Post Captain Unbound – 1 Sep 2001
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The year is 1803, and that scalliwag Napoleon Bonaparte has gone to war again. For Captain Jack Aubrey, who has fled to France to escape his creditors, this is doubly alarming news. In short order the captain is interned, makes his escape across the French countryside, then leads a ship into battle. And again, his adventures are cleverly counterpointed by those of his alter ego Stephen Maturin. --Amazon.com --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
‘…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
‘Written with most engaging enthusiasm that can’t fail to give pleasure to anybody who enjoys historical adventure flavoured with more than a dash of realism.’
‘Liveliness and expertise… the hero is vigorous flesh and blood.’
‘This book sets him at the very top of his genre’
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Top Customer Reviews
After indulging in the social life expected of country gentlemen and tying themselves in emotional knots over women in the shape of the graceful and beautiful Sophie Williams and the feisty and attractive Diana Villiers, they are forced to flee England when Jack unexpectedly finds himself in penury following the trickery of his prize agent and the successful appeal by two 'neutrals' (captured ships) whose money he had banked on..
Throughout the book, the naval action is interspersed with three other elements that in effect bind the novel together.
Firstly Jack's financial plight, that sees him living in dread of being arrested for debt. In one riotous episode, Jack is nearly apprehended during a celebration at an inn for Pullings promotion.
Secondly the romantic entanglements of both Jack and Stephen, who find affairs of the heart much more problematic than affairs at sea.
The last binding element is Stephen's spying missions for the Admiralty. These are always undertaken without Jack's knowledge and see him travelling throughout Spain trying to gauge Spain's intentions and the likelihood of a bid for Catalan independence.
An initially ponderous book, that is hard going for the first one hundred pages, it nevertheless comes alive in time to join its predecessor as another fine example of historical fiction set against the backdrop of the Napoleonic wars.Read more ›
O'Brian of course serves up the usual fare of sea battles, both at sea, in a French harbour, and on land between Aubrey and the malicious Admiral Harte. What captivates in these books is that O'Brian is not describing perfection. His heroes are clearly flawed and compromised, but this does not prevent us from becoming deeply attached to them. Even the ships in which they sail are far from perfect - in fact, in the case of the Polychrest, it is exactly the opposite.
Another great quality is that one is completely immersed in O'Brian's universe. Although most of the technical descriptions of sailing are beyond my knowledge, it is still a joy to read them used without compromise. Similarly, the descriptions of 19th century medical practices and beliefs are both erudite and fascinating.
The quality of the writing, the delicacy of thought and the narrative drive and excitement in the heat of the action mean that these are not just good historical novels, they are excellent as novels of any genre. I look forward to the next volume!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Within a few lines of picking it up, you are back in Napoeleonic times. Reading this for the third time, the lives and the humour are addictive.Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
I have read all of the books in his series, and I am very much enjoying reading them all over again. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
If you are historically minded, love the sea and navy, like me, this book is for you.Published 4 months ago by David G Wilkes
Purchased this book for my husband he snjoyed reading it so much he got me to purchase other books in the series by the same authorPublished 5 months ago by elaine norrie