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Download 21: The Final Unfinished Voyage of Jack Aubrey Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample 21: The Final Unfinished Voyage of Jack Aubrey Audiobook, by Patrick O’Brian Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (987 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Patrick O’Brian Narrator: Patrick Tull Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: Aubrey/Maturin Series Release Date: October 2015 ISBN: 9781440782213
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Blue at the Mizzen (novel #20) ended with Jack Aubrey getting the news, in Chile, of his elevation to flag rank: Rear Admiral of the Blue Squadron, with orders to sail to the South Africa station. The next novel, unfinished and untitled at the time of the author's death, would have been the chronicle of that mission, and much else besides. The three chapters left on O'Brian's desk are presented here both in printed version-including his corrections to the typescript-and a facsimile of his manuscript, which goes several pages beyond the end of the typescript to include a duel between Stephen Maturin and an impertinent officer who is courting his fiancee. Of course we would rather have had the whole story; instead we have this proof that O'Brian's powers of observation, his humor, and his understanding of his characters were undiminished to the end..

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Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tim Piatt | 2/1/2014

    " It's too bad this book ended mid-sentence (due to author death). I think there were some very intriguing story lines developing. A fitting end, though, to a phenomenal series. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Charles Larson | 1/12/2014

    " The most fascinating aspect of the Final Unfinished Voyage was seeing the writing process of Patrick O'Brian. The sad side was it was not completed nor was it up to his usual polished standards as he passed away before completion. So long Captain Aubrey and Dr. Mautrin, until it's time to re-read the series, farewell Spanish Ladies! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nate | 1/10/2014

    " Well, I finally finished them, I feel like crying. I love Stephen, I love Jack. Its very hard to say goodbye. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marcus | 1/5/2014

    " A shame that it couldn't be completed, but I think it's a fitting end. Our last glimpse of Aubrey and Maturin, preparing for another voyage, and then...? That the rest will have to be filled in by our imaginations is as it should be. I'd rather imagine that their voyages continue on and on. Being unfinished, "21" is rather short. The fact that it's O'Brian's typescript and manuscripts, without the benefit of his editor, is noticeable, but not distracting. There are a few elements in there that I'm sure O'Brian would have excised if he had the chance. The final 20 pages or so appear solely as facsimiles of his manuscript, and were quite difficult to decipher, but "translations" of those pages are available online at various O'Brian fansites. Since I haven't reviewed the previous 20 volumes, and probably won't for quite some time (if ever), I can only say that Patrick O'Brian's writing is rich and engrossing. His series of books detailing the adventures of Aubrey and Maturin are wonderful reading, being vivid descriptions of life at sea in the 18th century, clever and subtlely humorous, attentive to every technical detail, presenting characters with real humanity. All these qualities make this a compelling series. I found myself drawn in, and can say with sincerity that I found myself laughing aloud at times; this has never happened with any other book before. I looked forward to every development, and found the sequences of action (of which there are many in a British man-of-war) exciting, perfectly paced; it was as if you ceased reading and started seeing the action (as corny as that sounds). I honestly started slowing down as I approached the final 5 volumes because I didn't want the series to end. I highly, highly recommend reading his books. I've yet to find their equal. 5 stars for the series. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Beatrice | 12/30/2013

    " I read this book and cried like a baby because it was the last of the bits O'Brian had left behind. Too soon to say goodbye to Dr. Maturin and Jack Aubrey. Thank goodness there are so many of O'Brian's Jack Aubrey books, because I can reread them over and over, greeting old friends again. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Deb Oestreicher | 12/28/2013

    " Only sad that there's no more! I hope I write (and think!) that well when I'm 85! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Matthew | 11/18/2013

    " How do you rate an unfinished book as amazing? Well it is more of a judgement on the whole series. Growing to know and love the characters of this book, and O'Brian's amazing story telling ability while keeping with the facts from Naval records is pure enjoyment. He gave me a real appreciation for a subject I knew next to nothing about. Each character was going through the usual ups and downs of life just like the rest of us. Trying to fit in when necessary, being yourself when need be, showing or hiding emotions as it pertained to each situation. Richness, poverty, health, sickness, love, heartbreak, pure joy, adventure, death, they and more were all there. From the chance meeting at a concert that nearly led to a calling out (a duel) which would have ended one of their lives, the friendship between Jack and Stephen that ensues sets an example of just what friends should be. Again to be honest, I am not sure I could have read this series on paper, but Simon Vance does so right by the characters that it was just a fabulous read. Thank you Patrick O'Brian. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dave Cronin | 11/16/2013

    " So wish O'Brian had been able to complete the book although it gives a great ending to the series. Jack gets to raise his flag and Stephen has one last duel for Christine's honor. So sad this is the end enjoyed the many adventures of the H.M.S Surprise and her crew over the last 5 years. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alesia | 10/28/2013

    " Ah, what might have been.... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Oismiffy | 10/7/2013

    " I absolutely loved this whole series, but I wish I hadn't read this. The idea of JA & SM being left stranded mid-ocean following the death of the author is heart breaking. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Pat | 9/21/2013

    " A waste of time and far too much money, in the hardback especially. For those of us who wanted the Aubrey/Maturin series to go on forever, this was the final proof that O'Brian had died. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Carole | 9/14/2013

    " I cried when I heard Patrick O'Brian had died. I did not want his books to end. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jay Adams | 9/13/2013

    " The book is part print and part handwritten notes - makes for a difficult read, but still one of my top 3 favorite authors. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Jonathan | 5/23/2013

