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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 members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jean
  • Santa Cruz, CA, United States
  • 09-07-11

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.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Justin
  • Blacksburg, VA, USA
  • 03-28-05

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.

17 of 19 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Bryn
  • The Colony, TX, United States
  • 08-03-10

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.

3 of 3 people found this review 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 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Darwin8u
  • Mesa, AZ, United States
  • 07-27-17

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 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Kimble
  • Louisville, KY, United States
  • 01-30-10

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

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    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 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Always incredible

I have treasured every volume, having read each of them until this, volume 13. It was unfortunate that the narrator's cadence and creation of individual voices was at times distracting and difficult to understand. Overall however, it is hard to put a black mark on a Patrick O'Brian novel. Recommend.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

Brilliant book well matched with best reader TULL

Vivid writing, fascinating characters and situations. Patrick Tull is without equal as a reader. No-one else comes near.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • dm
  • 09-23-16

Memories

I read this entire series while living aboard a small sail boat, loved them. Couldn't wait to get the next one! Even better listening to Patrick Tull! It is like having a daily visit to my grandfather to hear his tales. I love his voice and the way he reads the story.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful