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The Reverse of the Medal Paperback – 5 Jun 2003

4.6 out of 5 stars 57 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; New Ed edition (5 Jun. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0006499260
  • ISBN-13: 978-0006499268
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 24,331 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Amazon Review

Ashore between cruises, Captain Jack Aubrey is persuaded to sink some money into an investment scheme. Soon this innocent decision enmeshes him in various criminal and even treasonous enterprises, which threaten to destroy his entire career. Bad luck? A deliberate plot? Read this latest instalment of the Aubrey-Maturin saga to find out. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

'…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 Times

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
The Aubrey-Maturin series reaches its emotional high-point. Like Post Captain, Reverse of the Medal takes place mostly on land but it is as far-removed as it can be from that romantic-comedy interval. We get to see a fascinating glimpse of the London underworld and the legal processes of the time and Jack Aubrey in adversity is an impressive sight. He bears his misfortune with stoic dignity and the respect in which he is held by all he has served with comes to his rescue in his blackest moment. The climax of the book is one of the most powerful and moving passages I have ever read and made me realise how much I had come to care about these characters.
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Format: Paperback
I find Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey-Maturin series a challenge to read, albeit an excellent, well-connected long novel. I could not put down the eleventh in the series, The Reverse of the Medal, once I began it. Although most of this book occurs on land, where Captain Jack Aubrey is naive and awkward, O'Brian exploits this: the force of the plot is as strong as the earliest, more typically naval stories in the saga. The climax brought tears to my eyes, and the last chapter's denouement evoked a cheer for Maturin and his dear friend. I went right to the Web to order the next two novels.
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Format: Paperback
This is simply, for me, one of the best novels ever written, of any genre, & finds O'Brian at the very peak of his considerable powers. Ostensibly it is 'just' another instalment of the Aubrey/Maturin sea-faring tales & works very well on that level. However, apart from the opening sequences, the story unfolds mainly ashore & represents Captain Aubrey's most difficult challenge to date. As he has shown in previous episodes, he is never more at sea than when he is on land. Basically he is 'stitched up' by unsuspected enemies & consequently becomes embroiled in the politically biased judicial system of the time, with predictable results. If like me, you have followed Aubrey through all his previous adventures, all his various ups & downs then, like me, you will find this a very bittersweet experience as he reaches his nadir. I'll not attempt to deny that I blubbered unashamedly as the story reached it's poignant climax. It is not all doom & gloom however, the book has it's lighter moments &,as can be seen by the number of sequels, it is far from the end of the line for Aubrey. Historical novels,indeed any novels, really do not come any better than this. Enjoy !
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Format: Paperback
The 'Reverse Of The Medal' is a splendid read. There, I've just gone and killed the review, or rather if it was a book it would be rendered moot to read it. In the same vein, anyone reading any of the later books before this will be rather at a disadvantage. The invention in this tale must be experienced first hand. Although you should read the earlier books in the series first, this is one of the few in the series where you don't acuatlly have to in order to grasp the plot. The Reverse Of The Medal is totally different to any other book of it's type, in the nautical vein. In fact it stands alone as a rather wonderful tale that I personally would put above the stodgy tales of Jane Austen. The secret to it's success, lies in the attention to detail and the human element often lauded in the series as a whole. However, in this series the tales are even better by land than sea. This book follows 'Post Captain' (An earlier title) in providing land based adventures that grab me so much that I wish O'Brian had written more tales of Maturins intelligence work on land, the five year gap between 'HMS Surprise' and 'The Mauritius Command' would have served amply. No matter because this book was perhaps the crescendo of O'Brians work. After this book, the series lost the urgency and must read quality it had until after this tale. One thing I particularly liked was Aubreys lawyer whose name is Lawrence, a thoroughly endearing character who in this tale, helps us keep faith in the law of the land. This characters conversations with Maturin are pure GOLD. And he shares my surname. (As I'm studying to be a lawyer I may also add that his views wonderfully mirror those who have taught me, and myself. He gives a wonderful perspective to the readers interpretation of the tale.Read more ›
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It's pointless to go into detail - this whole series is an extended masterpiece. If you understand sailing ships then you're in for a treat, but if like me, you only have the vaguest idea about sailing, you're STILL in for a treat! The characterisation, plotting and general pace of all the Aubrey-Maturin series is so compelling, you just have to keep reading. I guess I'm reading them for about the fifth time.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Disappointing. This is my 11th book in the series. The book is unbalanced with A great amount of tedious dialogue and very little of the exciting action of the earlier books. I found myself skimming through much of this to get to the actions at sea for which the author is famous.
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Patrick O'Brian kicks A** and his ability to paint a picture is unparalleled in my opinion. His attention to detail & knowledge of the RN is stunning, I have read nine of his books to date & am so glad that he has written 42 so far because I have so much more to look forward to.
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