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4.7 out of 5 stars 53 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Unknown Binding
  • ISBN-10: 0007217471
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007217472
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)

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4.7 out of 5 stars
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Format: Paperback
"Some critics have referred to the Aubrey/Maturin books as one long novel united not only by their historical setting but also by the central plot element of the Aubrey/Maturin friendship. Having read these fine books over a period of several years, I decided to evaluate their cumulative integrity by reading them consecutively in order of publication over a period of a few weeks. This turned out to be a rewarding enterprise. For readers unfamiliar with these books, they describe the experiences of a Royal Navy officer and his close friend and traveling companion, a naval surgeon. The experiences cover a broad swath of the Napoleonic Wars and virtually the whole globe.
Rereading all the books confirmed that O'Brian is a superb writer and that his ability to evoke the past is outstanding. O'Brian has numerous gifts as a writer. He is the master of the long, careful description, and the short, telling episode. His ability to construct ingenious but creditable plots is first-rate, probably because he based much of the action of his books on actual events. For example, some of the episodes of Jack Aubrey's career are based on the life of the famous frigate captain, Lord Cochrane. O'Brian excels also in his depiction of characters. His ability to develop psychologically creditable characters through a combination of dialogue, comments by other characters, and description is tremendous. O'Brien's interest in psychology went well beyond normal character development, some books contain excellent case studies of anxiety, depression, and mania.
Reading O'Brien gives vivid view of the early 19th century. The historian Bernard Bailyn, writing of colonial America, stated once that the 18th century world was not only pre-industrial but also pre-humanitarian (paraphrase).
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
An intriguing book in this fascinating series. With women in those times being seen as bad luck (and yet in certain circumstances women could be allowed to undertake certain roles) if taken aboard, I enjoyed this tale. Yet again the author has produced another fascinating story which I recommend to potential readers.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As a real landlubber I find the stories brilliant. Even though I don't understand the "technical" side it doesn't matter at all. Indeed, it makes it all the more real; all the more better. Now for number 16!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Deftly told with an almost supernatural skill. The extent of Clarissa's (unwitting) influence on the crew sneaks up on Jack and the reader; before we know it the Surprise is a completely transformed ship. O'Brian writes women equally as well as men, and I ended up rooting for Ms. Oakes in spite of the near-disastrous effects of her presence.

On the other hand, I've never really warmed to Martin. He's appeared in several of the books and I've always found him a bit of a bore. He starts to unravel here, which gives me hope he'll be leaving the series soon, the creature.

Book #15 isn't the most incident-packed or the most adventuresome; it's more of a character study--the crew as a single organism, with its delicate balance of tempers and morale thrown shockingly out of whack by the blithe sexual presence of one young woman. Absolutely fascinating from start to finish. I couldn't put it down.
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This does not seem to have the usual control of plot and characterisation O'Brian shows in his other volumes. Perhaps it is the subject matter - gender politics is not a common topic in the Aubrey Marturin series. The presence of a woman on board seems to provoke an almost hysterical reaction in some characters that hardly rings true. Still enjoyable if not quite up to his usual standards.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Few writers have given me as much pure pleasure as Patrick O'Brian. The world he creates so vividly, the characters who inhabit it and the stories themselves are an unfailing treat; so much so that I ration myself because I dread reaching the end of the series. Maybe when I do 'll start over. Clarissa Oakes is more character-driven than most. It deals in a series of colourful incidents rather than a dominating central narrative. I couldn't recommend it more.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Outstanding Subject /story V . well told by an authour who has well researched the Period & people of the era .He is an outstanding story teller.Any reader interested in Napoleonic times should read O Brians tales
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This novel continues to maintain the high standards of Patrick O'Brian's earlier novels in the Aubrey/Maturin series. The emphasis switches from direct action to the psychological effects on Jack Aubrey and his relationship with his officers and crew when a young female stowaway, an escaped convict, is found on board. Drama, mystery and humour is involved along with some action amongst the islands of the South Pacific. A very engaging and excellent read.
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