The Yellow Admiral

Aubrey/Maturin Series, Book 18
Narrated by: Patrick Tull
Series: Aubrey/Maturin, Book 18
Length: 10 hrs and 26 mins
Categories: Fiction, Historical
5 out of 5 stars (933 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

While surviving life-threatening adventures at sea, Captain Jack Aubrey and Dr. Stephen Maturin find life on land to be even more perilous. Aubrey has dimmed his prospects of an admiralty by his erratic voting in Parliament. He is on even worse terms with his wife, Sophie, when his mother-in-law ferrets out a trove of old personal letters. Fortunately, Maturin brings news that the Chileans need the two seafaring friends to train their navy.

Fresh, dynamic, and breathtakingly alive, The Yellow Admiral continues O'Brian's reign as king of historical fiction. Narrator Patrick Tull's accents enhance O'Brian's elegant language, eccentric characters, and authentic nineteenth-century atmosphere.

Don't miss the rest of the Aubrey/Maturin series.
©1996 Patrick O'Brian (P)2003 Recorded Books, LLC.

Critic Reviews

"O'Brian is at the top of his elegant form here." (Publishers Weekly)
"The best historical novels ever written." (The New York Times Book Review)
"They display staggering erudition on almost all aspects of 18th-century life, with impeccable period detail." (Times Literary Supplement)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

It's an Addiction

Ok, this is the 17th book in the series that I've read. Each has been a journey you want to finish but dread to end. There's a little more dry land in this one than in some others and some romance but it is always interesting how O'Brien weaves in the politics, science and everyday life of the period in such a way to make it fascinating and so gosh darn believable. The guy must have read every possible contemporary accounts of the period!

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Near the End of the Series

I have listened to all but one of these books (not number 20 yet) and it is depressing to be coming to the end. This book is, once again, well read by Patrick Tull and is yet another classic story. If you've started here, you started near the end of a long series. If you started earlier, there is nothing I have to say to convince you to listen to this one, too.

6 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

The Yellow Admiral

I have heard the expression in the Navy of being Yellowed, now I know what it means. Only one brief battle action in this book, but lots of insight and history about the navy and Britain in the 1800's. Stephen has a more active roll in this book and is again with Diana. The book is a set up for the next book. With this book I have read them all unfortunately I did not get to read them in order but I enjoyed the series. Now I am looking for similar sea stories. Patrick Tull did his usual great job narrating the story.

3 people found this helpful

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

Wanders

I have enjoyed every book in this series and looked forward to reading this chapter of the Aubrey/Maturin series. The 18th book in the series finds Jack and Stephen either dealing with politics and relatives on land or a spiteful admiral on blockade duty. Unfortunately, like blockade duty, the book wanders around with no real direction. The detail and insight into the period is up to O’Brian’s usual standard and Patrick Tull’s narration is exceptional as it has been throughout the series. Not a lot of action in this one.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

have read and listened over and over

Where does The Yellow Admiral rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

top

Have you listened to any of Patrick Tull’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

yes
its same quality

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

i listen to it at bed time

Any additional comments?

all the books of aubrey/maturin are great. patrick tull bings another great dimension.

2 people found this helpful

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

Blockades with the Bellona

"Everyone knows that on a large scale democracy is pernicious nonsense - a country or even a county cannot be run by a self-seeking parcel of tub-thumping politicians working on popular emotion, rousing the mob."
- Patrick O'Brian, The Yellow Admiral

Many rate this near the bottom of the Aubrey-Maturin series. There isn't anything very exciting happening (a few minor skirmishes, naval politics, domestic politics, etc). The war is winding down, Captain Aubrey finds himself serving under an admiral who doesn't like him and who is in conflict with him in some local politics. It is a bridge novel, in many ways, but even with ALL of that it is still magical in parts.

The relationship between Aubrey and his wife provides some moving prose, and there is a whole section where Aubrey is explaining to Maturin about the politics and economics of the common which was one of the best exegesis on the conflicts surrounding common lands, inclosures, rival interests, etc. Basically, O'Brian is showing off a bit. In the Commons Act of 1876 a mechanism was provided for inclosing common lands and fields. Since this novel takes place around 1814, this was an issue that was relevant to land owners and peasants all across England, and O'Brian gives the issue a weight and (dare I say) a beauty that is impossible to find in an economic history of the issue. I loved this book, and probably gave it an extra star, just for the way O'Brian discussed this issue. It was fascinating without completley hijacking the book. Like many of O'Brian's divergent stories or subjects, they all seem to fit the narrative AND also exist almost distinct from the story too. This way of writing reminds me a bit of Hugo's unabriged Les Misérables, where Hugo would often trail off for 80-120 pages to discuss the battle of Waterloo, or the history of a convent, etc. Obviously, O'Brian's scale is a bit smaller than Hugo, but the effect is very similar.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Gotta Get 'Em All!

Seriously, I'm loving every one of these. Patrick Tull is the BEST reader for these books.

1 person found this helpful

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

Great story but.....

The story is fantastic but, the narrator is hard to listen to. Way to up and down and speaks with seemingly a mouthful of food.
Would have finished the story had the story been told by someone with less personal voice add lib.

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

SUPERB O’Brian

Have done every book to date in sequence and all have been excellent historical novels with great insight into character personalities. Am getting sad that I am nearing the end of the series. Aubrey, Maturin and their creator will live forever!
-RM

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    5 out of 5 stars
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wonderful...

If, like me, you read Patrick O'Brians great Aubrey series back when it came out years ago, consider listening to the series on Audible. The reader was born for the task, and you are sure to enjoy it all over again.