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The Nutmeg of Consolation

Aubrey/Maturin Series, Book 14
Narrated by: Patrick Tull
Series: Aubrey/Maturin, Book 14
Length: 12 hrs and 32 mins
5 out of 5 stars (1,022 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

When last seen, Jack and Stephen had been shipwrecked on a desert island in the glittering South China Sea. The Nutmeg of Consolation opens as the castaways fashion a makeshift vessel from the wreckage, only to have it destroyed in a fiery attack by Malay pirates. Only the wondrous ingenuity of Stephen, along with the unexpected appearance of one of Jack's oldest allies, leads them to escape, and to dubious safety in a penal colony at New South Wales.The fourteenth installment of Patrick O'Brian's hugely successful Aubrey/Maturin series.
Don't miss the rest of the Aubrey/Maturin series.
©1991 Patrick O'Brian (P)2003 Recorded Books, LLC

Critic Reviews

"What Mr. O'Brian has created is no less than a tapestry of English life in the early 19th century that is almost Dickensian in its scope." (New York Observer)

What members say

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Darwin8u
  • Mesa, AZ, United States
  • 05-21-18

I read novels with the utmost pertinacity.

“I read novels with the utmost pertinacity. I look upon them - I look upon good novels - as a very valuable part of literature, conveying more exact and finely-distinguished knowledge of the human heart and mind than almost any other, with greater breadth and depth and fewer constraints.”
― Patrick O'Brian, The Nutmeg of Consolation

For action, this book is a bit light. There is a bit of fighting when the crew of the shipwrecked HMS Diane are trying to building a schooner. Tobacco and alcohol might soon run out and the ship is nearing St. Famine's day (not marked by a famine of food, but smokes and booze). Things might get rough. After losing a few members heading off an attack of some local pirates, they eventually chase down a French ship. I won't give those details away. However, after that, the book ends up in Australia (New South Wales) where Dr. Maturin contemplates happiness, money, family and addition. He also confronts the harsh conditions in New South Wales, where everything has been degraded by the penal colony economy.

It might have been a 3-star (the first?) book, if not for the beautiful musings of Stephen throughout. I really do love these novels.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Jean
  • Santa Cruz, CA, United States
  • 09-28-11

The Nutmeg

Patrick Tull does his usual great job in narrating this story. This book picks up where the last one left off on a deserted island building a boat to escape. I love the description of Stephen and Martin on their naturalist wanderings. I found the description of the Nutmeg as a sweet smelling ship interesting and then how they had to "sweeten" the Surprise when returning to her. Great sea stories and battles in the exotic Malay seas.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Tim
  • United States
  • 03-07-19

​Not Five Stars

Maybe I have gunk in my ears and still sick from a cold, but book #14 wasn't that outstanding at all. Despite the bad recording from the audio production, which I can forgive, the plot was non existing to the series. I can only assume that Patrick O'Brian felt force to write "The Nutmeg of Consolation".

As for Patrick Tull, his vivacious voice is missing, unlike the past 13 books. This is one of the weakest books in the series. I'm sure that it will be better in the next novel.

Sadly, "The Nutmeg of Consolation" is not five stars worthy.

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A necessary step

Some really good action, welcome reunions and a few surprises. Not my favorite in this series, but the series needed this novel to continue in interesting ways. I think the story developments really eclipsed the action, so it lacks the energy of earlier titles. That being said, O’Brian has become one of my favorite writers and Aubrey-Maturin one of my favorite duos. The book is better than I make it sound, and you would be missing too much by skipping this one.

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Poor quality reading

Tull is unintelligible when he attempts to use accents. Speaks too quickly. Sounds like he has marble in his mouth.

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More adventure!

The south sea adventure continues where it left off after the Thirteen gun salute. you'll not be disappointed!

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Great story fantastic narration, overall wonderful

This was a magnificent addition to the series. I loved everything about it. A good mix of action and drama.

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Disappointed

This was my least favorite of the series, and I'm a big fan. The plot was just not there.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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outstanding treasure

Brilliant weave of historical content, amazing botanical encounters and naval culture and times. Patrick Tull is the BEST reader/actor. Far better than anyone else. This series is something to treasure...on to Book 15.

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A great book in a magnificent series!

Patrick Hull is definitely the narrator that you want for this series. The other guy is simply unacceptably poor in comparison.