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Extended Audio Sample Desolation Island Audiobook, by Patrick O’Brian Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (4,789 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Patrick O’Brian Narrator: Patrick Tull Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2016 ISBN: 9781436100366
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Jack's prize money has set the household accounts aright, but if he continues frittering it on naive extravagances, it will be gone in a fortnight. Fortunately he gets a commission aboard the Leopard, bound for Australia to rescue the hated and captive Captain Bligh. Download and start listening now!

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Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Darlene | 2/17/2014

    " This was very good, especially after having read "the Endeavor." (another terrific book, with amazing pictures). "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Helen Mccarthy | 2/17/2014

    " O'Brian's Aubrey/Maturin British sea adventures are great reads. O'Brian sets a fast past and the reader is quickly drawn into the story and the characters who are involved. This particular story involves a sea chase between two warring ships, with Captain Aubrey's ship at a considerable disadvantage.Aubrey ship is disabled and he and his crew eventually have to take refuge on a small, cold island in the Antarctic Ocean where they have to put the ship back into sailing order again. O'Brian information on the "tall sailing ships" and the historical circumstances of competition on the seas during the Napoleonic Wars is considered to be excellent. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ben Pashkoff | 2/16/2014

    " kinda incomplete. seems to leave the reader with an incomplete story. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 John | 2/16/2014

    " I loved it. Oh how I wish I could go sailing for a few months with Captain Aubrey and Dr. Maturin. Which is quite remarkable, since up to a few short months ago I never thought twice about sailing ships. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dodie | 2/13/2014

    " Once again, I'm more interested in the people than the naval action but still loved this. Jack is bewilderingly misogynistic and Stephen is bewilderingly besotted by someone who doesn't seem to have any redeemable features. So, pretty much business as usual. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Vincent | 2/13/2014

    " Some of the best psychological insight into intelligence and warfare in the series. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joshua | 2/11/2014

    " This is one of my favorites from the series. It contains what I believe to be arguably the most riveting sea chase in any novel. Captain Aubrey is to take the Leopard, a two deck ship of fifty guns to Botany Bay to come to the aid of William Bligh (yes that William Bligh of the Bounty) who is now Governor of New South Wales and seems to have yet another mutiny on his hands. On route, they are chased by the Waakzaamheid, a Dutch ship of the line (three decks of 74 guns) into the far southern ocean where a building storm pushes waves sixty, eighty, one hundred feet high. The Leapard is becalmed in the troughs between the waves while the taller Waakzaamheid is getting closer and closer. Captain Aubrey orders the ship to be lightened in an attempt to escape. Over the side goes stores, water, and finally the guns. All but two which are placed in the stern cabin to fire at the gaining enemy ship. Like a roller coaster the two vessels climb up the face of the huge waves then down into the valley between all he time firing at each other as the distance between them shrinks. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 marginalia | 2/3/2014

    " My favourite of all of them, I think. The sequence with the Waargzaamheit (or however you spell it) is so riveting, I had to hold my breath through it. I love this series so much. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nick Thornton | 2/2/2014

    " The chase should get this six stars as should the horror of long days trying to save the Leopard. O'B comes adrift slightly with his women. Why do they all seem so slightly unbelievable? "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Chris | 2/1/2014

    " Just as good as the first four. Just 17 more to go! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kristine | 1/27/2014

    " Working my way through the series and so far this one was my favorite. It struck just the right balance for me between history and fiction, between home life and sea life, and between humorous repartee and depictions of the horrors and challenges of battles at sea. I was genuinely fearful of Aubrey's chances, despite knowing there are an additional 17(?) books left to go in the series. Who's to say the remaining novels aren't prequels, or standalone adventures? Not me. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Becca | 1/17/2014

    " I felt that this book got off to a bit of a slow start, but then it grabbed my interest and wouldn't let go until the end. Epidemics on board, intrigue and spy work, and then ending up in the antarctic ocean with the ship about to sink...what more could I ask for in the way of adventure? "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Allison | 1/13/2014

    " A continuation of the Patrick O'Brian seafaring tales. Lots of nautical terms but a good adventure story. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Gina | 1/13/2014

    " Like many of the works of the period I have read, it requires a pretty intense level of concentration, suitable for going to sleep(mental exhaustion lol) "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 John | 1/10/2014

    " I loved it. Oh how I wish I could go sailing for a few months with Captain Aubrey and Dr. Maturin. Which is quite remarkable, since up to a few short months ago I never thought twice about sailing ships. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sandy | 1/3/2014

    " Although I still am ignorant as to the sailing of anything, the enjoyment of these well written books doesn't depend on the technical understanding of sailing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ian Durham | 12/26/2013

    " A tad uneven, but the description of the Waakzaamhied's chase of the Leopard is one of the most chilling and vivid passages I've ever read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Hazel | 12/15/2013

    " A great historical fiction novel. The characters develop throughout the novel and the whole series. Each book reads well on its own, but is even better as part of the whole. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Murdock Hendrix | 12/14/2013

