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Download Master and Commander Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Master and Commander, 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 (15,735 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Patrick O’Brian Narrator: Simon Vance Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Aubrey–Maturin Series Release Date:
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Here is the maiden voyage of O’Brian’s acclaimed Aubrey-Maturin series, which follows the unique friendship between Captain Aubrey, R.N., and Stephen Maturin, ship’s surgeon and intelligence agent.

It is the dawn of the nineteenth century; Britain is at war with Napoleon’s France. When Jack Aubrey, a young lieutenant in Nelson’s navy, is promoted to captain, he inherits command of HMS Sophie, an old, slow brig unlikely to make his fortune. But Captain Aubrey is a brave and gifted seaman, his thirst for adventure and victory immense. With the aid of his friend Stephen Maturin, Aubrey and his crew engage in one thrilling battle after another, their journey culminating in a stunning clash with a mighty Spanish frigate against whose guns and manpower the tiny Sophie is hopelessly outmatched.

O’Brian renders in riveting detail the life aboard a man-of-war in Nelson’s navy: the conversational idiom of the officers in the ward room and the men on the lower deck, the food, the floggings, the mysteries of the wind and the rigging, and the roar of broadsides as the great ships close in battle.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “It has been something of a shock to find myself—an inveterate reader of girl books—obsessed with Patrick O’Brian’s Napoleonic-era historical novels…What keeps me hooked are the evolving relationships between Jack and Stephen and the women they love.”

    New York Times

  • “Re-creates with delightful subtlety the flavor of life aboard a midget British man-of-war plying the western Mediterranean in the year 1800…Even for a reader not especially interested in matters nautical, the author’s easy command of the philosophical, political, sensual, and social temper of the times flavors a rich entertainment.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “I fell in love with [O’Brian's] writing straightaway, at first with Master and Commander.”

    Keith Richards

  • “Gripping and vivid…A whole, solidly living world for the imagination to inhabit.”

    A. S. Byatt

  • “It has been said that this series is some of the finest historical fiction of our time…Aubrey and Maturin have been described as better than Holmes and Watson, the equal of Quixote and Panza…All this is true. And the marvel is, it hardly says enough.”

    Los Angeles Times

  • “The Aubrey-Maturin series…far beyond any episodic chronicle, ebbs and flows with the timeless tide of character and the human heart.”

    Washington Post

  • “Some of you…have never read a Patrick O’Brian novel. I beseech you to start now. Start with Master and Commander.”

    Irish Times

  • “Earphones Awards winner Simon Vance juggles multiple characters, accents, and dramatic and comedic scenes with aplomb. Vance’s warm, welcoming voice captures colorful characters, [and] entertaining relationships…Readers in search of a handful of excellent companions with whom to spend many enjoyable hours will be hail and well met.”


  • A Man Booker Prize Winner

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Francoise | 2/13/2014

    " Wow! How in the world did Patrick O'Brian know all this? It's as if he had actually lived during this time period. Jack Aubrey's life was not an easy one, nor were those of the sailors/officers who served on the ships during the Napoleonic era. We often think that our own time period is the most difficult and complicated but anyone who reads this book can appreciate the fact that times during the early 1800's were equally difficult, but in a different way. During the vivid descriptions of the gun battles between Jack Aubrey's ships and others, we can almost smell the acrid smell of the gunpowder and be amazed there were ANY survivors with the damage that took place with the cannonballs, shot and chains, etc that were hurled between the ships. The sailors had to be very versatile as did their officers. I found myself wondering, as I read, how people of today would have fared if transported to that period. Not very well, I suspect. Those people had to be very resourceful and tough, or they wouldn't have survived. I couldn't understand how they all learned all the names of the parts of the ship, not just the sails, but the other parts of the ship, and how on earth did the cook do any cooking on those ships? When I read this book, I was completely transported outside of my own life. Great reading for anyone! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Gary Greenwald | 2/12/2014

    " The first book of the finest series written "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Edward Truitt | 2/10/2014

    " Destined to be a classic and a great foundation for the series. I, like the Jack Aubrey character, will always have a fond place in my heart for the little 14-gun brig Sophie. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Robbie | 2/3/2014

    " I've never read a book this detailed with and enamored by mizzens, half-mizzen, mastheads, and the jib. It's a cool experience, but sometimes feels like getting sucked into a yarn told by Grandpa Simpson. "

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