• The Thirteen-Gun Salute

  • Aubrey/Maturin Series, Book 13
  • By: Patrick O'Brian
  • Narrated by: Patrick Tull
  • Length: 13 hrs and 6 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (1,571 ratings)

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The Thirteen-Gun Salute  By  cover art

The Thirteen-Gun Salute

By: Patrick O'Brian
Narrated by: Patrick Tull
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Publisher's Summary

Captain Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin set sail aboard the Diane for the South China Sea, shepherding a diplomatic mission to prevent links between Bonaparte and the Malay princes. If their mission fails, English merchant shipping in the area will be threatened. At the barbaric court of Pulo Prabang, the stage is set for a duel of intelligence agents, pitting the savage cunning of Stephen Maturin against the French envoys, who are already entrenched in the Sultan's favor.

The thirteenth installment of Patrick O'Brian's hugely successful Aubrey/Maturin series.

Don't miss the rest of the Aubrey/Maturin series.
©1989 Patrick O'Brian (P)2003 Recorded Books, LLC

Critic Reviews

"The best historical novels ever written." (The New York Times Book Review)

What listeners say about The Thirteen-Gun Salute

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Perhaps the best one I've heard

It would be difficult to single out one Aubrey/Maturin series novel that shines above the rest, but _The Thirteen Gun Salute_ would definitely be a candidate. Perhaps it is because I have read or listened to all but one of the previous books in the series, and can therefore feel as though I know O'Brian's characters on a level of great familiarity, but I do not think so. This book represents O'Brian at the top of his game, with humor and wit at an all-time high. Patrick Tull, as always, delivers a great performance.

22 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Truth was what he could make others believe

"...for him, Truth was what he could make others believe."
- Patrick O'Brian, Thirteen-Gun Salute

"...What I meant was that if he could induce others to believe what he said, then for him the statement acquired some degree of truth, a reflection of their belief that it was true; and this reflected truth might grow stronger with time and repetition until it became conviction, indistinguishable from ordinary factual truth, or very nearly so.”

The Thriteen-Gun Salute, 188

Certain O'Brian novels just make me want to soak in them. I slow down while reading just to float on the prose. There is a poetry to his descriptions of sailing, the natural world, and music. Thirteen books in (I wonder if this was purposeful) O'Brian continues to paint and sketch more and more detail on his two protagonists. I now consider Captain Aubrey and Dr. Maturin to be, perhaps, two of the greatest characters ever. O'Brian uses these two men as archetypes of masculinity (I've covered this before). But each book allows him to shade more, nuance deeper.

9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great Story

Patrick Tull makes the story come alive. One feels as if they are part of the crew. When listening I could smell the sea and feel the movement of the ship. Love Stephens excitment over the wildlife and fauna of the land and sea. O'Brian's stories always take me off to read more about the time and story he is writing about. I disagree with some of the other reviewer that felt they could not distinguish between the characters in the story. I could hear the difference and he has kept the various ones consistent from book to book.

9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

The Thirteen Gun Salute

I have read all the Aubrey/Maturin books, but prefer the audiobook format, but if, and only if, Patrick Tull is the narrator. I have heard other narrators of O'Brian's work. They are not the same. The author's work having been already done, the narrator is the most important part of the product. Kim Johnson

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Fantastic Book - Fantastic Narration

I've been listening to audio books for close on 25 years and Patrick Tull takes the art to perhaps its highest level. When I think of Jack Aubrey, I hear Tull's booming but subtle Hampshire tones. When I think of Stephen Maturin, I hear Tull's nuanced Dublin brogue. I lose myself entirely in his characterization. The performance is only to be surpassed by O'Brian's masterful, detailed, entirely believable world created by some of the best prose since Jane Austen. Tull's reading and O'Brian's prose are a powerful cocktail, capable of suspending anyone's disbelief. I drink it often and gladly.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

What happened to SImon Vance narration?

I can't listen to this series anymore because it's only available with Patrick Tull narrating. He has a good old british codger or troll voice but it's not good for any other characters. Simon Vance is so much better for this series. The story was the weakest one in the series and could be passed by with no real loss. All around, this was not good.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

The best narrator at his best

I have listened with joy to every Aubrey/Maturin novel thus far and all read by Patrick Tull. The man continues his phenomenal performance in this 13th audio novel. I had the misfortune of listening to book four in the series read by an another narrator and it lost all the love I had for the characters and the series. So, then I found the book read by Mr. Tull and stuck with his narration ever since. Patrick Tull masterfully portrays each character and keeps them individual throughout the series. His Aubrey and Maturin are ideal to the image in my mind. Tull's Jack Aubrey makes Russell Crowe a pale shadow of the character.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Great Book(5+) Poor Narration(2)

This book has plenty to offer with political intrigue, Naturalist wonders and on-ship trials.
Stephen must deviously compete for the Malay Sultan's attention and good favour, against the already entrenched French envoy, in order to successfully negotiate a treaty between the Sultan and the English King. As these French envoys are Stephen's particular hated enemies, his need for success is both personal as well as professional. In this land, Stephen encounters scenic wonders, as well as plants and animals that truely amaze him; the orangutan being one. Shipboard, "The Diane" encounters shoals and foul weather.
This book would be a 5+ except for the poor narration by Patrick Tull. Patrick's own strong accent makes it difficult to impossible, for a lot of the book, to distinguish between narration and characters, and between one character and another. Stephen, Jack, and the many other characters in the book sound much the same, much of the time. This was perhaps the most annoying aspect of the narration, but also at times his narration trails off into barely audible muffled words; an example being when Stephen was apologizing to Jack at one point. In moderately noisy areas such as on a residential street it was impossible to hear him at times and on streets with traffic, I had to be adjusting volume up and down continously. I haven't had this problem with any of the other books in this series with other narrators. His pace also seems slow and rambling at times, which made some parts of the book 'a struggle'. At times I felt like abondoning this book, but the storyline kept me going.
I would recommend any other narrator, but in particular you won't go too far wrong with either Simon Vance, or Tim Piggott-Smith. Both are great narrators, and Tim, in particular, has a very wonderful range and consistency in his characters' voices. Mostly I've purchased books with Simon Vance as narrator, and have enjoyed them thoroughly.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Change in Reader big difference

Overall, I have enjoyed the Aubrey/Maturin series. The glue that held it together was Vance's narration, with his clear change in voices and wonderful reading. Narration has changed with this book, and Patrick Tull does not come close to measuring up. Very little distinguishing of characters in voice, and his reading is often broken up with pauses that make listening rather tedious, and sometimes downright boring.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

another great sea story

I love this one, cannot wait to get into the next book to see how our protagonists prevail. Narration excellent as always, best compliments, of course. Outstanding story, with beautiful attention to detail and drama to make the entire experience most enjoyable.

1 person found this helpful