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28 Reviews
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars one of the best in the series
This is easily one of the best books inthe Aubrey/Maturin series of O'Brian - set a few years after "Mauritius Command" it sends Captain Aubrey and faithful Dr. Maturin back into the landless, vast and eternally stormy seas of the southern Indian Ocean - in an old tired frigate of ill-repute, stuffed with a plague ridden crew, convicts for the Australian colony and a...
Published on 25 Sep 2003 by negativtoo

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3.0 out of 5 stars Another Patrick O'Brian shaggy dog story
All these books are interesting in the way they shed light on the sailing navy, but as other reviewers have commented, they should really be thought of as one long story published in episodes, with some better than others. One interesting thing though is however outlandish some of the action seems, a little research reveals historical precedent for most of Captain...
Published 6 months ago by paul brownie


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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars one of the best in the series, 25 Sep 2003
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This is easily one of the best books inthe Aubrey/Maturin series of O'Brian - set a few years after "Mauritius Command" it sends Captain Aubrey and faithful Dr. Maturin back into the landless, vast and eternally stormy seas of the southern Indian Ocean - in an old tired frigate of ill-repute, stuffed with a plague ridden crew, convicts for the Australian colony and a beautiful spy in the hold, as well as rotten timbers, a quarrelling set of officers and a tireless foe on their heels. More than enough to keep both the captain and the doctor/spy busy and on their toes, the dialogue loaded in the typical "low-key" way and the reader glued to the pages.
The running battle with the Dutchman is easily one of the best (and most remarkable deadly ) actions in the entire series.
Oh, and the readers get treated to some wrecking and life-boat frollicking, too. No more could be asked for.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Not So Lucky" Jack Aubrey!, 27 Dec 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Desolation Island (Paperback)
A turning point in the series! After the success' Aubrey has in the Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean in the early novels in 'Desolation Island' O'Brian shows another side of Jack Aubreys luck as he faces disease, storms, enemy chases in treacherous seas and is nearly ship-wrecked! The intelligence world of Maturin is delved into in more depth as he spins his webs of deception around an on board enemy spy. It is hard to find a great book in a fantastic series but for me this one stands out just that little bit more. If Amazon would let me I would give it 6 stars!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The first time I have ever clapped after finishing a book!, 20 July 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Desolation Island (Hardcover)
I've been working my way through the Aubrey Maturin series, with each of the first few books amazingly outdoing the previous ones.
I am now trying to ration myself in an attempt to avoid tearing through the lot in one mad dash.
Desolation Island was a fantastic read, finishing with the dramatic control of a masterly writer, it really did have me clapping to myself (to be fair I was probably becoming slightly deranged due to loss of sleep - it was 4am).
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars good read, 21 July 2012
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having read the series with books and being a fan of patrick o'brian i was excited to see it published for kindle. the only disappointment i have is that the books are abridged. if you haven't read the books then you won't know the difference but any fan of p.o'b. would, it should say before you order them.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Desolation Island by Patrick O'Brian, 2 July 2010
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C Taylor (Faringdon, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Desolation Island (Paperback)
Anyone who loves adventure, the sea, plus amazing writing and characterisation will love this book. A part of the series of about Captain Jack Aubrey of the Royal Navy and his friend and ship's surgeon Dr Stephen Maturin, set in the Napoleonic wars, this is a cracking tale. Patrick O'Brian's erudition and amazing knowledge of the period is mixed with gentle wry humour. The encounter with the Dutch ship in the Southern Ocean is is vivid and terrifying.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best in the series so far, 1 Jan 2008
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C. Harman (London, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Desolation Island (Paperback)
Despite being based around the now familiar journey to the southern seas, O'Brain manages to hold one's attention on every page. The writing is endlessly colouful and, as usual, packed with period detail and the fruits of what must have been extensive research. There is now too an extra effortlessness and enthusiasm in the writing style, helping to make this novel the best in the series so far. Distinctive features of the book include an exploration of the lower decks of the ship, the intrigue surrounding the onboard spy surveyed by Dr Maturin, an inter-crew murder, an onboard plague and an unintentional visit to the eponymous antarctic island. The narration involving a skirmish with an antagonistic Dutchman is, too, breathtaking. For those who like that kind of thing, there is also some of the customary naked jaunting out in the jolly boat, with Jack getting somewhat caught-short on his return to the ship by the onboard spy.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Masters of their trades, 2 Nov 2011
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This review is from: Desolation Island (Paperback)
Captain Jack Aubrey's seamanship skills interweave with ship surgeon Stephen Maturin's extra-curricular espionage activity as they journey together once again. As usual, well-described naval engagements and rich detail of shipboard life. One or two loose ends - no doubt to be picked up in the next volume.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Breathtaking, 19 Oct 1999
This review is from: Desolation Island (Paperback)
I've read all the classic and contemporary authors. This is the best Novel of all. Loathe though I am to pick a favourite O'Brian (surely the only decent writer alive) this just edges the others in the series.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ipad Kindle - Good for POB Arcania, 29 July 2013
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I was not sure about Amazon Kindle that I access through an Ipad app. However, it is handy for reading Patrick O'Brian. Patrick O'Brian has a significant quantity of nautical, medical and C18 period words, so it is easy to use the inbulit dictionary and links to Wikipedia and Google to discover the meaning of arcane items of vocabulary.

I still do not like the personal information that using the Kindle provides to Amazon.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars No 5, 21 Jan 2013
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I am gradually working my way through this series and enjoyed this one more than some of the earlier ones. The imagery is very good and gives a flavour of what sailing in those days would have been like. I do find however that I would benefit from having a companion book to explan some of the nautical terms, and I intend to search for one. A bit more knowledge would further improve the appreciation, I have no doubt. As a biologist I also like the asides and enthusiasm for the birds and other wildlife that is part of Dr Maturin's character. It gives an insight into the keen interest that was widely felt at that time for exporing the diversity of life as ships travelled the globe, and the important part that ship's surgeons often played in scientific discovery.
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Desolation Island
Desolation Island by Patrick O'Brian (Paperback - 1 April 2010)
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