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Extended Audio Sample The Thirteen Gun Salute 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 (2,975 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: January 2006 ISBN: 9781455184545
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Captain Jack Aubrey sets sail for the South China Sea with a new lease on life. Following his dismissal from the Royal Navy on a false accusation, he has earned reinstatement through his daring exploits as a privateer. Now he is to shepherd Stephen Maturin—his friend, ship’s surgeon, and sometimes intelligence agent—on a diplomatic mission to prevent links between Bonaparte and the Malay princes that would put English merchant shipping at risk.

The journey of the Diane encompasses a satisfying diversity of adventures. Maturin climbs the Thousand Steps of the sacred crater of the orangutans; a killer typhoon catches Aubrey and his crew trying to work the Diane off a reef; and in the barbaric court of Pulo Prabang, a classic duel of intelligence agents unfolds: the French envoys, well entrenched in the sultan’s good graces, against the savage cunning of Stephen Maturin.

This eighteenth volume in Patrick O’Brian’s highly acclaimed Aubrey-Maturin series is the perfect blend of action, espionage, and adventure on the high seas.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Novels of extraordinary, quirky attractiveness, oblique and complicated charm, a rich and reliable intelligence…A dazzling receptiveness to language, an understanding of period speech so entire that it never needs to preen itself.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “The Aubrey/Maturin books provide a splendid look at a time when irony was merely a condiment to life’s great feast and not the main course it is today. But most important, the books tell the story of a maturing friendship between unlikely friends…who tolerate their differences with winning and unsentimental generosity. O’Brian is the Homer of an epic of affection.”

    Newsweek

  • “In length the [Aubrey-Maturin] series is unique; in quality—and there is not a weak link in the chain—it cannot but be ranked with the best of twentieth-century historical novels.”

    Independent

  • “Delicious old-fashioned prose…wonderfully complex sentences that capture the feel of the sea and the culture of the great warships, all the while sketching with apparent accuracy and truth the early nineteenth-century world.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • A New York Times Notable Book in 1991

Listener Opinions

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

    " I finished the book last night probably 2am. Had to go downstairs and get the next one and started reading immediately. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tao | 2/14/2014

    " Ended with a cliff-hanger. Will start the Nutmeg of consolation in a moment. Can't wait to see what's going on next. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Darlis | 2/13/2014

    " There is not much plot but an interesting look at life aboard a British sea going vessel in the 19th Century. There a variety of characters, odd descriptions and conversations, a strange language (British) English. A knowledge of nautical terms, history, and geography willk make this even more pleasant. Weirdly, this was quite enjoyable. "

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

    " I was disappointed. Not enough action. Too much time on land in the orient or the middle east or wherever it was that they went. Not enough cannons. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Squeaky | 12/29/2013

    " Diana has some good lines in the beginning of this one. Jack and Steven head off to Asia carrying an envoy. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Stan | 12/28/2013

    " O'Brian's usual excellent writing, but this book is long on explication and short on action. Perhaps my least favorite in the series thus far, but the bar is high: for me this is an all-time outstanding series. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rachel | 12/22/2013

    " Dissect the enemy! I'm appreciating this so much more now that I'm in A&P with cadavers. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Pam | 12/10/2013

    " Rip roaring adventure in the South Seas in the late 19th century! What more could you ask for? Really a hoot and a cure for every day worries. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Deanne | 12/2/2013

    " Sometimes feel that Aubrey takes a back seat to Maturin, spy, surgeon and naturalist. This is one of those books in the series which is more to do with intelligence and shows how cunning Maturin is. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Hal | 12/2/2013

    " Another winner from Patrick O'Brian, but if you're up to the 13th in a series, you don't need to read any reviews. No battles at sea, which knocks it down to 4 stars. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Stephen Dawson | 10/25/2013

    " The thirteenth in the series seems a bit "flat", with relatively little happening until more than three-quarters of the way through. The closing action sets the scene nicely for book 14. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cynthia | 7/31/2013

    " This is the last in the series. Because O'Brian died while he was at the beginning of this book, it ends very abruptly. However, if you read until Jack raises his blue pennant and then stop, it will be an excellant closure to this great series. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Greg Bailey | 7/30/2013

    " Previously read March 15, 2009. Aubrey is restored to the Navy List and begins the circumnavigation that will continue for several books. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dan Casey | 5/22/2013

    " 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. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Subdee | 2/1/2013

    " Should have saved the last 1/3 of this for a time when I was prepared to also read the next book in the series. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tom Leland | 1/18/2013

    " Think I'm burning out a bit on the series. May not finish them all. I miss the battles. I'm sure I wasn't working as hard as I should have been, but I could barely follow the French/English/envoy intrigue. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Matthew | 1/7/2013

    " Not much more to say that I cannot get enough of Simon Vance and this series. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ahf | 8/1/2012

    " Good fun. I do love these books. "

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

    " This is 13 of a 20 book series. Although they are getting alarmingly similar I still love reading about life on the ships. And the doctor is such a hoot. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Landon Cocks | 6/25/2012

    " I've read this entire series about ten times and it never gets old. The dialogue is timeless and the general narrative keeps me coming back. If you've never read any of these books, start with the first in the series, Master and Commander. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Christine | 9/4/2011

    " I read through the entire series and then I start at the beginning again. Amazing characters. Amazing depth. This is my comfort reading. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Aaron | 4/22/2011

    " I was disappointed. Not enough action. Too much time on land in the orient or the middle east or wherever it was that they went. Not enough cannons. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Patricia | 3/14/2011

    " Absolutely fabulous, so good to be back in the company of Jack and Stephen. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sandi | 2/26/2011

    " This is 13 of a 20 book series. Although they are getting alarmingly similar I still love reading about life on the ships. And the doctor is such a hoot. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Josh | 12/7/2010

    " This is the first book in the series which does not have one naval battle. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alain | 11/26/2010

    " The whole series is a wonder of historical fiction. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tao | 11/2/2010

    " Ended with a cliff-hanger. Will start the Nutmeg of consolation in a moment. Can't wait to see what's going on next. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Pam | 10/16/2010

    " Rip roaring adventure in the South Seas in the late 19th century! What more could you ask for? Really a hoot and a cure for every day worries. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sandy | 9/3/2010

    " #13 in this series...and off to the South China Sea, negotiating a treaty and a shipwreck...on to #14 with just a whisper of regret because the series ends at #20 1/2. This has been my summer of Master and Commander. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Aneel | 2/9/2010

    " Only decent. Again, this one was too easy. "

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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

Simon Vance (a.k.a. Robert Whitfield) is an award-winning actor and an AudioFile Golden Voice with fifty-eight Earphones Awards. He has won thirteen prestigious Audie Awards and was Booklist’s very first Voice of Choice in 2008. He has narrated more than eight hundred audiobooks over almost thirty years, beginning when he was a radio newsreader for the BBC in London.