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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 listeners say about The Nutmeg of Consolation

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

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.

6 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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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.

1 person found this helpful

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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 people found this helpful

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Brilliant as Usual!

Patrick O’Brian is peerless in his ability to weave story with the vast histories of nautical, natural, political, geographical and naval, with a solid dose of philosophical muses, subtle humor, and emotional rumination thrown in the mix. This book, like the others in this series, delivers with such stylistic consistency, I will no doubt revisit it yet again and again! What a spectacular contribution to literature, entertainment, and reflection this series is!

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Another great one

Another great story. Love the the adventures of these two. Can't wait to see what happens next.

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Another masterpiece

I’m on my third circumnavigation of this series and it is exciting as the first. I pick up something new every time. Patrick O’Brian had a unique way of phrasing things that will absolutely captivate the reader. This book is full of adventure, and also gives you a look at every aspect of sea life as well as the characters personalities.
If you’re into the Napoleonic era wars then I recommend this book and every other in the series. Start at the beginning and follow the life and careers of Captain Aubrey and Dr Steven Maturin. You won’t regret it. There is some fairly technical terminology throughout, but don’t allow yourself to be overwhelmed by it. Just keep reading and in a short time you’ll be a salty sea dog yourself. Enjoy!

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Best in the series?

The Nutmeg of Consolation has it all - beautiful locations, vicious action, detailed naval life, all stunningly well read. I recommend it ardently.

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Simply the finest series/reader.

We meet some unlikeable Characters in this one and cringe at the treatment of prisoners in Australia. Maturin meets a Platypus as well.

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all at sea

as like all the others in this series, near perfect!

a wonderful read the second time around!

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Another Excellent Installment

I can not wait to listen to the next volume. From shipwrecked to Australia the take is an excellent one.