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The Surgeon's Mate [Audiobook] [Audio Cassette]

Patrick O'Brian , Stephen Thorne
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)

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Book Description

21 Sep 2007

Patrick O’Brian’s Aubrey-Maturin tales are widely hailed as the greatest series of historical novels ever written.

Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin are ordered home by despatch vessel to bring the news of their latest victory to the government. But Maturin is a marked man for the havoc he has wrought in the French intelligence network in the New World, and the attentions of two privateers soon become menacing.

The chase that follows through the fogs and shallows of the Grand Banks is as thrilling, as tense and as unexpected in its culmination as anything Patrick O’Brian has written. Then, among other things, follows a shipwreck and a particularly sinister internment in the notorious Temple Prison in Paris. Once again, the tigerish and fascinating Diana Villiers redresses the balance in this man’s world of seamanship and war.


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Product details

  • Audio Cassette
  • Publisher: Soundings Audio Books (21 Sep 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1842833774
  • ISBN-13: 978-1842833773
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)

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

“stirring stuff… Hearty Robert Hardy reads with gusto and obvious enjoyment.”
Literary Review February 1998

'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 are ordered home by despatch vessel to bring the news of their latest victory to the government. But Maturin is a marked man for the havoc he has wrought in the French intelligence network in the New World, and the attentions of two privateers soon become menacing.

The chase that follows through the fogs and shallows of the Grand Banks is as thrilling, as tense and as unexpected in its culmination as anything Patrick O’ Brian has written. Then, among other things, follows a shipwreck and a particularly sinister internment in the notorious Temple Prison in Paris. Once again, the tigerish and fascinating Diana Villiers redresses the balance in this man’s world of seamanship and war.

“The author, master of his period and of the techniques of ship under sail, keeps his story moving with panache and ingenuity.”
JOHN BRIGHT HOLMES, 'Daily Telegraph'

“This is a splendid excursion into the glorious history of the Royal Navy. It is also highly authentic. There are real characters, believable dialogue, fine descriptive writing, excitement…”
NOW MAGAZINE

“The tang of saltwater voyages and pungent aroma of man-o’-war gunsmoke contrasts with some equally gripping events on land. Another collector’s item for those folowing the career of this impressive – and very human – naval officer.”
BOLTON EVENING NEWS


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lucky number 7 7 July 2009
Format:Paperback
For anyone who has yet to read one of Patrick O'Brian's novels; please do not be put off by the film Master & Commander, if you have seen it.

These books are superb and, in my view, this is the best so far.

The Surgeon's Mate (his 7th in the Aubrey/Maturin series) focuses more on the intelligence activities of Dr Maturin - something sadly not even acknowledged in the film. Dr Maturin usually contrives to get Jack Aubrey ordered to transport him to his various assignments and therefore become somehow involved in them. In this story Jack is quite desperate to flee England (to escape the threatened visitation from an earlier extra-marital liason), only to end up with both men captured by the French.

The build up in tension is brilliant, as we read of the French Intelligence's successes in piecing together the evidence that will eventually see our heroes standing before a firing squad, while our boys plot and execute their escape - a true race against time.

The story is spell-binding - the book difficult to put down - and ends with their eventual aid coming from a most unexpected source.

Patrick O'Brian's mastery of both the English language and history of Naval warfare is unbeatable. His equal touches of comedy, grief and humanity really do put him way out ahead of the competition.

Great stuff - but don't take it on holiday with you. Your family will pine for want of your attention and the in-laws will never speak to you again ... I'll get yours in the post, shall I?
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best since Post Captain 19 Feb 2001
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I have fallen for these novels since a sceptical encounter with master and Commander I have hurtled through about one a week .
This is the best so far . The development of the characters especailly Aubrey and Maturin never stales and the interplay between the recurring characters is never boring.
The eye for detail is amazing and the shipboard writing accurate but not impenetrable.
These are beautifully written and exciting novels .
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Reading riches galore 30 Jan 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I'm now on my third re-reading of this 20 volume history of characters Captain Aubrey and Dr Maturin. The volumes are best read in sequence by starting at Master & Commander through to Blue at the Mizzen, rather than dipping in and starting part-way through the story. Take a long holiday, a long convalescence...they are twenty page turners.

As well as a good yarn and good history, they are also very amusing: full of jokes you want to share with your partner.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Counter Balance 22 Aug 2012
Format:Paperback
I came late to O'Brian's novels. I greatly enjoy tales of Nelson's navy, perticularly Woodman and Stockwin although C.S.Forester's Hornblower always seems to be a bit priggish. In my younger days I did pick up a copy of one of the O'Brian novels but, at the time, thought the language style a bit archaic. However having come upon the series in later life and reading the series in order, I was delighted as having read them earlier I may not have enjoyed them to the degree to which I have, a joy to read, excellently written and with many intertwined plots and sub plots. They have to be read more than once and in order to get the full enjoyment and appreciation of one of the great series of English Literature.

The Surgeon's Mate is probably one of the more difficult to start with as it is dependent on previous activities, relationships and events to ensure understanding and appreciation.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars books 16 Nov 2011
By Maggieb
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The books by Patrick O'Brian are a fascinating read and would recommend them to anyone who likes a good yarn.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Yet another fascinating book in this series. 22 Jun 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book continues this excellent series of highly readable books set in the times of the Napoleonic Wars and provides a deep insight into life aboard in those hard times. Highly recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous series. 11 Jun 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A real feel for the times and life aboard ship. Wonderful characters. Fell in love with Jack Aubrey with the first novel.
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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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Brilliant
Published 17 days ago by keith holloway
4.0 out of 5 stars fighting ships
the usual Patrick O'brian stuff, well written, and a nice pace that must reflect life in those times, ie 90-95% tedium, then 5% frightening action. Read more
Published 7 months ago by stewart chisholm
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 9 months ago by Chris Amos
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
good book
Published 11 months ago by keith
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful series of books
The Aubrey, Maturin saga is first class whether or not you have a great interest in the sea and ships. Read more
Published 11 months ago by A. N. Wenham
5.0 out of 5 stars Enthralling
This is the 5th book I have read and I have found myself drawn in to the descriptions of the times and the lives of Aubrey and Maturin in what is a fascinating period of history. Read more
Published 14 months ago by RichardA
5.0 out of 5 stars Knife, saw, tar !!!
A cracker of a book by a man who could tell a story. A great read from the master of naval fiction.
Published 16 months ago by D. Hughes
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 18 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 18 months ago by M. A. Hogarth
5.0 out of 5 stars ANOTHER CLASSIC
ONE OF A SERIES WHICH DEVELOPS THE CENTRAL CHARACTERS AS THEY PROGRESS THROUGH LIFE. GOOD CONVINCING PLOT SET IN A CONVINCING SCENARIO.
Published 21 months ago by E D Floyd
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