11-27-16 Member Since 2011

    I read nothing that is popular.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1250
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    548
    544
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    119
    12
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Continuous Pauses"

    Patrick Tull is more long winded when reading "H.M.S. Surprise". I need to take a break from the series, but the third book Aubrey and Maturin series seems to took me a bit to finish. I didn't wanted to speed up my player because I really liked the story and Tull's performance was excellent even though the continuous pauses. I was planning to finish this epic series within six months, but I really need to pace myself from being burnt out.

    As for "H.M.S. Surprise", I couldn't asked for more from the long voyage.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 06-13-16 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    22
    7
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Awful narrator - just awful."

    The narrator is awful. He splits the statement from identifier of the person speaking, so following a conversation is incredibly difficult. There's no real attempt to voice the characters differently and this combined with the first issue means you can never really tell who the heck is talking, except from the context of the conversation - which means you can't sit back and enjoy the story, because you're too busy trying to figure out who is saying what to who. Flaws I class as merely annoying: the narrator randomly draws out the final syllable of a random passage like a snake; inserting just random pauses; and finally he randomly emphasizes syllables.

    It's hard to say if I enjoyed the story much, the narrator was so incredibly distracting. I merely wanted it to be over. I've already bought book 4 and will try it - but if this continues, I'll will simply wait until a new narrator is available. This version is excrutiating to listen to - avoid.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    L 04-19-16
    L 04-19-16
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent!"

    Great story, and the narration was captivating . A most excellent listening experience! Good show!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ricardo from Baltimore Towson, MD, United States 03-15-16
    Ricardo from Baltimore Towson, MD, United States 03-15-16 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Couldn't finish due to the reader"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    The first two books, read by Simon Vance, were terrific. I swaggered around the house shouting things like "Jib up the main top stunsail mast o'er the larboard beam reach and hoist the flagons, look lively!!!!" (which means absolutely nothing but so much fun!). This one, Book 3, by this reader, Patrick Tull--I just can't get through it. I've been trying for many months. The reader is quite strange--too hissy, melodramatic, stylized, and slow. Ugh. I think I'll have to skip this (or finish in hard copy, heaven forbid!) and move on to Book 4--back to Simon Vance :)


    Would you be willing to try another book from Patrick O'Brian? Why or why not?

    Yes! A terrific series.


    How could the performance have been better?

    Couldn't take the reader.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Aseehorn228 08-24-15
    Aseehorn228 08-24-15 Member Since 2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    49
    7
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent story. narrator is awesome."

    Patrick Tull is a treasure. His voices for Aubrey and Maturin are perfect. The story is phenomenal. Read/listened to it 5 times, and will Def do so again in future.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.