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The Ionian Mission Paperback – 1 Apr 2010

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Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Harper; New Ed edition (1 April 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0006499228
  • ISBN-13: 978-0006499220
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.9 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 20,680 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Patrick O'Brian, until his death in 2000, was one of our greatest contemporary novelists. He is the author of the acclaimed Aubrey-Maturin tales and the biographer of Joseph Banks and Picasso. He is the author of many other books including Testimonies, and his Collected Short Stories. 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. He lived for many years in South West France and he died in Dublin in January 2000.

Product Description

Review

'…full of the energy that comes from a writer having struck a vein… Patrick O'Brian is unquestionably the Homer of the Napoleonic wars.' James Hamilton- Paterson

'You are in for the treat of your lives. Thank God for Patrick O'Brian: his genius illuminates the literature of the English language, and lightens the lives of those who read him.' Kevin Myers, Irish Times

'In a highly competitive field it goes straight to the top. A real first-rater.' Mary Renault

'I never enjoyed a novel about the sea more. It is not only that the author describes the handling of a ship of 1800 with an accuracy that is as comprehensible as it is detailed, a remarkable feat in itself. Mr O'Brian's three chief characters are drawn with no less depth of sympathy than the vessels he describes, a rare achievement save in the greatest writers of this genre. It deserves the widest readership.' Irish Times

From the Back Cover

Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin, veterans of many battles, return in this novel to the seas where they first sailed as shipmates. But Jack is now a senior Captain commanding a line-of-battle ship sent out to reinforce the squadron blockading Toulon, and this is a longer, harder, colder war than the dashing frigate actions of his early days.

A sudden turn of events takes him and Stephen off on a hazardous mission to the Greek Islands. All his old skills of seamanship and his proverbial luck when fighting against odds come triumphantly into their own.

“Everything that is said of the amazing Dr Maturin – ‘Such a range of inquiry, such erudition, such illuminating comparisons, such flashes of wit!' – also applies to Patrick O'Brian.”
T.J. BINYON, 'Times Literary Supplement'

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Inside This Book

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First Sentence
Marriage was once represented as a field of battle rather than a bed of roses, and perhaps there are some who may still support this view; but just as Dr Maturin had made a far more unsuitable match than most, so he set about dealing with the situation in a far more compendious, peaceable and efficacious way than the great majority of husbands. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 19 Dec. 2000
Format: Paperback
The book's heroes, Aubrey & Maturin, are a little jaded in this Mediterranean episode of the Napoleonic naval wars, and so is the plot. Two or three times we are promised action, but it comes to nothing. I never became as engaged as in previous episodes. The final action, when it comes, is exciting, but cursory and unsatisfying. The interplay between the main characters had a feeling of going through the motions. Nevertheless, even when O'Brian is not at his best, he still produces an enjoyable, well written and thoroughly believable novel that is a pleasure to read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Geoffrey Buckingham on 15 Sept. 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Help! I need a dictionary of 19th century naval terms...
I am on number eight now in this series and am still having difficulty in following some parts due to ignorance. But I haven't been put off by this. The richness of description and the sincerity with which the characters is drawn is making a slow journey through the careers of Jack Aubrey and Steven Maturin an absolute delight. The essays by notable experts at the end of each novel is of great help too, and certainly my sketchy knowledge of the history of the period has been embellished.
Love it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By JoTownhead on 6 Nov. 2011
Format: Paperback
Captain Jack Aubrey and his crew are required to carry out tedious duties at the whim of naval politics but action errupts when they escort spy and ship's surgeon Stephen Maturin to broker a sensitive deal - with Jack playing an important part. Events are unpredictable, as usual, making this a thrilling continuation of Jack and Stephen's journey together.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Richy Births on 6 Sept. 2010
Format: Paperback
Classic O'Brian, derring do, crafty Turks, spies and the whiff of gunpowder. What more could one want?

For newcomers to O'Brian I strongly suggest you start at the very beginning (Master and Commander), its a very good place to start, and work your way through in sequence as there are references to earlier missions in previous books
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Although these books are a series all involving the sea born adventures of Captain Jack Aubrey and his pal Stephen Maturin the ship's surgeon, they can also be read as stand alone stories.

Beware though as these are seriously addictive and I have bought and read each and everyone of the series and have read them in order.

Forget Hornblower, he is good but these are brilliant! Also don't be put off by Russel Crowe and "Master and Comander" the movie, which was an odd mash up of two of the books. Being an addict I enjoyed the film as well!
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By David Edwards on 5 May 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A great read, as far as it goes. Unfortunately it doesn't seem to go the whole way. The Kindle edition appears to be missing the last section of the novel. It stops 3/4 of the way through and never reaches the satisfying climax that O'Brian constructed. How Amazon accounts for this unpredicted abridgement is as mysterious as it is Ill-advised.
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By curzon on 18 Feb. 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am now on the tenth book of Patrick Brian's saga about Captain Aubrie. I think you might say I've become a huge fan. As well as the swashbuckling, rollicking stories he produces, the wealth of technical knowledge the reader can acquire is amazing - I now know what running on a bowline means!!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mr. S. B. Ball on 25 Sept. 2007
Format: Paperback
The book has a slow start but progressively gets more interesting and faster paced. The last 100 pages are absolutely brilliant - as good as you'll find anywhere.

Superb book!
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