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Master and Commander Audiobook

Master and Commander: Aubrey/Maturin Series, Book 1

Regular Price:$21.35
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Audible Editor Reviews

Why we think it's Essential: Let more academic folk reach for Moby Dick; I'll take the Aubrey / Maturin series every time. The first of what has been called "the best [series of] historical novels ever written", Master and Commander has everything a good adventure story needs: well-drawn characters, a unique backdrop, and rousing action. And in Patrick Tull, it has the perfect narrator - the voice of an old sea dog who enjoys nothing more than sharing a well-told tale. —Ed Walloga

Publisher's Summary

This, the first in the splendid series of Jack Aubrey novels, establishes the friendship between Captain Aubrey, Royal Navy, and Stephen Maturin, ship's surgeon and intelligence agent, against the thrilling backdrop of the Napoleonic wars. Details of life aboard a man-of-war in Nelson's navy are faultlessly rendered: the conversational idiom of the officers in the ward room and the men on the lower deck, the food, the floggings, the mysteries of the wind and the rigging, and the road of broadsides as the great ships close in battle.

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

©1984 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

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  •  
    Lucie 01-28-14
    Lucie 01-28-14 Member Since 2013

    I've been listening to audiobooks since I was a little kid wandering the house, dragging a toddler-proof Playskool tape player behind me.

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    "One of the greatest series you could listen to"
    Where does Master and Commander rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Master and Commander is first in a lengthy series, often referred to as the "Aubreyad" after one of the main characters, Jack Aubrey. It's part classic novel and part swashbuckling adventure, but it also stands apart in a league of its own, as far as historical fiction goes.

    There are plenty of high-seas escapades, but it's far more than an adventure series: these books have all the depth and complexity of history, lovingly told by a man who used every ounce of his talent to bring the past and its people to life. It's like Jane Austen at sea: a complex social world filled with vivid (and often utterly loveable) characters, and all done with a wit and charm unique to O'Brian.

    As narrated by Patrick Tull, these books really come into their own. Even if I didn't already love the series, I would have to rank Patrick Tull as one of the greatest narrators I've ever had the pleasure to listen to. Rather like Roy Dotrice and the Game of Thrones series, Patrick Tull took on a vast fictional world and a considerable amount of text, and he did an absolutely amazing job.I've listened to these books with Patrick Tull's narration more times than I can count now, and every time I do, I find some new detail that I hadn't properly appreciated before.


    What does Patrick Tull bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Patrick Tull beats the other narrator, Simon Vance. Tull is an incredibly skilful narrator, and he brings out out the full emotional richness of Patrick O'Brian's series, both the serious, moving scenes and the sly wit O'Brian flashes out when you least expect it. Patrick Tull's delivery of these is pitch-perfect: understated, but so funny you'll probably need to pause the book.

    Patrick Tull also a phenomenal job with the accents and characterisation, which helps one keep track of the many characters that turn up over the course of the books.I'd also add that the books necessarily have long, detailed descriptions of ships moving into battle, which I found to drag on a bit in Simon Vance's hands.


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

    Goodness, yes. That's the only possible downside of this series: once you're hooked, you're in danger of calling in sick for a month so you can finish the series undisturbed.


    Any additional comments?

    These books have a lot of technical nautical words, but don't let that put you off! You don't need to know it all to enjoy the series, and O'Brian uses non-sailing characters to help give the reader a leg-up. Before you know it, you'll realise that you've learned a whole new jargon by immersion!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Todd Duluth, MN, United States 11-01-13
    Todd Duluth, MN, United States 11-01-13 Member Since 2016
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    "Delightfully British"
    What made the experience of listening to Master and Commander the most enjoyable?

    The innuendo of the reader made me feel right at home on the HMS Sophie.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Master and Commander?

    The action scenes were quite exciting.


    What does Patrick Tull bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    He clearly understands the message trying to be sent by the author, and they speak with one voice.


    Any additional comments?

