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4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (11,896 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: January 2017 ISBN: 9781440781117
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Captain Jack Aubrey is ashore on half pay without a command - until Stephen Maturin arrives with secret orders for Aubrey to take a frigate to the Cape of Good Hope under a commodore’s pennant, there to mount an expedition against the French-held islands of Mauritius and La REunion. But the difficulties of carrying out his orders are compounded by two of his own captains - Lord Clonfert, a pleasure-seeking dilettante, and Captain Corbett, whose severity pushes his crew to the verge of mutiny.

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Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jill Freeland | 2/13/2014

    " most amazing series, think Jane Austen at sea. such good characters, the kind that feel like family. an all-time fav. "

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

    " rip roaring. It's a go. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Deb Oestreicher | 2/8/2014

    " These novels have it all: adventure, romance, comedy, history, philosophy, and a drunken sloth... I was trying to space out my reading of these, but gave up... I am totally addicted. 17 or so more to go... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Murthy | 2/2/2014

    " This series keeps getting better and the character development is excellent. The first couple of chapters are nail-biters and then Aubrey ventures out to the Indian ocean, far from club med. First big storm scene in the series. "

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

    " Re-read: 7/2012 "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Gail | 1/29/2014

    " This one has Stephen & Jack on their first sail to India, also Jack has taken command of the Surprise. (obviously) Though it takes him a while. Enjoyed it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sandy | 1/28/2014

    " #3 in the long Aubrey/Maturin series of seagoing adventures. Patrick O'Brian had the knack of writing engaging books, using the same characters, and keeping reader interest! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Wendy | 1/25/2014

    " O'Brian really hit his stride with this one. Witty, detailed, multi-layered characters.... I am so looking forward to the rest of the series. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tiffin | 1/23/2014

    " Only reason for the 4 stars is that it was a little slow in the middle, but overall I loved it! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Stan | 1/22/2014

    " Outstanding entry in the series of British Navy stories circa 1800. Highlights include O'Brian's wonderful dialogue, especially between the two principals, and the unforgettable Indian child guide Dil. Not to mention great action, with a harrowing passage through "perfect storm" seas, and a tense and thrilling chessmatch of a sea battle between Aubrey and his nemesis Linois. Very hard to put down. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Martha Johnson | 1/21/2014

    " I think I will fold my cards on O'Brian. I know there are plenty of fans but the stories simple don't carry weight with me. There's too much said and then not said; too much drama to it all. They are great swashbucklers, I guess, but I'm hoping for more than these protracted love stories interspersed with naval this and that. The Admiralty is imperious; the battles a little contrived. I'll leave it to the real fans. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shelly | 1/21/2014

    " So much fun, what to say. The elements that make these books so entertaining are the same though the story keeps moving. This book was particularly heartbreaking and satisfying. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Scott | 1/20/2014

    " Another good Aubrey/Maturin book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carey Combe | 1/14/2014

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

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Adrian | 1/13/2014

    " Couldn't finish it. The same jokes about the same characters as in previous novels, but over and over and over. And to think there are 100 of these books. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lara | 1/11/2014

    " Jack Aubrey, your terrible puns are the best thing in the world. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jade | 12/4/2013

    " The movie for this series is partly based on this book. The book has some parts that are a little plodding, but overall it's a good story. What's great is to watch Aubrey progress forward and endure and gain. I love the battles. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Squeaky | 11/30/2013

    " Lots of stuff to look up. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rein | 11/27/2013

    " i ought to finish reading this epic book sometime... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lance Caselman | 11/23/2013

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

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Anna | 11/18/2013

    " Yet again another great book by Patrick O'Brian. Not quite as exciting as the first one but still really good. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ibis3 | 11/11/2013

    " This was another brilliant episode in the Aubrey-Maturin series. I so love the language, which is wonderfully brought to life by Simon Vance. Now, even when I read it off the page I always hear his voices for Aubrey and Maturin. Love! 8.5/10 "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Brett | 11/7/2013

    " 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). "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Chet | 11/7/2013

    " Heroes with classical virtues became un-cool just before C. S. Forester and Patrick O'Brian came along. Bummer. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Motorcycle | 11/7/2013

    " It's good, entertaining, but just more of the same from the other books. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dan Casey | 10/29/2013

    " 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. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Megan | 10/13/2013

    " 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 Katherine | 9/30/2013

    " Well we are actually listening as a book on tape, which means i have to choose something Jamie and I will both like. This book is amazingly descriptive and engaging. I can hardly wait to listen to more and to h ear the end of this one "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Conrad Keely | 9/5/2013

    " One of the sadder books I've read in the series, where Maturin's sorrows begin to overshadow those of Aubrey. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Stephen | 8/13/2013

    " See my review of the first book in the series. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Paul Childs | 7/26/2013

    " This was a pretty good book, although there were times when I could imagine what it was like to be stuck on a small ship for a long ocean voyage because some of this voyage was not that interesting. But that said, the rest of the story was great. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lisa Selligman | 6/12/2013

    " this might be my favorite of the series .... maybe. honestly, I can't read these things - too dense. but they are great audiobooks for long trips .... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Craig a.k.a Meatstack | 4/4/2013

