The Catalans

( 1 )

Overview

"One of the best novelists since Jane Austen."—Philadelphia Inquirer
This novel is a powerful successor to Testimonies, Patrick O'Brian's first novel written for adults. It is set in that corner of France that became O'Brian's adopted home, where the long, dark wall of the Pyrenees runs headlong to meet the Mediterranean. Alain Roig returns to Saint-Féliu after years in the East and finds his family in crisis. His dour, middle-aged cousin Xavier, the mayor and most powerful citizen of the town, has fallen in love...

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The Catalans

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Overview

"One of the best novelists since Jane Austen."—Philadelphia Inquirer
This novel is a powerful successor to Testimonies, Patrick O'Brian's first novel written for adults. It is set in that corner of France that became O'Brian's adopted home, where the long, dark wall of the Pyrenees runs headlong to meet the Mediterranean. Alain Roig returns to Saint-Féliu after years in the East and finds his family in crisis. His dour, middle-aged cousin Xavier, the mayor and most powerful citizen of the town, has fallen in love and plans to marry Madeleine, the young daughter of the local grocer. The Roig family property is threatened by this union, and Madeleine's relatives object on different grounds.
Xavier is a tragic figure, damned by what he perceives as a lack of feeling; Madeleine is to be his salvation. Unfortunately she does not return his affection, and, as the feasts and harvest festivals of Saint-Féliu are played out, she finds herself falling in love with Alain.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

Best known for his monumental series of Aubrey/Maturin naval adventures, the late O'Brian began his writing career during the early 1950s with several closely observed character studies of ordinary people. His second novel, The Catalans-also published as The Frozen Flame-is set in a remote corner of southern France, where Alain Roig returns to his home after working for many years in East Asia. He finds his family in turmoil because his middle-aged cousin intends to marry a much younger woman who complicates matters by falling in love with Alain. Simon Vance's well-modulated narration makes this a delightful book for audiences. Recommended for libraries with mature listeners who appreciate close family studies.
—R. Kent Rasmussen

Library Journal
Nautical specialist O'Brian stays on land in this novel, set in France, that follows the romantic entanglements disrupting a family. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393051100
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 10/17/2005
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 1,295,431
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Patrick O'Brian

Patrick O'Brian's acclaimed Aubrey/Maturin series of historical novels has been described as "a masterpiece" (David Mamet, New York Times), "addictively readable" (Patrick T. Reardon, Chicago Tribune), and "the best historical novels ever written" (Richard Snow, New York Times Book Review), which "should have been on those lists of the greatest novels of the 20th century" (George Will).Set in the Royal Navy during the Napoleonic Wars, O'Brian's twenty-volume series centers on the enduring friendship between naval officer Jack Aubrey and physician (and spy) Stephen Maturin. The Far Side of the World, the tenth book in the series, was adapted into a 2003 film directed by Peter Weir and starring Russell Crowe and Paul Bettany. The film was nominated for ten Oscars, including Best Picture. The books are now available in hardcover, paperback, and e-book format.In addition to the Aubrey/Maturin novels, Patrick O'Brian wrote several books including the novels Testimonies, The Golden Ocean, and The Unknown Shore, as well as biographies of Joseph Banks and Picasso. He translated many works from French into English, among them the novels and memoirs of Simone de Beauvoir, the first volume of Jean Lacouture's biography of Charles de Gaulle, and famed fugitive Henri Cherrière's memoir Papillon. O'Brian died in January 2000.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Richard Patrick Russ
    1. Date of Birth:
      December 12, 1914
    2. Place of Birth:
      Chalfont St. Peter, Buckinghamshire
    1. Date of Death:
      January 2, 2000
    2. Place of Death:
      Dublin, Ireland

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 19, 2006

    O'Brian at His Best

    O'Brian narrates the story of the Roig family and associates with all of the mastery expected of such an esteemed writer. O'Brian manages to encompass not only an elegant narration, but interweaves intricate descriptions of the region and places in which the story takes place. The added touch of literary detail only enhances the quality of the piece. The finely woven story truly shines as a work of magnificence and proves not to be one easily forgotten.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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