    At times the book is quite slow, but that is in line with a sailing vessel at the beginning of the 19th century. I'm sure there would be periods of exhilarating action juxtaposed with periods of mind-numbing inaction. This book is never mind-numbing, but it does come in waves. The narrator does an outstanding job of brining the book to life.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kent 10-01-13
    Kent 10-01-13 Member Since 2016

    Pediatrician. Classics, Literary Fiction and SciFi lover"

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    "An Amazing Story Based on a Real Life"
    Would you listen to Master and Commander again? Why?

    You will be hooked. These books are addicting.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    As a Doc myself I can help but love Dr Maturin


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Love this book. You will be cheering for the Aubry!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eddie Lynn 09-04-13
    Eddie Lynn 09-04-13 Member Since 2017

    No spoilers from me! Sexy, romantic stories, thrillers, mystery, relationship stories.. my library is a crazy mix.

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    "Highly recommended, will not dissapoint"

    Great narrator. Great story. On to book 2. Don't think twice about this - get it!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA, United States 05-24-13
    Amazon Customer MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA, United States 05-24-13 Member Since 2014
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    "Delightful period sea-opera"

    This was a great story and, I suspect, the fact that I listened to the audio version read by Patrick Tull actually significantly added to the experience!

    I've always enjoyed older English historical fiction, especially the sailing/sea-faring genre and, as a child, I read all of Arthur Ransome's Swallows and Amazons series which I think is what whet my appetite.

    A lot of far better qualified folk than I have already addressed the content of the book so I'm not likely to add anything to the world by writing much here so I shan't beyond saying that it's a great read and you should get into it (although be aware that you're in for a 20ish book series, one that the author died before completing).

    I also really want to plug the audio version read by Mr Tull, it was really amazingly well narrated. The book is written with the understated prose of the time it is set and Mr Tull reads it as written, without attempting to add anything to it, truly delightful!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Walt Albuquerque, NM, United States 03-25-13
    Walt Albuquerque, NM, United States 03-25-13 Member Since 2014
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    "Gets your face wet!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Very much so! I have too! This is a wonderful story that is very interesting. There is a lot of details that can bog you down, but overall it is agreat story!


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Master and Commander?

    The taking of the prize.


    Have you listened to any of Patrick Tull’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No, I thought he was very good. British accent adds to the realness.


    If you could rename Master and Commander, what would you call it?

    Quest for a Prize.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mike McNeil 02-26-13
    Mike McNeil 02-26-13
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    "None Better"
    If you could sum up Master and Commander in three words, what would they be?

    Riveting Historical Story


    Any additional comments?

    The first of one of the BEST seafaring book series ever written!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Ellicott City, MD, United States 01-26-13
    Amazon Customer Ellicott City, MD, United States 01-26-13 Member Since 2010
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    "This is the best series - there's no equal."

    I've listened to all twenty (complete) books in the series twice, and I'm now on my third time through - once ever year or two. The books are extremely well written, and the reader's performance is fantastic. There are plenty of interesting characters, and lots of history, humor, and action.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steven D. Ayers Tx.,USA 12-23-12
    Steven D. Ayers Tx.,USA 12-23-12
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    "Aubrey"
    Where does Master and Commander rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I have read the series in book form, starting while I was at sea and now listening to the books, I find it captivating once again.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Jack Aubrey for his ability to command while using mostly body language


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Patrick Tull?

    Of course


    Who was the most memorable character of Master and Commander and why?

    Aubrey, his power and his ability to win and still be a human to others


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dennis FORT PIERCE, FL, United States 12-03-12
    Dennis FORT PIERCE, FL, United States 12-03-12 Member Since 2016

    Currently a local truck driver who has hours to listen to my audio books. I am hooked, some of my fellow drivers enjoy them also

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    "Naval action personal adventures prizes won"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Master and Commander to be better than the print version?

    Only do audio and this one is very well done


    What other book might you compare Master and Commander to and why?

    He is kind of Like Sharpe but in naval warfare same sense of the battle


    What does Patrick Tull bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    He is alittle difficult at times but he is a gifted reader he brings the characters to life


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    When the young midshipman to be fell over board in the chase to escape the French, also when Lt Dugan's fight


    Any additional comments?

    Great book look forward to more naval adventures

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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