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Download H.M.S. Surprise: Aubrey/Maturin Series, Book 3 Audiobook (Unabridged)

Extended Audio Sample H.M.S. Surprise: Aubrey/Maturin Series, Book 3 (Unabridged) Audiobook, by Patrick O’Brian
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (5,164 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Patrick O’Brian Narrator: Patrick Tull Publisher: Recorded Books Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: December 2003 ISBN:
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At the opening of his third novel in an ongoing adventure series by Patrick O'Brian, Jack Aubrey is cruising off Cape Sicie when his friend Stephen Maturin (more serenely situated in Sussex) is informed of the Board's decision regarding Aubrey's prize money, taken after victorious engagement with a Spanish squadron at Cape Santa Maria. The money, five million pieces of eight, is not, as is the custom of war, to be divided among the crews of the four victorious vessels, but is to be treated as droits of the Crown of England. Five million pounds is, after all, five million pounds.

It will be a hard rub for Aubrey, who had counted on that money to clear his debts and make himself a suitable match, but no more hard than for Maturin who spends much of his free time at Mapes Court in the company of the lovely Sophia Williams, Aubrey's betrothed. How could Stephen deliver the news that would break Sophia's heart?

When Jack docks at Portsmouth, he is clapped in irons forthwith, and carried off to a sponging house for debtors. Jack knows a prisoner can rot in jail, so when Sir Joseph graciously offers him escape aboard the H.M.S. Surprise, bound for the East Indies, he makes for the only place where his unsteady virtue remains intact: the sea.

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Listener Opinions

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

    " I love this series, but I have to admit I am somewhat lost on every page with the English and seamen vernaculars, complex military maneuvers, and an endless series of ships and mates. Extremely well-written, amazing detail for the period, and excellent characters make each of these great--but The Mauritius Command was the best so far. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Steve | 2/11/2014

    " All of the battles in this book, both on land and at sea, are based directly on the real battle for the Mauritius Islands but with the fictional Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin mixed in. This book finds the main characters older and more subdued but still characters that O'Brian has made into likable old friends to the reader. O'Brian's attention to detail and love of the tall ships comes across and makes these highly enjoyable reads. I'm not recommending this one more because the reality got in the way of the story, the strange back and forth of the actual Mauritius campaign made this one drag a little bit at times. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sean Hanley | 1/31/2014

    " bring on the next one! "

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

    " This is the 4th entry in the Aubrey/Maturin series of British naval novels set during the Napoleonic Wars. This book is more focused on actual military actions than the immediately preceding HMS Surprise as it chronicles the conquering of French islands in the Indian Ocean. I think I liked the 3rd book a bit more, but this was still a completely engaging and exciting tale. I continue to be impressed with the wonderful characters along with the layering and depth of historical and period detail in these books; this story was even based on an actual campaign undertaken by the British Navy. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Holly | 10/24/2013

    " I do love a good sea yarn. The audiobook was read by the amazing Simon Vance, reason enough to listen. He really makes this series come alive. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 dead letter office | 10/17/2013

    " it's like hornblower for grownups. or star trek for nautical nerds. well done, considering it's the 4th installment in like a 37 part series. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Phil Gallagher | 9/21/2013

    " God bless Lucky Jack Aubrey! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Winnie | 9/4/2013

    " I wish I could give this a rating of 4.75 as of its genre it certainly deserves top rating. The action is brilliantly described and the period flavour is unmatched. The characters are all 3-dimensional and there is a great deal of humanity in the writing. A wonderful novel. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Greg Bailey | 9/1/2013

    " Previously read in late 2008. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Michael McFarland | 8/18/2013

    " My least favorite volume in the Aubrey/Maturin series so far. At times a listless read, though the inclusion of early pyschology regarding Captain Clonfert sparked an interest. More like watching war exercises than real warfare. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Michael Evans | 8/5/2013

    " Another great tale of action and adventure. I particularly like this novel because it so closely follows an actual navy/army campaign East of the cape of good hope. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lara | 12/31/2012

    " Maturin is the klutziest spy ever, and Aubrey still makes bad puns. I love them. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Wendy Hollister | 12/27/2012

    " Another great sea lovers story. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ron | 12/19/2012

    " Napoleonic naval "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 emily | 12/9/2012

    " Excellent read, as usual, but more than usual to do with military history than the personal battles. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Wrpainting | 12/8/2012

    " My most addicting series. Almost makes a Tory out of me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kendra | 7/4/2012

    " The series gets interesting again with a new sailing adventure to the Mauritius islands, more skulduggery on the part of the admiralty, unfortunately more emphasis on the love triangle b/w a headstrong widow of an army capt. from India, Capt. Aubrey and the doctor. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ali | 6/15/2012

    " First book I've finished in forever! What on earth have I been doing with myself for the last month??? "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kathy | 8/29/2011

    " So hard to put down . . . "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Janeen | 5/26/2011

    " Read...well didn't finish. As fascinated as I was about the Mauritius history of the English taking over the island from the French as I've been there and heard all about it...just couldn't get through it even though I'm a sailor and all.......snore! Just not my style. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Horton | 5/8/2011

    " I'm sorry, I'm just not going to give any of this series less than five stars. There. I've said it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Fred | 5/4/2011

    " Here, among other things, he dips into Kipling. Does he really maintain this quality for 20 books? "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Brackman1066 | 4/16/2011

    " Naval action, evocative descriptions of British-held India, romance, and a sloth. All are terrific, but the sloth may be my favorite. Another five stars for Aubrey/Maturin #3. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Blah | 4/6/2011

    " This is possibly my favorite book in the canon. It strikes an excellent balance between Naval Warfare and Naval Intelligence (which is not very different than striking a balance between focus on Aubrey and Focus on Maturin). "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Brett | 4/6/2011

    " This is possibly my favorite book in the canon. It strikes an excellent balance between Naval Warfare and Naval Intelligence (which is not very different than striking a balance between focus on Aubrey and Focus on Maturin). "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carey | 4/4/2011

    " Much better than I thought - not too much fighting! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Megan | 3/30/2011

    " A calmer book than either of the first two, mostly about sailing to India and what it's like there, and then at the end OMG SOME STUFF HAPPENS just to get our hearts pounding pleasantly. Oh, those French. Oh, Diana. This is the book from which the movie took Stephen's auto-bullet-removal. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Greg | 3/13/2011

    " Always pleasurable.

    Previously read in late 2008. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lance | 3/2/2011

    " It doesn't get much better than this. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Robert | 2/20/2011

    " Is there anything more fun then a Patrick O'Brian romp with Aubrey and Maturin? This is one of my favourites. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mark | 1/15/2011

    " Aubrey and the Doctor travel to India. O'Brian's desciptions are very vivid, demanding that we do not apply the 'West" to the sub continent.. Agood ripping yarn.. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 David | 1/14/2011

    " better than the second one, not as good as the first "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Andy | 1/6/2011

    " Great Book a little dry while he's still on land but finishes up with some great actions.
    "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Daniel | 12/20/2010

    " Book three same as one and two. "

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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.