    " Warning, for fans of the Aubrey/Maturin series: this book is quite an anticlimax and would best be avoided by all but the most curious to read the final unfinished, sparsely edited frame of a story. Book 20 is a fine conclusion to an amazing series--leave it there. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sandy | 3/18/2013

    " The untitled, unfinished #21 volume, the end of the series...the author died before it was finished--and perhaps it was better that way: no possibly unsatisfying endings. Adieu. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kester | 11/15/2012

    " Finally ordered this! I guess I'm officially an O'brian nut now. Or maybe the "Aubrey/Maturin '08" bumper sticker put me over the edge. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Christopher | 10/18/2012

    " Just finished this last unfinished book of the series. I feel as though I've lost two life long friends. What an inceeadable ride! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jeffrey | 5/21/2012

    " A disappointing end to a wonderful voyage. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Paul O | 5/9/2012

    " It was sad reading this final, unfinished installment of the Aubrey/Maturin series, knowing that these characters that I had grown to know and care for would not be having any new adventures. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kristen | 4/29/2012

    " I liked this more than I expected to. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Aaron | 2/15/2012

    " This is only the first 3 chapters of an unfinished, unpolished draft of a book written before the author died. It was nice to say goodbye to the characters but I wished he had wrapped up the series with some sort of nice finale. Goodbye Admiral Aubrey, Goodbye Doctor Maturin. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Brian Hickey | 10/15/2011

    " I don't think these are actually O'Brian's notes. There are too many inconsistencies with his previous twenty books, that I don't think he would have written about these characters behaving in such a different manner. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Sean | 8/1/2011

    " Probably wasn't worth publishing, given the unfinished nature of it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lee Scoresby | 5/9/2011

    " It would have been great if he had lived to finish it. As for the last chapters, could somebody just type the damned thing out? "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lee Scoresby | 4/15/2011

    " It would have been great if he had lived to finish it. As for the last chapters, could somebody just type the damned thing out? "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sandy | 10/9/2010

    " The untitled, unfinished #21 volume, the end of the series...the author died before it was finished--and perhaps it was better that way: no possibly unsatisfying endings. Adieu. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Melinda | 9/24/2010

    " It is always sad to think of authors starting a book and then dieing before it is finished. I wonder if when Patrick O'Brian started this if he intended it to be the last and how he would have finished--Jack sailing off into the sunset or settling at home?

    Probably sailing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Robert | 9/14/2010

    " What little there was to read was wonderful, but I'm left depressed that these amazingly complex and living characters are done forever now that the author is gone. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Joshua | 5/16/2010

    " Only three stars... what gives? Of course, this is because the novel was left unfinished by the death of the author. I have the sense of hearing a great symphony only to be left hanging by the absence of the final great chord. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Jonathan | 3/22/2010

    " Warning, for fans of the Aubrey/Maturin series: this book is quite an anticlimax and would best be avoided by all but the most curious to read the final unfinished, sparsely edited frame of a story. Book 20 is a fine conclusion to an amazing series--leave it there. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Craig | 11/16/2009

    " Three chapters of a first draft. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Becca | 9/8/2009

    " I'm glad I read it, even though it was only three chapters. It left off with the characters in good state, and it is kind of nice to think of them sailing on- with some idea where there next adventure would take them and what it would involve. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Grace | 7/31/2009

    " Unfinished when O'Brian died but interesting nonetheless to see what would have happened to Aubrey & Maturin. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Pat | 6/1/2009

    " A waste of time and far too much money, in the hardback especially. For those of us who wanted the Aubrey/Maturin series to go on forever, this was the final proof that O'Brian had died. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alesia | 3/14/2009

    " Ah, what might have been.... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Catherine | 2/24/2009

    " Final book in the series which I started 5/07 - averaging one per month. Latter books don't seem quite to riveting as the first ones, but maybe it was me that changed! Good but sad ending with the death of O'Brian. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 David | 1/17/2009

    " This was interesting, had to special order it but a little sad -- Cool to see the handwritten text with corrections on one page and the standard printed text on the other.... "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kristen | 12/20/2008

    " I liked this more than I expected to. "

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About the Author
Author Patrick O’Brian

Patrick O’Brian (1914–2000) was born Richard Patrick Russ in England. During the Second World War, he and his wife were involved in British secret service activities. After the war, he changed his name to Patrick O’Brian and began his career as a novelist, biographer, and translator. He is the author of the acclaimed Aubrey-Maturin tales and the biographer of Joseph Banks and Picasso. In 1995 he was the first recipient of the Heywood Hill Prize for a lifetime’s contribution to literature. In the same year he was awarded the CBE. In 1997 he received an honorary doctorate of letters from Trinity College, Dublin. 

About the Narrator

Patrick Tull (1941–2006), born in the United Kingdom, was a multitalented actor of the stage, screen, and television, as well as an award-winning audiobook narrator. He acted in numerous American television shows from 1962 to 1996, including Crossroads, and he had roles in six Broadway plays between 1967 and 1992, including Amadeus. His film credits from 1969 to 1996 included roles as Cecil in Parting Glances and Jerry the bartender in Sleepers. He served as narrator for the television series Sea Tales. He narrated nearly forty audiobooks, and his readings of The Canterbury Tales, The Letter of Marque, Monk’s Hood, The Vicar of Wakefield, and How Green Was My Valley each earned him an AudioFile Earphones Award. His narration of Patrick O’Brian’s Aubrey/Maturin novels was praised by novelist Stephen King as among his ten favorite audiobooks of 2006.