    " O'Brian has a way of turning a long and drawn out navel voyage, with very little action into a riveting tale. This book brings the series back into the swing after the ho-hum second book. I found myself literally cheering on and laughing out loud to this one. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jillian | 3/27/2013

    " More brilliant O'brian! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Frank Juarez | 3/19/2013

    " I have re read this series twice - it provides so much food for thought "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Keith Slade | 12/15/2012

    " Another great Patrick O'Brian sea novel with Jack Aubrey and the ship surgeon, Stephen Maturin. I have read about half of the around 20 novels and like most of them. I used to read the Hornblower novels back in Jr. High, but these are even better. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Vassilissa | 11/2/2012

    " My favourite Aubrey/Maturin so far. It has everything: torture, betrayal, battles, sloth, scurvy, elephants, jewels, and a tortoise! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dan Casey | 10/30/2012

    " 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. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Erin | 10/22/2012

    " I guess I'm going to be reading this whole series... why stop now? "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Felicia | 9/30/2012

    " Fantastic, as the whole series appears to be. I highly recommend it to everyone. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mark K.Astley | 9/24/2012

    " 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.. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Michael | 8/30/2012

    " O'Brian never disappoints. I read about 6 into the series some years ago and got sidetracked. Now we're going to move right through the ranks as inexorably as Vice Admiral Nelson would lose body parts in battle. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Keith | 8/4/2012

    " also 5/5/2003; also 5/6/2005 "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michael McFarland | 6/19/2012

    " A solid entry in the series, though the last 25 pages or so felt rushed, and for no particular reason, since the book ends fairly abruptly. Otherwise quite enjoyable. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Craig Coleman | 5/31/2012

    " My favorite of the Aubrey/Maturin series. Exquisite prose, thrilling sea battles. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Keith | 5/22/2012

    " also 5/5/2003; also 5/6/2005 "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Fred R | 4/28/2012

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

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Julia | 1/7/2012

    " So far my favorite in the Aubrey/Maturin series. I've only read up to book twelve. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ed Teja | 9/12/2011

    " A story for those who love sailing and sea stories, and don't mind wading through (or love wading through) the technical jargon of a frigate's sails. I am not a huge fan of historical fiction, but I am always happy to make an exception for O'Brian's books. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Anna | 8/18/2011

    " Yet again another great book by Patrick O'Brian. Not quite as exciting as the first one but still really good. "

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

    " All thanks be to Elizabeth for recommending this series. I list this book here first as a stand-in for the Canon. There are many things to praise in these books, but let us just pause and bathe in the language. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Darlene | 5/29/2011

    " The best so far. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tom | 5/18/2011

    " Awesome, although I needed a dictionary of naval terminology to fully appreciate all the technical stuff. Great story. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Netts | 5/14/2011

    " not bad for an adventure novel and the characters are well written but it would desperately need a sailing term glossary to make proper sense "

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

    " How can I give a book fromt he Aubreyad less than five stars? I should be flogged through the fleet and then keel-hauled, and then, if I survive, thrown into the orlop with no grog and no duff as we round the horn in the dead of winter. "

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

    " Up helm, stu'n'sails alo and aloft! Beat to quarters!
    A bit difficult if you don't pick up the salty jargon, but I got totally lost amongst the images in this one, not to mention getting hooked in the process. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brackman1066 | 5/7/2011

    " Another excellent Aubrey / Maturin book. This one was a little darker; Stephen still struggled with the aftermath of some events in the previous book. Jack was in command of a fleet with some incompetent captains who mess things up badly. Still, this was enjoyable. On to Desolation Island! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Susan | 5/6/2011

    " I love all of the Jack Aubrey series. I must admit I tend to skim the battle scenes but the characters and dialogue are brilliant, often laugh out loud funny. I love the sense of being immersed in a historical era, and Patrick O'Brian does that superbly well. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jillian | 5/4/2011

    " A new addiction has begun.... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 John | 4/28/2011

    " Good story, but I will admit a bit hard to read. Lots of long sentences. Having the visuals from the movie in my mind did help. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Daryoung | 4/24/2011

    " I listened to this on audio and it was delightful, perfect for audio. I'll read the others when I can. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Spencer | 4/14/2011

    " A good, fun story. Sometimes you feel you're right in a ship's cabin with the waves and cannon shot close by. Can't see my wife enjoying it, but then, I wouldn't enjoy the potato peel society. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Barry | 4/12/2011

    " I can't do this one - I'm sure if you had a visual maritime archival vocabulary you'd love it. I'm just not a boat nerd. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Elizabeth | 4/9/2011

    " If I had a grasp of the technical terms, the nautical lingo or even understood half of the English I might have enjoyed this book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Aaron | 2/20/2011

    " These books would be so much more enjoyable if O'brian dumbed down the vocab a little. During the battle scenes I have a hard time following the action. "

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

    " Book four same as the first three books. I have read enough of the series. I think there is about twenty-one books overall. But, I don't need to read anymore. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ashley | 11/23/2010

    " I am loving these books. This book deals with one specific set of orders. Well contained. Patrick O'Brian is a first class writer. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ali | 11/4/2010

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

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Janeen | 9/23/2010

    " 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. "

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

    " Another great book in the Captain Jack Aubrey and Dr. Stephen Maturin series "

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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.