Regular price: $27.99

Free with 30-day trial
Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month
OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

This is the first novel Patrick O'Brian ever wrote about the sea, a precursor to the Aubrey/Maturin series that The New York Times has hailed as "the best historical novels ever written." The Golden Ocean shares the high-seas adventure and rich humor of this triumphant series, invoking the eloquent style and authentic historic atmosphere that O'Brian fans love so much. In 1740, two young Irishmen, lifelong friends Peter and Sean, join Commodore Anson and his crew on their quest for fortune and fame on the golden ocean.
©1956 Patrick O'Brian; (P)2003 Recorded Books, LLC.

Critic Reviews

"An entertaining and psychologically astute narrative....This early work has practically all the naval lore and sense of place that grace the Aubrey/Maturin books." (Publishers Weekly)
"A rousing novelistic retelling of a particularly colorful chapter in the history of the imperialist wars of the mid-18th century...Robust and exhilarating." (Los Angeles Times)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    106
  • 4 Stars
    60
  • 3 Stars
    21
  • 2 Stars
    5
  • 1 Stars
    1

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    83
  • 4 Stars
    34
  • 3 Stars
    11
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    1

Story

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    75
  • 4 Stars
    35
  • 3 Stars
    16
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0
Sort by:
  • Overall

Patrick O'Brien at His Best!

If you love stories of sailing ships, adventure on the high seas and feats of derring-do, this book is for you. I have read many of O'Brien's books, and loved every one of them; including this one.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

A 1st Rate Listen

This may be my favorite O'Brian book though it is less known than the Aubrey/Maturin series. O'Brian is unrivaled in his ability to make us hear the booming of the big guns in battle, but in this book he also shines in the moments when his marvelous comic sense comes to the fore.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Lawrence
  • Birmingham, AL, United States
  • 09-13-07

A Winner, as usual

O'Brian is a master. This is a wonderful introduction to his writing. While not directly related to the Aubrey/Maturin series, I'd recommend this as an introduction. I know almost nothing about sailing, but that's not the point of these exciting stories.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

A wonderful prequel to Master and Commander

This is a wonderful entertaining prequel to the Master and Commander series. The writing and reading are lyrical and thoroughly engrossing. The text is spare and perfectly suited to the time of place of the story. One is transported to the British Navy of the 18th century with all of its cultural, ritualistic and stylistic norms. I have listened to the entire Master and Commander series three times and am now listening to Golden Ocean for the second.
This is very highly recommended for anyone who can appreciate excellent writing, reading and storytelling.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Kevin
  • Tucson, AZ, United States
  • 04-01-11

A pleasure to listen

This being my first audio book, I think I've been spoiled. What a wonderful narrator. I read all 21 Aubrey-Matruin novels but goingback to Patrick O'Brian's first was a joy. The narrators inflexions in his voice for each character allows the reader to identify with the character immediately.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Patrick O'Brian' first is a great freshman outing.

While not his best novel, the Golden Ocean is still a very fine story of a young boy growing into a man aboard a Man o' War and the people who he becomes brothers with along the long hard journey.

The narration can, at times, seem jumpy. The narrators voice will suddenly smooth out probably from a new recording session as he does a tremendous job providing voices to characters that fit right in with their personalities. His characterizations of Peter, Sean, Ransom. and the rest really bring the story to life. But his narration of ship to ship action could use more liveliness.

Patrick O'Brian is the master of storytelling during the age of sail and, while this outing is of a historical voyage told from the middhipmens' berth, we really get to care about Peter and Sean, flaws and all. But Peter is no Captain Lucky Jack Aubrey and Sean no Stephen Maturin. The boys' tale is one of growing up and very different from the quandries faced by a Captain and his friend, the spy.

I am looking forward to the second one from this line, but first I need to get my fix of some Lucky Jack and Stephen.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Stephen
  • Grosse Pointe Farms, MI, USA
  • 05-09-17

Painfully Dull

Would you try another book from Patrick O'Brian and/or John Franklyn-Robbins?

I have read and listened to the entire Aubrey Maturin Series with great pleasure. This book was very slow to develop its story line and I gave up after an hour of listening.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

Very monotone and slow.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Not quite Patrick Tull, but close

Great early story from an evolving master, this book will delight any O'Brian fan hungering for more. It's also a great listen on its own.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • L
  • 02-12-16

Excellent!

Story gripping, narration is the best of anything I've ever heard . I love this audio book !