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Post Captain Unbound – 1 Sep 2001

4.4 out of 5 stars 127 customer reviews

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Unbound, 1 Sep 2001
£48.74 £18.89
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Product details

  • Unbound
  • Publisher: Recorded Books (Sept. 2001)
  • ISBN-10: 1402502214
  • ISBN-13: 978-1402502217
  • Product Dimensions: 15.7 x 10.9 x 7.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (127 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 7,974,442 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Amazon Review

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. --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.’
Sunday Times

‘Liveliness and expertise… the hero is vigorous flesh and blood.’

‘This book sets him at the very top of his genre’
Mary Renault

--This text refers to the Unknown Binding edition.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This impressive follow up to the very good, 'Master & Commander', follows the mixed fortunes of Captain Jack Aubrey, the good natured and garrulous Royal Naval commander and his good friend, the calm and introverted ships surgeon and sometime secret agent Stephen Maturin, as they try to readjust to peace with Bonaparte's France following the Treaty of Amiens.
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.
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Format: Paperback
I had put off reading the Aubrey/Maturin novels; I was still undecided after reading "Master and Commander"; I bought this book (the second in the series) because I had a plane journey ahead - I had finished it and bought the sequel within 24 hours. Patrick O'Brian does not re-create the past - he inhabits it in a uniquely rich, exciting and funny way. I recommend this book heartily - "and wish you of joy of it, for all love."
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Format: Paperback
Master and Commander was an excellent start to the Aubrey-Maturin series of novels, and the going gets even better with Post Captain. We find Aubrey and Maturin living ashore for a period, which gives O'Brian the chance to show us a romantic side to both their characters that we have not previously seen, with a depiction of early 19th century bourgeois society that Jane Austen would have been proud of. Far from weakening the book (as some reviewers below have suggested), this strengthens it and the series in general, as it fills out the characters and prepares us for what is to follow, not least the jealousy that arises between the two men, the flight from the bailiffs, and Stephen's spying activities.

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!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As I have not opened the Kindle version perhaps a 5 star rating seems over-generous as I imagine there will be the usual strange typos. and paragraphing common to most Kindle books. The book itself however is a must for me or anyone else who has read "Master And Commander" and wants to spend more time adventuring with the wonderful characters already met. Patrick O'Brian is not only a master storyteller but also has complete command of his subjects (and there are many fields within his writings) so that the reader trusts absolutely in the events and people described. Whether at sea or ashore, authenticity is in every line until one could believe that O'Brian was actually there. There is violence and, sometimes, bad language but these words are neither frequent nor regarded favourably by the seamen or officers, swearing being a punishable offence in the Royal Navy of the time - a pity it isn't in our armed services today. I have the whole series in paperback but now find Kindle reading kinder to my eyes. It would be unrealistic to expect books covering the Napoleonic wars to contain no scenes of violence but, again, these are not dwelt upon or introduced gratuitously. The medical knowledge and skills of the time are expertly illustrated and can be both grim and also give some insight into the courage and humour of all concerned. The books can be hilarious at times, with a single line giving rise to tear-wiping mirth as deftly as a cartoonist establishes a situation with a few strokes of the pen. As someone else has said, I envy those who have not yet met Jack and Stephen because they have all the treats still to come.
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