    " Another very good read from O'Brian. I believe there is more to the story than we are told so far. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Stephen Dawson | 12/13/2013

    " One of my favourites of the series. Exemplifies the courage and ingenuity of those men. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dan Casey | 12/10/2013

    " The entire series is amazing. O'Brian's writing is a delight to read and while I could quibble over 4.5 stars or 5 per each volume I'm rating it across their totality. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Savannah | 12/8/2013

    " This has perhaps the most exciting chase scene EVER. Well, at least so exciting that I spent an extra ten minutes on the treadmill just to finish it even though I wasn't reading the book for the first time. (1) "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Clay Nichols | 12/2/2013

    " Not my favorite installment in the series. A Maturin-focused book. Lots of spying and intrigue. Fewer naval battles. Shipwrecks and survival were interesting and the cliffhanger ending left me looking forward to the next book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Laurie | 11/26/2013

    " Loved it. Very cool to think about being stranded on an island. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Deanne | 11/24/2013

    " Not quite as good as the previous 4, felt there was something lacking. However I've got the next installment on my shelf. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Edward Truitt | 11/19/2013

    " This book makes being stuck on an icebound island sound like a great adventure. Wild weather and the unexpected keep this book constantly on the edge of disaster. Only Jack Aubrey could keep a ship together in these circumstances. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Hazel | 10/31/2013

    " A great historical fiction novel. The characters develop throughout the novel and the whole series. Each book reads well on its own, but is even better as part of the whole. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tom Barnett | 5/15/2013

    " A good and entertaining book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Reba | 2/2/2013

    " Oh I just love these books. Maybe this is really tom-boyish of me to read them but I just love the writing, the characters, the sea-adventure-gone-wrong....reading these books makes me so happy. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jeanne | 10/9/2012

    " Shipboard life is written so vividly that you can almost feel the boat rock and stench permeate, I just had little interest in the characters. This is my first reading of this author, maybe I needed to start at the beginning to appreciate the players. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mackay | 9/3/2012

    " So by now, I've admitted to myself, despite the hype, that P O'B is far, far superior to Forester, Pope, or Kent. Why, he's an adventurer's Jane Austen, and he never, ever puts a foot wrong. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Marianne | 9/3/2012

    " Keep 'em coming, Randy. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Diana Sandberg | 6/29/2012

    " Ahhh. I will run out of superlatives long before I finish this series. Rivetting as always. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Francesca Lorenzini | 5/9/2012

    " Carino, ma a pag.180 ancora non succede niente. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Becca | 4/27/2012

    " I felt that this book got off to a bit of a slow start, but then it grabbed my interest and wouldn't let go until the end. Epidemics on board, intrigue and spy work, and then ending up in the antarctic ocean with the ship about to sink...what more could I ask for in the way of adventure? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Paul Childs | 12/31/2011

    " A good book. Lucky Jack Aubrey seems to have left all his luck at home on this voyage as everything that can go wrong does. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nick | 11/11/2011

    " I forget how much I like these books, and Desolation Island is particularly good - even though in some ways it has less action or plot than most of the series. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Boz4pm | 9/30/2011

    " This book is the kind that is relentless - one thing after another, each of them ratchetting up the tension. Just when you think things can't get worse, they do, and it's all quite brilliant. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ron | 7/8/2011

    " Napleonic naval "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Currer | 5/12/2011

    " Possibly my favorite so far. This one has everything--plus a Newfoundland dog and as many references to Aphra Behn as a girl could hope for. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Keith Slade | 5/10/2011

    " Another good historical sea saga about Capt. Aubrey and his friend, Dr. Maturin. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Alex | 4/19/2011

    " My favorite one in the series so far. The last third is extremely gripping. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Edward Truitt | 3/30/2011

    " This book makes being stuck on an icebound island sound like a great adventure. Wild weather and the unexpected keep this book constantly on the edge of disaster. Only Jack Aubrey could keep a ship together in these circumstances. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Greg | 3/1/2011

    " Previously read in late 2008. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jocelyn | 2/15/2011

    " This book contains one of the most remarkable descriptions I ever read, of two ships weathering high seas off the Cape of Good Hope. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Squeaky | 1/14/2011

    " Icebergs, you gotta watch out for 'em! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Maeve | 1/9/2011

    " Wow. Just wow. This book is an absolutely amazing description of life at sea during the Napoleonic Wars. The characters are truly gripping and the ending is absolutely satisfactory. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Doc | 10/21/2010

    " Less action than some of the other books in the series, with Aubry captaining HMS Leopard, a rather clunky 50 armed with carronades.
    More about the doctor than it is the captain. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tagg | 9/30/2010

    " Another great chapter in the Captain Jack and Dr Maturin series "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Alan | 8/5/2010

    " Ah, one of the best (of the best)! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Laurie | 7/28/2010

    " Loved it. Very cool to think about being stranded on an island. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sandy | 7/8/2010

    " Although I still am ignorant as to the sailing of anything, the enjoyment of these well written books doesn't depend on the technical understanding of sailing. "

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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.