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The Ionian Mission [Paperback]

Patrick O'Brian
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
RRP: 8.99
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Book Description

1 April 2010

Patrick O’Brian’s Aubrey-Maturin tales are widely acknowledged to be the greatest series of historical novels ever written. To commemorate the 40th anniversary of their beginning, with Master and Commander, these evocative stories are being re-issued in paperback with smart new livery. This is the eighth book in the series.

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 action 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. The book ends with as fierce and thrilling an action as any in this magnificent series of novels.


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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 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 22,806 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. The book ends with as fierce and thrilling an action as any in this magnificent series of novels.

'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'

'Cemented over the years and across the seven seas by good writing and good humour, the friendship between surgeon and intelligence agent Maturin and that lion-in-action and ass ashore, Jack Aubrey, may yet rank with Athos-D'Artagnan or Holmes-Watson as part of the permanent literature of adventure.'
STEPHEN VAUGHAN,'Observer'

‘'The Ionain Mission' is witty, funny, erudite and exciting… a triumph.’
HELEN LUCY BURKE, 'Irish Press'

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

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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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

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
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
5.0 out of 5 stars I love Aubrey and Maturin! 15 Sep 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
4.0 out of 5 stars Unpredictable and thrilling 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
4.0 out of 5 stars Another cracker 6 Sep 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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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Slow start, cracking ending. 25 Sep 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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4.0 out of 5 stars Yet another great read. 22 Jun 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
It is increasingly difficult to try to write a critique which is not repetitive. Yet this is another fascinating story of fact and fiction in the Navy at the times of the Napoleonic wars. Highly recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Hopelessly Addictive 8 April 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
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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5.0 out of 5 stars They're all five star 12 Feb 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
What can I say, if you like early ninteenth century history or history of seafaring or action adventure novels then O'Brian's the fellow. These have to be the very best of their genre.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant books.
These books by Patrick O'Brian really take you back in time and allow the reader to (virtually) experience life as it was lived back then. Brilliant books.
Published 3 hours ago by PatRosa
5.0 out of 5 stars It Doesn't Get Better Than This on the High Seas
As usual I read the whole thing with a smile on my face. Intelligent, funny, exciting: the excellence simply continues.
Published 12 days ago by C. S. Barlow
5.0 out of 5 stars fantastic
brilliant
delivered before time
and is good as new book
Published 22 days ago by stephen ogley
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Haven't read yet
Published 1 month ago by Desmond Booker
5.0 out of 5 stars this book can stand alone and entertain as well as build app on an...
I love the detailed characters that come to life
Good levels of period detail.
So easy to get into the plot
Held me to the page
Published 6 months ago by PaulE
5.0 out of 5 stars Patrick O'Brian
My husband loves the Patrick O'Brian novels, so they make great presents. Keeps him quiet for ages while I watch TV!!
Published 7 months ago by Mrs Rosemary Robinson
5.0 out of 5 stars Patrick O'Brien has written a wonderful series of books.
This book is as good as all the others. All his books have exciting passages, but they also give an interesting understanding of how live was lived at the beginning of the 19th... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Chris Amos
3.0 out of 5 stars Dissapointed
Not much action in this story, i felt much like his crew with the amount of missed chances, has lucky jack lost his mojo? Read more
Published 13 months ago by Paul Hevan
5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't put it down.
A great story from a great storyteller. I love the characters, the world he has so meticulously researched and just cannot wait to read the whole series.
Published 17 months ago by Samuel Hairsine
4.0 out of 5 stars Aubrey-Maturin - O'Brian Series
I saw "Master and Commander", I came across an O'Brian book, decided I wanted to read the series.
Have enjoyed the series.
The story lines are bit repetitive. Read more
Published 17 months ago by M. A. Hogarth
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