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Extended Audio Sample The Yellow Admiral 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 (2,824 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Patrick O’Brian Narrator: Patrick Tull Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Aubrey–Maturin Series Release Date: December 2015 ISBN: 9781402581762
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Life ashore may once again be the undoing of Jack Aubrey in The Yellow Admiral, Patrick O’Brian’s bestselling novel and eighteenth volume in the Aubrey-Maturin series.

Aubrey, now a considerable though impoverished landowner, has dimmed his prospects at the Admiralty by his erratic voting as a Member of Parliament; he is feuding with his neighbor, a man with strong navy connections who wants to enclose the common land between their estates; he is on even worse terms with his wife, Sophie, whose mother has ferreted out a most damaging trove of old personal letters. Even Jack’s exploits at sea turn sour: in the storm waters off Brest he captures a French privateer laden with gold and ivory, but this at the expense of missing a signal and deserting his post. Worst of all, in the spring of 1814, peace breaks out, and this feeds into Jack’s private fears for his career.

Fortunately, Jack is not left to his own devices. Stephen Maturin returns from a mission in France with the news that the Chileans, to secure their independence, require a navy, and the service of English officers. Jack is savoring this apparent reprieve for his career, as well as Sophie’s forgiveness, when he receives an urgent dispatch ordering him to Gibraltar…

…Napoleon has escaped from Elba.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “If there were seventeen more novels, I’d start today.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • “This series is some of the finest historical fiction of our time, transforming a musty genre into art.”

    Los Angeles Times

  • “O’Brian is at the top of his elegant form here. He offers a wealth of sly humor…some splendid set pieces, characters who are palpably real and, as always, lapidary prose. This is splendid storytelling from a true master.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Fans of O’Brian’s previous novels will find themselves well rewarded.”

    Booklist

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jocelyn | 2/18/2014

    " Captain Jack Aubrey navigates several challenges: supporting the rights of unlanded families in his district to a piece of uncultivated property; serving under an admiral who had an interest in cultivating that property, which predisposes him to write poor reports about Jack, thus killing Jack's chances of ever commanding a squadron; dealing with fallout from an old extra-marital affair. Sometimes you just can't get the better of turkeys like your commanding officer or your mother-in-law. You have to put up with the unjust consequences . . . and wait for Patrick O'Brian to kill both of them in the next book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 JoTownhead | 2/7/2014

    " Captain Jack Aubrey and ship's surgeon and spy Stephen Maturin suffer the tedium of a naval blockade but, before long, Stephen's murky activities require them to engage in dangerous missions. Jack's peace of mind is threatened by secrets from the past and concerns over his career progression. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chaundra | 2/1/2014

    " originally read 13 Dec 2007 "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Karen | 1/26/2014

    " I enjoyed this book like all the other in the Aubrey-Maturin series but it's not quite as exciting - fewer and less impressive sea battles, more time spent on land, and less of Stephen in general made it fall a bit short for me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Matt | 1/26/2014

    " The series remains so good but with only 2 books and the partial final book... I don't want to rush to start reading more of them... because it will be sad to finish them. Such really beautiful writing. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Michael | 1/15/2014

    " This is where they start to fall off. This might be the worst of the series... pretty much nothing happens. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 R. August | 1/11/2014

    " Fairly consistent in keeping with the rest of the series - much of the plot happening with implied comments and silences than going into specific detail. As occurred about 3 books into the series, as there have already been plenty of detailed sea battles, they have been mostly glossed over with the detail shifting to other aspects of early 19th century life. The good doctor, as always is the foil for the detailed discussions of life through his (occasionally somewhat unbelievable) ignorance. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Robert Waizenhofer | 1/10/2014

    " Great book, but not as good as the beginning of the series. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Andrew | 1/2/2014

    " Nowhere near my favorite of the Aubrey-Mataurin, but when you write 10,000 pages on the same character, there are some that are only good instead of great. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Larry O'brien | 12/23/2013

    " Maybe my least-favorite of the Aubrey/Maturin books, one of the rare times when it feels like O'Brian is just working through his research "Oh, enclosures of the commons, that ought to be good for 1/3 of a book... " "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ahf | 12/21/2013

    " I continue to love this series. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 John | 9/16/2013

    " I'm getting a bit bothered with this series. I'm very nearly finished so I will press on to complete the series. More with the next reviews. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Booksthailand | 9/12/2013

    " Wish he'd written 100 "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sandy | 7/13/2013

    " #18...and the series still is a great read! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Angela | 6/30/2013

    " A solid addition to the series, with some truly delightful moments. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Squeaky | 1/16/2013

    " I somehow missed the parts where Stephen gets his money back, and Blaine get married. Huh. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Judy | 8/22/2012

    " This is a page turner and a sensitive view of the life on board ship in the napoleonic wars. Then the sailors go home and we follow them. I am interested to be on the water with these men. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Chouchou | 7/28/2012

    " ..OULALA "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 S. Ben | 7/11/2012

    " A very good pervasive aura of melancholy. The characters are getting older, in both good and bad ways; every victory seems to lead to a defeat. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Will G | 7/13/2011

    " A little too much blockade work. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Aaron | 6/7/2011

    " Nice. More of the same. Not enough nautical stuff in this one though. I want more action. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lee Scoresby | 4/15/2011

    " It would have been great if he had lived to finish it. As for the last chapters, could somebody just type the damned thing out? "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sandy | 10/9/2010

    " The untitled, unfinished #21 volume, the end of the series...the author died before it was finished--and perhaps it was better that way: no possibly unsatisfying endings. Adieu. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Melinda | 9/24/2010

    " It is always sad to think of authors starting a book and then dieing before it is finished. I wonder if when Patrick O'Brian started this if he intended it to be the last and how he would have finished--Jack sailing off into the sunset or settling at home?

    Probably sailing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Robert | 9/14/2010

    " What little there was to read was wonderful, but I'm left depressed that these amazingly complex and living characters are done forever now that the author is gone. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Joshua | 5/16/2010

    " Only three stars... what gives? Of course, this is because the novel was left unfinished by the death of the author. I have the sense of hearing a great symphony only to be left hanging by the absence of the final great chord. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Jonathan | 3/22/2010

    " Warning, for fans of the Aubrey/Maturin series: this book is quite an anticlimax and would best be avoided by all but the most curious to read the final unfinished, sparsely edited frame of a story. Book 20 is a fine conclusion to an amazing series--leave it there. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Craig | 11/16/2009

    " Three chapters of a first draft. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Becca | 9/8/2009

    " I'm glad I read it, even though it was only three chapters. It left off with the characters in good state, and it is kind of nice to think of them sailing on- with some idea where there next adventure would take them and what it would involve. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Grace | 7/31/2009

    " Unfinished when O'Brian died but interesting nonetheless to see what would have happened to Aubrey & Maturin. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Pat | 6/1/2009

    " A waste of time and far too much money, in the hardback especially. For those of us who wanted the Aubrey/Maturin series to go on forever, this was the final proof that O'Brian had died. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Catherine | 2/24/2009

    " Final book in the series which I started 5/07 - averaging one per month. Latter books don't seem quite to riveting as the first ones, but maybe it was me that changed! Good but sad ending with the death of O'Brian. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 David | 1/17/2009

    " This was interesting, had to special order it but a little sad -- Cool to see the handwritten text with corrections on one page and the standard printed text on the other.... "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kristen | 12/20/2008

    " I liked this more than I expected to. "

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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.