- Paperback: 368 pages
- Publisher: HarperCollins; Film tie-in edition edition (20 Oct. 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0007157878
- ISBN-13: 978-0007157877
- Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 11.1 x 2.4 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,266,226 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Far Side of the World Paperback – 20 Oct 2003
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Captain Jack Aubrey sets sail for Cape Horn, determined to intercept an American frigate before it can wreak havoc on the British whaling trade. As always, he is accompanied by intelligence operative Stephen Maturin, and as always, Aubrey has no idea of what his companion is up to. Another impeccably written adventure, by the end of which you should be able to identify a mizzen topsail in your sleep. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
'…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 TimesSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Killick's combination of surliness and devotion to Captain Aubrey have a universal echo and mirror perfectly the lower end of my relationship with my own job: damnably unhappy sometimes about the conditions in which I carry out my duties but unable, unwilling to do anything else.
Without Preserved Killick, the Surprise is missing something important. Without him the far side of the world, to which the ship is heading, seems more remote still.
They are very satisfying adventures with the added pleasures of social, medical and natural history .
O'Brian writes in the style of the period with lashings of quaint and obscure language which I enjoy. The average standard dictionary is not up to the task so I need online resources. The main characters are well drawn with many quirky characteristics. Dialogue is brilliantly rendered and often very amusing. Before reading these books, I had categorised them as ripping yarns , but they are also works of prodigious research and scholarship and despite the numerous digressions from the main action I've been eager to keep reading on to the end of the series. I'm writing as a land lubber. The pleasure of these books must be even greater for those who know the sea well.
The plot is rather flimsy on this occasion alas, but O'Brian's writing is excellent and it's a pleasant tale to settle into and go along with. With one exception: A segment of the book where our two main characters fall overboard and have a bizarre mini-adventure is farcical, out of place and completely misjudged in context with the overall tone of the book. I almost threw it back on the shelf while it was happening it was so ridiculous - a worrying sign when compared to previous high water marks in the series.
But... we can allow O'Brian the occasional lapse when weighed up against the meticulous brilliance of the series as a whole. Far Side of the World is still a worthy enough episode in the Aubrey-Maturin saga.